Monday, February 3, 2014

The Last Big Party


Originally published March 30, 2011
I don't want to be fatalistic but I do want to be prepared.
I've begun planning my funeral.
No, I'm not sick (that I'm aware of).
It weirds out my wife when I mention this ... as I do from time to time. I guess I just figure it's my last chance to plan an event and have at least a little control over it.
In short - if I can find the right people to help - it's going to be a blast.
No offense to any of the fine preachers I've known in my life but I want little to no preaching at my funeral. Yes, I realize it's a great opportunity to save the lost and I'm all for that. Anything over five minutes, though, and I'll leave.
I swear I will.
I would like to have t-shirts, however.
I'm thinking of something in the "R.I.P. Rick" format on the front. Maybe a nice photo of me in the middle. On the back of the shirt, I'm toying with something along the lines of "I went to Rick's funeral and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" ... or something tasteful like that.
You see, not everyone is going to get a t-shirt. I'd like someone behind the pulpit (stage) to be set up with a cannon thing like is used to fire t-shirts into the stands at sporting events. Every time the crowd looks bored, he's to pop a t-shirt into the crowd.
That is going to be so cool.
If I happen to have died from some weird, embarrassing mishap, by all means please mention it and encourage laughter. Two years ago during the Super Bowl, I nearly choked to death on some pizza. If something like that takes me, feel free to talk about it before, during and after the service.
A friend recently suggested a "Stuck on a Casket" contest, sort of like the "Stuck on a Truck" you sometimes hear about. I liked the idea. We're working on details.
If anyone goes all nutso crying over me, please remove her/him from the premises. If there's anyone out there who would miss me that much, tell me now.
Obviously there will be music involved. I haven't started picking specific songs but I can say I'm partial to Hootie & the Blowfish, the Gap Band and Don Williams.
And James Taylor.
And the Eagles.
I'd like to have a couple friends speak at the service. Open auditions will be scheduled. No longer than 10 minutes each and it needs to be good stuff. Bonus points for mentioning the home run I hit June 16, 1986.
If anyone has trouble rounding up enough pallbearers, consider using women. I'm gaining weight all the time and it might be fun for the crowd to watch them struggle with the casket.
A few final rules/reminders:
1) No dancing. That would just be disrespectful. Unless it's during the Gap Band portion. Then, I (and everyone else) will understand.
2) No crying. Seriously, you start whining and I can guarantee the t-shirt guy will be aiming as far away from you as possible.
3) EVERYONE goes to the cemetery. Nothing bothers me more than people who just want to sit inside a cozy church then bolt when the festivities move outdoors. If you're not willing to go the distance with this, you probably shouldn't have been invited in the first place.
4) Cell phone usage is fine. In fact, it's encouraged. That way, my daughter won't mind attending.
5) I need someone to sweep out the casket (besides the body, of course) before it disappears. I have a sister who has this odd habit of placing things (little momentos, etc.) in with the body. I love her ... but it's a little creepy.
6) I'd like someone to prepare a slide show of some of my finer moments. I don't think any photos of the aforementioned home run exist, but maybe something from my elementary school days (where I rarely made anything lower than a B on report cards and brought home perfect attendance awards on multiple occasions) and my junior high days (when we won the conference championship in football).
7) The procession should include a trip through one of the local Sonics.
Enough for now. Peace.

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