Hold My Wake Without Me

ayam-jantanI refuse to die.

It is not that I am chicken, but that is close enough.

My refusal to shuffle off this mortal coil is simple: I could not bear the humiliation.

To understand that, you must understand this:

My wife and I will be driving somewhere when she will cry, “Oh look!”


“A giant chicken.”


“It must be twenty feet tall.”


“Stop, I want to take a picture.”


“You are not stopping.”


“Why are you speeding up?”

“I dunno.”

“The car is not doing that all by itself.”


“Turn around and go back.”


“Mister, think about this: which will you regret more, going back or NOT GOING BACK?

I turn the car around.

“Wise choice, buddy.”

Moments later, we pull into a parking lot that once served a greasy spoon restaurant. Now it only serves potholes and weeds. Not far from the front door, a giant plastic chicken sways precariously in the wind. It is not hard to guess why the restaurant failed.

“I want to take a picture.”

“You said that.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I need you to stand by the chicken.”


This my friends is why I refuse to attend my own funeral.

You see, once I slip the bonds of earth, some unfortunate soul will have the job of putting together one of those celebration of life boards you always find at wakes.

The thing is, the only photographic evidence of my existence (other than a driver license photo that looks like I just got hit by a brick) is of me standing next to Babe the Blue Ox or a concrete Moby Dick.

Then of course, there is the chicken.

And a paisley hog.

And a giant can of SPAM…

Now that my wife is retiring and we plan to tour the country in our RV, the following items will soon to be added to the list.

Me posing with:

  • The world’s largest ball of twine, Darwin, Minnesota.
  • World’s largest man-made turtle, Dunseith, ND. (made out of 2,000 wheel rims).
  • World’s Largest Chest of Drawers, High Point, NC.
  • Giant Horseshoe Crab, Blanchester, OH.
  • World’s Biggest Beagle, Cottonwood, ID

You get the idea.

But it is not only me and my humiliation that I am thinking of, it is the fate of others.

“Oh look!” someone will say at my wake, “There is Greg standing next to the World’s Most Scenic Urinal in Kealakekua, Hawaii.”


“That’s quite a picture.”


“It is so Greg.”


“Take me there!”

“Thanks buddy…”

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