You only have one chance to get it right. Get it wrong, and you’ll spend eternity thinking of all the things you should have said, just like you do when you’ve lost an argument with your spouse.
I bring this up because now that I have my elderly father living with me, I look at him and see myself in the future. He’s 98-years-old, so that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Gone are the days when I used to think I would live forever. Now I know that no matter how much weight I lift, how many miles I hike, or how many promises to God I make, I’m still going to get old and die.
And not necessarily in that order.
Everybody knows the famous words of Patrick Henry, who declared, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Now those would be impressive last words under any circumstance, but, when he died in the comfort of his own home, his actual last words were, “On second thought, just the liberty would be fine.”
I always thought Queen Elizabeth's last words would be, "Why, Charles... whatsoever are you doing with that pillow?" but that has so far not come to pass.
You know who didn't have any last words? Reputed prognosticator Nostradamus. On the night he died, the last words he spoke were to his secretary, Jean de Chavigny. He told her, "Get me some coffee."
No, just kidding.
What he actually said was, "Tomorrow, I will no longer be here." Well, I don't know where he was planning on going, but the next day he was still there.
Now, if he was such a great psychic, why did his own death catch him by surprise?
I have the same thoughts about Yoko Ono and Nancy Reagan, both wives of two guys whose names you might recognize. Both Nancy and Yoko were really big into astrology, with personal astrologists who were paid mucho dinero to come up with astrological charts predicting their future. Neither woman would make any important decision for themselves or for their husbands without first consulting their astrologists. Do you know what neither astrologer predicted? The assassination of one husband, and an assassination attempt on the other.
So much for astrology.
One of my favorite comedians, Steven Wright, says he wishes the first word he ever spoke as a baby was “Quote.” That way, on his deathbed, his last word could be “Unquote.”
William “I’m Nothing Without Star Trek” Shatner thought long and hard about what Captain Kirk’s last words would be in the movie Star Trek: Here's Another One. All he came up with was a lame, “Oh, my!” which meant… nothing. That’s what happens when actors think they can write.
My favorite last words were said by one of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham’s dummies. In the TV special I saw, the wooden dummy told the human dummy that a redneck's last words were usually: "Hold my beer and watch this!”
When I asked my father if he ever considered what his last words might be, he answered, “Why? Are you trying to get rid of me?”
Knowing that I am now closer to the end of my days than the beginning, I’m given comfort by the last words of Heinrich Heine, a poet of the Romantic Period, who said, “God will forgive me. It is His profession.”
With that, here's what I'm considering for my last words.
“I can see all my dead relatives. They’re coming to greet me. Hey, why do they all have horns?”
I like this one a lot. I think it would have made a nifty ending for one of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone episodes.
"Take my brother first."
This may sound mean, but my brother's a pretty competitive guy, so I'd actually be doing him a favor.
“I killed Jimmy Hoffa.”
I haven’t done anything particularly memorable in my life. This is one way to make it into the history books.
“I DARE God to take me right now.”
This one depends on timing. If you don’t die immediately after saying it, pretend you did.
“My one regret is… everything.”
Now that I think about it, this one sounds an awful lot like the song, “I Hate Everything,” by my wife’s favorite country singer, George Strait. She’s always telling me how handsome he is, how rich he is, and how famous he is.
I hate that guy.
“I never liked you.”
This works with George Strait and anyone else who happens to be around when you expire. Trust me, they’ll remember your last words for the rest of their lives.
“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
So you’re telling me I could have done this at the BEGINNING of the movie?
“All hail Lord Xenu.”
Imagine what a hit your funeral will be when Tom Cruise and John Travolta show up in a flying saucer.
“You’ll laugh when I tell you where I buried the gold.”
This is one way to make sure your relatives will be sad you’re dead.
“Get me a hooker.”
Not nice, but very memorable.
“Pull my finger.”
Always a crowd pleaser.
You've seen mine, now show me yours (um, your last words, I mean) at RaisingMyFather.BlogSpot.com, JimDuchene.BlogSpot.com, and @JimDuchene.
Raising My Father
JimDuchene.BlogSpot.com American Chimpanzee