Thursday, July 28, 2005


The following information represents my personal wishes regarding the handling of my body and the final arrangements following my death. Wherever possible, I would like my family and friends to honor these wishes to the best of their abilities.

Existing Will
As of the date on this document, I have not yet prepared a Last Will and Testament. Therefore, this Funeral Wishes document serves as the most complete and accurate reflection of my personal wishes regarding the final arrangements after my death.

Body or Organ Donation
Preserve the large and complex organs covering the entirety of the body, such as veins, nerves, and skin. Do not monkey with the gonads. Excepting those restrictions, harvest at will. Indeed, do not hesitate to excavate some of the lesser organs, like glands and nodes. Any and all bones are fair game, except the skull, which should be shorn. Further details as to appropriate redressing of the head are found below.

Handling of the Body
Immediately following my death I would like my body to be placed into a hot air balloon, upon which a robotic pilot will fly my lifeless body high above the Sierra Mountain Ranges of eastern California. Upon my shorn head will rest a rainbow-colored clown wig. Inside the hot air balloon will be a portable CD player (battery operated) playing a mix CD of various songs of my choosing. Should I fail to produce an appropriate mix CD by the time of my death, and designated as such, I ask that my lifeless body be lifted to the heavens listening to Phil Collins' Face Value. The CD player should have a "continuous play" button and that button shall be engaged for the duration of the flight.

a) Robotic Pilot: The hot air balloon's flame shall be ignited by the robotic pilot and the pilot's duty shall be to keep the flame lit and to maintain an appropriate altitude. The pilot shall not direct the aircraft in any way and instead shall let the wind and breeze direct the course of the balloon, such as life. As the balloon's reserve of fuel is slowly and then finally extinguished by the intense flame keeping the structure aloft, and the balloon begins its final descent, there shall be no manipulation of the direction of the aircraft excepting the very real possibility that the balloon fall near or directly on a populated area. In this rare case, a small plane will be engaged with the task of piercing the balloon with a harpoon and dragging the balloon to an area of relative safety. Once the craft is in an area where it will fall to earth unharmed and without causing harm, either by its natural and undirected course or through the aid, in its last stages, of a plane-dragging, it is to be allowed to crash to the earth uninterrupted. The funeral will take place at the precise spot of impact, the details of which are outlined in the below paragraph entitled Final Disposition;

b) Care of Body: I wish my body to be outfitted in safari fatigues, as I believe that death is only the beginning of a new adventure. Binoculars and a canteen should be draped from my neck. As previously stated, I would like a rainbow-colored gag wig, as can be purchased from such places as Spencer's Gifts and other party-supply stores, to be placed upon my shorn head, representing my belief that life was and is fun and even in death we can show others the importance of the ethos of Bobby McFarren's anthem, "Don't Worry, Be Happy." I do not wish my body to be embalmed. If a post-mortem requires the consent of my next of kin, I would like them to give it. Feel free to go wild with the makeup and dies. In fact, do something a little nutty, what the hell.

Final Disposition
I would like my body to be buried under ground at a depth of nine (9) feet, at the exact spot of the hot air balloon's impact. I would like the following specific people to extricate my body (or body pieces) from the craft's wreckage and place it (them) in the gold-gilded casket which will be my final and ultimate resting place: my brother, T. S. Farmhand; my friend, King Koopa; my friend, Analogcabin Jones; and my lover, Rob Diener. My family and friends shall be transported to the funeral on the backs of motorcycles, all of which will be driven by professional motorcycle racers, so as to feel the wind in their faces and just in general feel really good to be alive and to appreciate the beauty that is life. The motorcycle drivers will follow the flight of the hot air balloon by any means necessary, including but not limited to such acts as off-roading, skying mad jumps, and portage to reach the final resting place of the balloon and, naturally, my body.

a) Casket: As mentioned above, my body shall be placed in a golden gilded casket, lined with chichilla fur, as it is incredibly soft. Do not remove the safari fatigues or rainbow-colored wig, as this is the preferred appearance I should like to maintin on the day of my funeral and for all days in the afterlife. At the moment deemed most appropriate by my brother, T. S. Farmhand, and before the casket is shut and lowered into the ground, I wish to be handed a sceptre. Both hands shall grasp the sceptre and it shall lie on my torso and in general make my body look both more stately and intensely powerful, like a king in olden tymes. The top end of the sceptre shall be a small globe, made of glow in the dark material, which will keep my casket alight for perhaps a day or two so as to provide me with my bearings in the darkness of eternity;

b) Eulogy: I wish there to be no religious text read or repeated at my funeral, as I was conflicted on the issue of religion while on Earth and wish in my death not to be tied down to one afterlife or another. Rather, I wish the attendants at my funeral to form a ring around my casket, hands clasped, and sing the song "Heal the World" by Michael Jackson, not so much because I believe in the redemptive power of music to heal the world, as it were, but rather I believe that I would find the sight of my friends and family singning that song together rather hilarious, and would like the performance to be yet another demonstration of the oddness, humor, and strange beauty of life, which I think we can agree is something we take for granted.

Execution of Funeral Costs, Expenses, and Responsibilities
All wishes contained herein shall be planned and executed by my aforementioned lover, Rob Diener, whose responsibility, efficiency, and diligence are such so as to inspire my confidence in his abilities, even in my death. I would like the total cost of my funeral to be kept under $5,000.


King Koopa said...

Goodness gracious. That was hilarious. I counted 3 or 4 out-loud laughs that I had to stifle because of my cubicle's proximity to my boss's office. Funny stuff.

And what, pray tell, will your tombstone read? Or, are you going unmarked?

Anonymous said...

"The Man Who Flew Too Close to The Sun," perhaps.

Or maybe just "Starman", on pink limestone.

What do you think, AM?

King Koopa said...

Yeah, "Kid Icarus" has some cool symbology/connotations.

And, would you request to use the KC the Squirrel hot air balloon? The secret is out, indeed.

T.S. Farmhand said...

That sounds like a pretty good funeral. But I believe you forgot the Masonic rites--some good tips can be found here, though this one calls for 150 Nashville Masons, which may prove difficult to obtain.

Mathis said...

My gravestone shall read:

"The American Mastodon...
That deaf, dumb, and blind kid
Sure played a mean pinball!!"

Trevor Jackson said...

Excellent choice with the Phil Collins. Though I might have gone with No Jacket Required, since "In the Air Tonight" is just a little too direct a connection.

Also, depending on how long that balloon is up there, your friends are going to be putting a seriously rotten corpse in the ground. You might want to rethink embalming what doesn't get harvested.

Either way, the rainbow wig is awesome. We should all give this the level of thought you have.

Grace said...

I would like the total cost of my funeral to be kept under $5,000.

Hmm. Don't know if this could be done on budget. However, I would be very interested in buying some tickets to this. Maybe you could self-fund this gig.