Monday, January 17, 2011
My wife, Saint Joyce, and I had a very funny black humor night Saturday. See, when you either hit 60 like me or get near it like her thoughts of living and dying suffer a drastic paradigm shift. We’ve always been fans of the ‘Grumpy Old Men’ philosophy - as when someone died peacefully in their sleep in the movie the two old grumps played by Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau would mumble ‘Lucky Bastard’ under their breath. Facing a few facts when you have way more years behind you than in front is a necessity – first fact being no one gets out of here alive. All that lame talk about ‘Do not go gently into that good night’ is crapolla when you’re facing months of agonizing pain or you’re so far out of it you wish someone would leave you off on an ice floe for the polar bears to eat.
Second fact – when you’re lucky enough to have someone hang out with you for over three decades and raise a couple kids, who laughs at your sick jokes, it’s fun to blow off conventional conversations on death and get right to the jokes. Hell, it ain’t going to matter if you make fun of it anyway. So, we’re lying in bed on Saturday night and I tell Saint Joyce about such and such dying in their sleep… adding my usual ‘Lucky Bastard’.
“You better not pull that crap on me,” Joyce tells me.
“What’re you gonna’ do, beat me up?” I immediately do my imitation of assuming room temperature on the bed for a moment before hopping up and pretending I’m her finding me the next morning. “Oh you did not just die in your sleep! Wake up… you no good rotten dog!” After which I imitate Joyce choking and slapping me trying to wake the dead me. I then reassume my place as the corpse, flopping around, tongue hanging out with one eye closed and the other open under her attack.
Joyce is howling by then and I have to halt my one man show while she catches her breath. She’s gasping and pointing at me. “I…I’m so telling the kids. You’re sick!”
“There’s a news flash. You better pray I don’t wake up next to you in any of that damn peaceful demise stuff.” I’m just warming up.
Joyce decides to parrot me in falsetto voice. “What’re you gonna’ do, beat me up?”
“Nope. I’ll abuse the body.”
“I’ll drag you out on the street naked.”
“You wouldn’t dare!”
I just smile over at her and shrug.
“Now I hope you do die in your sleep, Sicko! Is tomorrow morning too soon?”
See, I’ve eased my wife past the pain of my passing and I’m still alive… temporarily anyway. :)