Jeffrey Allen Mays

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 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
  • 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