( with thanks to my friend Donna, who suggests that we should all write our own obituaries. Here’s mine.)
It is with great sorrow and deep regret that I announce the premature passing of the one true love of my life, myself.
I, Joan Gloria Stratford, having reached my expiration date as of last Wednesday afternoon at 3:11 p.m., went out with a bang, literally speaking, surrounded by close family members.
I was born on … (well, you don’t need to know when I was born, suffice it to say it was some years back) and was a resident of this city my entire life. I attended public schools for 13 or 14 years, never quite managing to graduate. A vindictive Guidance Counselor gave me straight Fs in Deportment for all the years I struggled through high school. Could I help it if I never grasped the concept of putting my own answers on every test I took, rather than using someone else’s more accurate ones?
Being unable to obtain gainful employment for lack of a diploma, I did the only sensible thing and got married. I married several times in fact, either 10 or 11 in all, I’m not sure, using 10 or 11 different names, some of which I still rely on when it seems prudent. When my 10 or 11 deadbeat husbands each died under suspicious circumstances within months after our weddings, I applied for Social Security Widows’ Benefits from all of them, thereby ensuring my financial security.
At this point I want it clearly understood that I have never failed a lie detector test in my entire life, and I’ve certainly taken enough of them.
With all those pensions coming in I should have been able to live a comfortable existence. Unfortunately, 10 or 11 husbands can generate a lot of dependants and I was stuck with parents, siblings, current and ex-wives, husbands and ex-husbands, and children, lots and lots of children, some of them even belonging to me. Housing, feeding and clothing all those deadbeats was almost impossible. Yes, each and every one of them took after the male relative who happened to be my husband at that given time, all of them looking to me for their livelihood, and caring for nothing but my money.
I was at my wit’s end, fretting and stewing as usual one day while cleaning my crowded home, when a brilliant idea popped into my mind. I was wiping down my 5th (or was it my 6th) husband’s WW 2 souvenirs for the umpteenth time, when I took a really serious look at the heavy oval object I was holding. With a rough surface and a metal pin sticking out the top, its common name, pineapple, and its use in war gave me an AAAHAAA!! moment.
What would happen if I gathered my large family around me on some flimsy excuse? Free beer would do nicely. I’d sneak the souvenir object into the crowd, watch for my chance, pull the pin out of the top, count down from 10 and run like the dickens. This sounded like a winner! Several kegs of beer soon brought all those relatives out of the woodwork and I got busy.
I sidled over to the closest exit, pulled the pin and started running. Unfortunately I tripped while still clutching the object, fell flat on my face and scrambled to get up as the countdown dwindled to 3…2…1… Nothing happened! I shook the pineapple vigorously! waited another moment, put my eye to the hole in the top of the thing and …..
KAAA … BLOOOOEY !!!!!
So here I am, somewhat disjointed and dispersed, parts of me wondering at the noxious reddish murk surrounding me. Strange crackling noises are filling my right ear. ( I seem to have lost the left one.) A nearly unbearable pulsating heat is throbbing in place of my normal heart beat. The atmosphere is blazing and sulphurous.
Having always heard that you can’t take it with you in regards to any money you might have, this turned out to be partly true. My small savings, Saran-wrapped and tucked away in my bra to keep my nest egg hidden from greedy relatives, popped out, the few $100 bills I’d been hoarding flared up and are now burning merrily, and the coins are melting like popsicles.
However, this no longer matters since there are no malls or Big Box stores down here. The devil bans all forms of private enterprise, calling them greedy and manipulative. He has a monopoly on both those traits.
I leave no family to mourn me; I brought them all along. They’re right over there now, somewhat the worse for wear, hanging out in rather bizarre shapes and shreds, all glaring furiously at me across a steaming, smoking, sizzling chasm of liquid fire.
I was preceded in death by my husbands, Curly, Moe, Larry, Tom, Dick, Harry, Sylvester and Sylvester. There were several others whose names I seem to have forgotten. Yes, there were 2 Sylvesters. They were brothers.
There will be no visitation. There are no remains to visit. Likewise, graveside services have been cancelled. There is no grave.
There will be no eulogy. There is no one left to do justice to the former “me.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to THE DIMINISHING FUND FOR DISILLUSIONED DIVORCEES in care of any attorney.
Final arrangements are being handled by TONY’S YARD SWEEP AND STUMP REMOVAL as my self, my relatives, my house and all my belongings were strewn over a 4 block area. Maybe my missing ear will turn up. Finders Keepers.
If I had a headstone, my epitaph would read:
SIC TRANSIT JOAN GLORIA MUNDI