On dying

Unacceptable ways of dying:

  • after a long, desperate, nauseated, hairless battle with terminal cancer
  • by withdrawal of sustenance after being kept alive artificially
  • by some silly accident when I am so old and senile I can’t take care of myself, like falling and hitting my head against a porcelain toilet bowl
  • by a degenerative neurological disease (or rather, after the horror of perhaps years with such a disease, and then to succumb to some infection.)
  • after doctors have made herculean efforts to keep me alive so I can be miserable for another year, and then die
  • because of the failure of some pharmaceutical to do its job
  • liver failure due to being prescribed so many pharmaceuticals in an attempt to keep me alive
  • car accident (conversely, being kept alive by an airbag is an unacceptable way of avoiding death because of the essential absurdity of the entire situation. [Credit to Radiohead’s song Airbag for bringing this to my attention: “…an airbag saved my life”.] Are you kidding? Do you also like to go to inflatable bouncy houses? I’m a grown man here. I’ll drive slower, thank you, or just go ahead and die if I have to drive so stinking fast, rather than suffer the indignity of bouncing off of a balloon in the car. Just ride a bike or a horse like a man.)
  • drowning or falling from a high place, because both are too terrifying and give you no time to prepare yourself
  • most of the ways people die today

Acceptable ways of dying:

  • by a gunshot wound during an armed uprising against a corrupt government, like the Parisian anti-royalist students in Les Misérables
  • by being thrown from a horse
  • bleeding to death
  • freezing in a snowstorm while lost in the woods
  • terrorist attack
  • firing squad
  • pneumonia or infection
  • heart attack
  • old age
  • any way that is natural and relatively quick