No Way for a Man to Die!!!
When I die, as I know I must someday, I want a nice respectable death. I want to steal away, quietly, with my family by my side, with a minimum of pain and a maximum of “let’s make him comfortable” drugs. I want soft music playing in the background. I would like my last words to be directed to my wife. I would like to hold her hand and say, “See ya on the other side, beautiful. I love you.” I’d give her a little Bogie-esque chuck on the chin and then, quietly, peacefully, close my eyes and — as they say — join the invisible choir.
Now that you know how I WANT to die… here’s how I do NOT want to die.
I do not want to drown in ice tea like I almost did last night.
“ELKRIDGE, MD — Bill Schmalfeldt, 55, died in his home Sunday night, April 11, 2010. He was drinking a glass of iced tea, choked on it, and died. His wife identified the brand as ‘Lipton’s Brisk Sweet Tea.’ ‘I tried to get him to drink Snapple, but he was stubborn that way,’ the Widow Schmalfeldt said.”
Honest to God! Sitting there, watching TV, sipping a tasty glass of iced tea, and my epiglottis doesn’t even TRY to close. I can feel the cool, cool tea pouring right into my lung — just the left one, again, like when I inhaled a sip of wine a couple weeks ago. At least iced tea doesn’t burn like wine does. Good thing it was the tea, because a few hours earlier I was sipping some tasty 12-year old single highland malt scotch, and that would have burned like the Great Chicago Fire!
(I can hear my nephew, Tommy, right now. “You gotta tuck your CHIN when you sip and swallow! Liquids move FAST.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. My speech therapist told me the same thing.)
It could be worse, I guess, when I think of other things I ate yesterday and what kind of obituary THAT would make…
“ELKRIDGE, MD — Bill Schmalfeldt, 55, died at his home Sunday, April 11, 2010 when he inhaled an entire bratwurst into his left lung. ‘I’ve always been after him to chew more carefully,’ his grieving widow said. ‘I kept telling him, it’s not a contest! You’re not fighting off six brothers and sisters for the last scrap of food anymore.’ Doctors said Schmalfeldt’s death was hastened by the catsup and shredded cheddar cheese that accompanied the bratwurst. ‘It was that ‘triple cheddar’ kind of shredded cheese,’ the Howard County Medical Examiner said. ‘That gets right into the blood stream. It was already too late by the time the paramedics arrived.'”
When I go, I want it to be a natural death at a very old age. I do not want to be referred to as “another senseless food-related death.”