Yesterday morning I was reading the obits (one of my gallows humor pastimes in my geezer phase) and this poor hip hop dude (43!) died in a massage parlor and I'm sharing this with my children's mother who then jumps me about my own obit and how she doesn't want to have to write it. AND, where the hell do I want to be buried: Kingman?
My problem with most obits is they are written by grieving relatives who don't know how to tell a story. Good stories need conflict. Here's a typical gushing sentiment: "He was loved by everyone." Please. Or, this toothless gem: "She was loved dearly by all who knew her and will be sorely missed." Perhaps, but I have a hunch if I could share a couple beers with her sister, we'd get a different take on "sorely missed."
"Our little angel went to heaven and received her angel wings," is not a good lead. Remember, if there is no conflict, there is no interest. The other tired obit cliche that grinds me is, "he died peacefully in his sleep." How do you give that cliche a little juice? Well, how about: "He died peacefully in his sleep, not like the others in his car who were yelling and screaming."
So, I'm taking notes and jotting down a few of the things I want in my obit. I want it to be honest and funny. Not easy to do, but wish me luck.
BBB's Daily Obit Bits: One Line at A Time
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family has asked that you make someone you love laugh and if they do, tell them Triple B made you do it.
If I'm successful, perhaps it will usher in a new wave of obit cliches. Or not. The irony is I won't be here to find out, or to hear you groan about how tacky it is. One thing I already know for sure is that in the end, like "Mr. World Star!" O'Denat, a happy ending is not so happy.
"For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught, nay, the draught of a draught. Oh Time, Strength, Cash and Patience!"
— Herman Melville,