Good to see you can actually laugh at death. Usually, talking about death and dying makes people feel about as comfortable as Shaquille O'Neal flying coach.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but death is the price we pay for life. Oh, by the way, I did see it much cheaper at Costco last weekend, so you might want to shop around.

We have a lot of cute euphemisms for death: "croaked," "kicked the bucket," "bought the farm," "took a dirt nap," "met your maker," "cashed in your chips," "ordered-in from the dollar-an-item Mongolian Barbeque in the alley behind the Gold-Chains-By-The-Inch stand downtown."

There is a school of thought, usually promulgated by the topaz-jewelry-wearing, multiple-cat owning, ancient-Volvo-with-"Practice Random Kindness And Senseless Acts Of Beauty"-bumpersticker-driving segment of our population, that says we as a society need to remove the stigma from death and regard it as just another part of life. These rainbow-and-unicorn simpletons ask, "Why do we insist on portraying death as cruel?" Well, it's difficult to answer that question, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say, because it fucking kills us.

Other cultures, perhaps those with less material wealth but a far richer spiritual heritage, embrace and celebrate death. But then, what do they have to live for in the first place? Of course you're gonna have a big bash for Grandpa Bo-ba-la, Bo-ba-la, Bo-ba-la[CLICK CLICK CLICK] when he goes, he doesn't have to eat dingo shit off a flat rock anymore.

Another thing I don't get is when a society decides they need to keep the remains of a beloved leader on display. That's great as long as they still admire you, but look what happened to Vladimir Lenin. Now they've got him standing up outside a Moscow restaurant, where parking valets pin car keys to his face.

It's ironic that in our culture, everyone's biggest complaint is never having enough time, yet nothing terrifies us more than the idea of eternity. In America, we want to live forever, and a wide array of advanced cosmetic surgeries now guarantees that at least certain parts of us will. In fact, an increasing number of deceased bodies are now neither buried nor cremated, but returned for a deposit. Experts say that over the past 20 years, there's been a 72-percent increase in the number of eulogies that end in the phrase "Nice Rack."

Everyone who survives a near-death experience reports the same phenomenon, that being a bright light. You know what that light is? It's the doctor, trying to detect any brain function by shining a flashlight into your pupils, you almost-dead clueless jagoff.

Now, the second worst way to die has to be in an airplane crash. The worst way, of course, is choking to death on an apricot pit after waving off the only guy offering you the Heimlich because he was too good-looking, and you were afraid he'd stir something in you that's best left dormant.

Some people feel the need to have very bizarre funerals, trying to be the life of the party even when they're dead by insisting that everyone wear a Hawaiian shirt. These are the same assholes who get married on roller coasters. You know, it's only a matter of time before some octogenarian prankster rigs his body to pop up out of the casket like Big Mouth Billy Bass and sing, "Don't Worry -- Be Happy".

And the cost of dying is unbelievable. Because just like in life, in death we can't resist having the latest and best of everything. I mean, a casket with Internet hook-up? Give me a break. When I go, stuff my ass full of candy and toys and let some little Mexican kid whack me with a bat. I don't give a shit; I'm dead.

At my funeral, I want to have a TV screen showing the end of "The Beverly Hillbillies," where they're all waving goodbye, but they have my face digitally superimposed over Granny's.

Einstein said energy can't be created or destroyed. I agree with that. I believe there is a spark inside each and every one of us that lives forever. When we die, I believe that energy leaves the body and floats towards some new vessel. Now if we can just find a way to capture that spark before it finds its new repository, we could keep California's power grid up and running for most of the upcoming summer.

I urge you to view your inevitable demise not with grief or fear but with acceptance and perhaps even hope. Your death is an end to sadness and pain. Your death is a passage to a better world. Your death is a moment of unification with the sacredness of eternity. My death, on the other hand? Greatest fuckin' tragedy in the history of mankind.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


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