In 1817, Benjamin Franklin wrote a now famous phrase, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Of course this was a major overstatement. There are many overlooked certainties in life. For instance, you can certainly not stop after eating just one potato chip.
The point Benji F. was trying to make, though, is that we will all die. It is how things work. If you exercise, you will die later. If you eat every meal out of Paula Dean’s personal, butter-coated cook book, you will most likely die sooner. At some point, though, we will all kick it. Sometimes, Ben was a bit morbid.
With the inevitability of passing, though, there comes a need of certainty. What will happen with our stuff, things, doodads, or knickknacks when we are gone? What will be done with our remains?
A man in Pittsburgh had the right idea:
Forty-eight-year-old Tony Guarino tells KDKA-TV that his wife Stacy called Storm Products Inc. of Brigham City, Utah, when he began wondering if the bowling ball company could make such a container.
Company official Mike Stewart says Storm was “honored” by the request and has since delivered the ball.
Guarino, of Wilkins Township, is an avid bowler whose only perfect, 300 game was bowled using a Storm ball. But he can no longer bowl because his terminal prostate cancer has spread to his lower back and pelvis.
Stacy Guarino says the ball urn won’t be used for bowling – it will go into her husband’s bowling bag along with a ball his father used.
Now Guarino knows what will happen with his ashes. He has certainty and will be honored with something that he loved. This is a great thing to have and I am happy that he will have some peace of mind.
The story had me thinking, though. What would happen to me if I were to meet my untimely demise? Would people know what I wished?
That is why I have decided it is time that I create my own last will and testament.Nathan’s Last Will and Testament I hereby declare that this is my last will and testament and that I hereby revoke, cancel and annul all wills and codicils (whatever that means) previously made by me either jointly or severally. I declare that I am of legal age to make this will and of (relatively) sound mind and that this last will and testament expresses my wishes without undue influence or duress. I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint Morgan Freeman as Executor. I find his charming voice to be very soothing, so I feel like his reading of this will would be best for everyone who has to hear it. While I do not know him, his IMDB page implies that he will do just about anything people ask him to, so I have no doubt that he will be willing. I hereby give and grant the Executor all powers and authority as are required or allowed in law, and especially that of assumption. I bequeath all of my personal possessions to somebody. I do not care who. After all, I am super dead at this point. What am I going to do? Haunt you? Absolutely not. If I am a ghost, I have a lot more pressing issues than my old personal effects to worry about. I will probably be far too busy reenacting the scene in “Ghost” where Patrick Swayze ruins that lady’s pottery. What was his problem anyway? What a jerk ghost. I direct that on my death my remains shall absolutely, under no circumstance, be cremated. I do not want to be a bunch of ashes. Now, you can probably go ahead and cremate me if you want, but that might warrant a haunting. To go one step further, I have a few directions for my funeral. Number one, I would like the minister to wear a giant foam finger. Whenever I am mentioned (this should be very often as it is my funeral) he shall gesture wildly in the direction of my casket with the foam finger. This is a great way to draw attention to me and, as I have said, it really is all about me at that point. Secondly, I do not want people to cry. I, however, expect that people will as my dynamic personality is irresistible to many and I will sorely be missed. That is why I would like an improv group to perform sketches in between each eulogy that is delivered. I would like them to be especially bad so that any tears can be blamed on the 15 minute sketch about a man from the future trying to order a sandwich from Subway. Thirdly, each eulogy should be read as a series of questions. Example: “Nathan was a great guy? He will surely be missed by all of those who knew him? He could really light up a room?” I have no practical reason for this. It just seems fun. Fourthly, when people file past the casket, anyone who says “Oh, he looks so good,” shall immediately be shot with a pellet gun. I do not look good. I would like to think I looked a lot better when I was alive. On the other end, anyone who says, “he looked a lot thinner alive” should be given a prize. I recommended a Reese’s cup, but that is up for negotiation. Lastly, I do not wish to be buried in a graveyard. I would like to be buried somewhere much more exciting. Maybe Mount Kilimanjaro? I will leave that up to Morgan Freeman to decide. Should any provision of this will be judged by an appropriate court of law as invalid, it is the responsibility of my family to continue to appeal the court’s decision forever and ever. I mean, shut up court. You do not know what I want. Signed on this 15th day of August 2012
Nathan Badley P.S. Can you do a p.s. to a will? Anyway, if Morgan Freeman is unavailable, an acceptable replacement would be Gilbert Gottfried. Sure, his voice is not as soothing, but I imagine he can read the crap out of a will.