First of all, I’m fine. I’m not dying, at least, not any more than the rest of us. I didn’t get any recent news of a tumor, blocked artery, or astronomically high blood pressure, nor do I know of a bullet or a bus with my name on it.
I am not superstitious (or “stupidstitious”) about it being Friday The 13th. Today’s date means nothing other than tomorrow is “Pi Day Of The Century“! Which also means nothing, since the calendar and our measurement of time is about 90% arbitrary, but it’s a great excuse to be goofy and have pie. Mmmmm, pie…
But this song came up in my playlist the other day (see #16) and my brain got to spinning off onto a dozen tangents, as it is occasionally wont to do. (Silly brain.) So, given greater and lesser amounts of seriousness, to be updated periodically as I change my mind or come up with other goofy crap to do, here are some suggestions/requests/orders (you don’t want to be haunted, do you?) for my eventual funeral:
- Please do not call it a funeral. “Memorial service,” “life celebration,” whatever the politically correct term of the week is, but not “funeral.” Although as you’ll see, I want the “fun” put back in “funeral!”
- Someone take a LOT of pictures. I would do it, but, you know, “dead” and all that.
- If at all possible, start the event just before sunset, outdoors, under a clear sky.
- Wearing a suit and tie or fancy dress will be frowned upon, unless of course some serious (and entertaining) gender-bending is going on. Depending on the weather, if you must wear “normal” clothes, Hawaiian shirts for summer or turtlenecks for winter are okay.
- Extra points: Wear Hawaiian shirts with airplanes on them.
- Beaucoup extra points: Wear turtlenecks with airplanes on them.
- All things being equal, people should be encouraged to wear costumes — fannish friends might consider bringing extras for the mundane factions of my family and friends.
- If not into fannish costumes, mundane costumes will do. Angels, Chiefs, or Kings jerseys and/or hats are all acceptable. Their rivals’ gear will, obviously, not be acceptable.
- Extra points: Anyone wearing a combination of Angels, Chiefs, and Kings gear will be recognized for their creativity and given a seat of honor for the event as a reward.
- Beaucoup extra points: Have the Angels’ World Series trophy, the Chiefs’ Lombardi Trophy, or the Stanley Cup there for people to take selfies with.
- Have a flyover. My pals at the CAF will do a great job.
- Extra points: Get the Blue Angels or Air Force Thunderbirds instead of the CAF.
- Beaucoup extra points: Get the Blue Angels, and the Air Force Thunderbirds, in addition to the CAF.
- Everyone’s invited. (Yes, that means you too!)
- God’s invited (s/he’s included in “everyone”) but it’s my party, not God’s, so let’s not make any deities the Guest of Honor, ok? Either I’ll be some mythical afterlife actually talking to some deity or another (my mother’s bet) or I simply won’t (my bet). Either way, I’ll know and you won’t. (Wait, if I’m…then I won’t… Never mind.)
- Play “Into The West” from Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King, the one sung by Annie Lennox. I absolutely love that song and have wanted it played at my
funeralmemorial service ever since I first heard it.
- Extra points: Get Annie Lennox to sing it live with a full orchestra.
- Beaucoup extra points: Get Annie Lennox to sing it live with a full orchestra and Amanda Palmer!
- Tell jokes, tell stories, tell more jokes. I’ve done plenty of stupid things, let’s relive them in all their glory.
- Share my photographs, and keep sharing them for years and years beyond. They’re a big part of the proof that I was here.
- If I’ve managed to get any of my stories published, read some choice selections. If I didn’t break through, pick a couple of my less sucky Flash Fiction efforts to fill time until it gets dark.
- As it gets dark, keep the lights off (or at least to a minimum, or hand out flashlights with red lenses) so that everyone can get dark adapted.
- Bring out the telescopes and spend the evening (all night if you want!) with everyone taking turns looking through them at the planets, stars, nebulae, comets, moon…
- Whatever the venue, sing. Sing filksongs, but use the broad definition of the term (“Anything I’ve ever heard sung at a filksing”) so that things like “A Dying Cub’s Fan Last Request” are included (yeah, gotta sing that one!), and don’t limit it to just filksongs. If it feels good, sing it!
- With luck I will have had organs donated, so let people know what went where. I want any usable spare parts of mine used to help others when I’m no longer in need of them, and others should be encouraged to do the same. Have forms there for people to sign up for blood and platelet donations, as well as become organ donors.
- Serve chocolate chip cookies, Oreos, chocolate cake, ice cream, apple pie… None of this vegy plate and health food crap – life’s too short, as I will have obviously just demonstrated.
- Alternative idea #1: If it’s cloudy or you can’t find a dark sky location, or if it’s just later in the evening and you’re “telescoped out”, light up as many Christmas lights as you can (make it visible from space!) and then follow up with a massive fireworks display.
- Alternative idea #2: Have all of the above (or as much as practical) at a ball game. Angels, Chiefs, or Kings doesn’t matter. Can you just imagine a group of my family members, my CAF friends, my fannish friends, and other assorted knuckleheads taking up a whole section at an Angels game on a Big Bang Friday and partying all night?
- No flowers. Just because I’ll be dead doesn’t mean that we need to spend a money killing a bunch of innocent flora, most of which are probably allergens to someone in attendance. Instead, take the money you might have spent on flowers and donate it to a worthy charity. The CAF. Habitat For Humanity. UNICEF. Pick a group that’s going to deliver the biggest bang for your buck and help the most people.
- In other words, if you wish to donate in my memory, please pick a good, efficient charity, by which I mean one that isn’t going to piss away huge chunks of the donations on six-figure CEO salaries. Education is a huge area of interest, so maybe a group that puts disadvantaged kids through college, or just helps them get through high school. Or maybe a group that educates girls and young women in societies where they’re considered property. (You get the idea – if in doubt, read a few of my rants to see what pissed me off, then give to the group I would consider “the good guys.”)
- Hug The Long-Suffering Wife and my kids for me, early and often. As much as I might want this to be a silly & fun party instead of a somber & serious funeral, they might have have a tougher time than I will playing their parts.
- Have fun!!
I’ll see you there! (Wait, I forgot…)
Actually, by the time I plan on going, we’ll be doing all of this just to say goodbye to the meat-sack part of me. The all-important “me” part of me will be uploaded into a computer or robot and I’ll be there partying right along with you.
Beaucoup BEAUCOUP Extra Points: Upload “me” into the computer of a Goliath-class starship scout vessel, load the party and all of my friends and family on board, and let’s party on (or at least, near) all nine planets! (Yes, Pluto too.) Drop off those who want to stay back on Earth, then the rest of us will head outbound at some large multiple of c.
Yeah, that’s the best plan of all.