The Macho Man Randy Savage sadly died May 20th, 2011 in a car accident. Later that day, I pasted his obituary link in my Facebook feed, and posted “SNAP INTO THE DASHBOARD!” …making fun of his “Snap into a Slim-Jim” commercials.
I IMMEDIATELY got about six or seven “Hey! Show some respect for the dead!” sorts of replies.
I contend that that’s exactly what I did.
The Macho Man Randy Savage was a performer. He was a bad-ass pro wrestler who participated in an activity that everyone knows is fake. He was a performer. He lead his whole life entertaining the masses.
Now, obviously I can’t speak for someone I’ve never met, but I can’t imagine he was hoping that when he died, everyone would step on egg shells around the fact that he died. I’m willing to bet that he’d rather have a hundred thousand screaming fans chanting for him rather than crying and fearing that they may say something wrong.
It got me to thinking about comedians who get up on stage and risk their careers telling those “too soon” jokes. I love those jokes. I hope folks tell those kinds of jokes about me when I pass. I sure as hell don’t want people standing around looking at a formaldehyde filled husk crying that I’m gone. I want people to laughing, and if it’s at my expense, I’ll be honored to bring some levity.
If you don’t feel like you could possibly laugh about my death (immediately) after I’m gone, here… let me help you:
I want folks to joke about how enormous my head is… my hats are all XXL or 7-7/8… I can never find anything that fits my head at places like Target, and when I manage to find them (online, special order) they’re more expensive, obviously because they’re just more material.
Although I preferred “Bio-dome” folks seemed to enjoy calling me “Headquarters” in high school.
I want folks to talk about how I can’t seem to touch anything without breaking it. It’s not necessarily true anymore, but for about ten years starting around age 16, anything that required any finesse, I broke.
Hell, anything that required even just mild care, I broke. And it seemed to make it worse that everyone knew about it, cause they’d say “Matt’s gonna break it” and sure enough… it’d break. …oddly enough, I can’t think of anything specific, but it happened constantly.
I want people to talk about the times that I’ve thrown up, cause it really sorta happens a lot. I don’t mind throwing up when I feel the need, if truth be told. I always feel better afterwards, and it’s not like it’s difficult or painful. I always get like a 3 minute heads up when it’s inevitable too, so I’m always able to make it to the throne… So why not, right?
Once, I was hanging out with a couple friends of mine in high school, circa 1996, sitting in Brookline Villiage. I’d gorged myself on ribs earlier that day, and we’d just stopped over at a convenient store “Frans” which is no longer there.
I’d gotten some kind of healthy chocolate milk, that was fortified with vitamins or something, and it was disgusting. The first sip totally disgusted me. I got that sour-face you see when people taste whiskey for the first time.
“Puke, Matt! Puke!” my buddy cheered.
I nodded slowly. “Yeah… yeah, alright.” ..so I did. Right there, right on the side walk in front of the bench where we sat. Ribs. BLARF. Couldn’t hang out there anymore, of course, so we headed to the car. A couple more times on the way.
I used to like tube socks, but when I started liking tube socks, the style was to pull them down, so they’d pile up just above the shoe… I think that was probably 4th grade, putting the year at about ’89 or ’90.
In fact, I’d gotten several garbage bags of hand-me-down socks from my godmother who’d complained that her kids (who were mid teens) would, instead of washing their laundry, just buy more socks. I had more tub socks than any kid on earth.
Sometime in the year 2002, I happened to notice my fiance (who is now my wife) chuckling with our roommate about it. They didn’t want to hurt my feelings, I guess… which is pretty difficult to do, but apparently crumpled up tube socks had gone outta style.
…not that at that point in life, I really gave a rat’s ass about what was in or out, mind you. Tube socks had just become the habit, and my calves are now (and were then) large enough that I can’t pull them up anyway. (Believe it or not, it’s muscle.) (or, if you need it to be something other than muscle for a joke or something, believe what you need to. 😉 )
I don’t know why, but for some reason people like to groan and moan, and feign physical pain, and shout that they hate puns when I spout them. I don’t understand why that is. I find a good pun to be somewhat difficult to come up with, and it takes a bit of smarts to catch it if you’re not already on the look out.
But apparently, none of that matters, cause the masses seem to disagree, so… I’m sure there’s plenty of fodder there for folks to poke fun about. …just so long as they’re not making puns, I suppose.
At my funeral, I hope they play “Another One Bites the Dust”, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, and any other song that I can’t think of right now, or doesn’t make sense right this moment but will, once we all know the cause of death… i.e. AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” if I get struck by lightening, or Soul Asylum’s “Run Away Train” if I get hit by a train, or Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” if I get hit by Jupiter, or something like that.
My father said on his death bed: Don’t waste your time on a funeral for me. I’ll be dead; funerals are for the living.” While I’m sure he was saying “Don’t bother with a funeral at all” I prefer to say it meaning, don’t spend your time and money worrying about what you think you should have for a funeral. Because what I’d like is for everyone to do something that you all like. Enjoy. Eat. Drink. Be merry. If you must make me the center of attention, I hope it’s as the butt of a joke, cause all I want is to see you laugh.
Too soon? No, not at all, says I.