Humor

Sorry, God

Are you there God? It’s me, jackass.

Image result for near death experiences

I’ve been reading several books on near death experiences about people who’ve apparently died, only to come back to life so they can tell us what happens when you cross over.

Most of the stories are similar: there’s a long tunnel, a bright light,
all-encompassing love,  indescribable peace…yadda, yadda, yadda…

But then a lucky few (or unlucky few) go so far over to the other side, they undergo a type of “life review”. They are shown clips of their past life events in hi-def surround-sound quality. If that wasn’t jarring enough, the person is also reliving certain moments of their life with the “Creator” by their side.

This is the part that worries me. What exactly does God know? Does she see everything? Every single thing I do or think in my entire life? Even the super secret stuff?

If so,  I apologize in advance for the following:

  • Every day I announce I’m on a diet and “this time I really mean it!”
    Then during my lunch break, I inhale a Big Mac and fries in a remote parking lot while gently weeping.
  • When the trash can is overflowing, instead of emptying it, I just cram the next bit of trash down in there, quickly close the lid, and run away cackling.
  • That obnoxious driver at the stop light blasting music so loud it rattles all the cars around it?

    Me.

  • I love Coldplay. All of it. Every song. And I blast it at stop lights.
  • Sometimes in the middle of the night I creep out to the kitchen in the dark and shove a steady stream of chocolate chips down my pie hole while hovering over the sink.
  • Once I willingly ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken. And liked it.
  • Whenever I’m home alone, the first thing I do is take off my bra and throw it on top of the ficus plant. Then I park my ass on the couch, watch a marathon of Big Brother Celebrity Edition, drink a couple beers, devour a large extra-greasy bucket of fried chicken carcass, and burp and fart myself into oblivion.
  • I think cute pocket-sized puppies are annoying little yippy shits sent to Earth to destroy me.
  • I think Adele’s voice is too breathy and overrated.
  • Once I hid my mom’s meatloaf in my napkin, then excused myself so I could discretely flush it down the toilet.

    This was yesterday.

  • Sometimes instead of actually brushing my teeth, I would pretend by running some water from the faucet and swishing the toothbrush around for awhile.

    This was yesterday.

  • I try not to be jealous. But whenever I scroll through a friend’s Instagram photos of her ridiculous f***ing bare feet resting next to a f***ing sparkling cocktail with a stupid-ass frilly umbrella on the f***ing beach in the f***ing Bahamas, I tend to swear out loud a little.
  • I do not like Stranger Things. Not even a tiny bit.
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Whoa! Hey, guys? Guess what?!  It’s the ’80s and we’re on bikes and this show is boring as hell and makes zero sense!

 

 

Ah! That felt good! The truth CAN set you free!

Anything you’d like to share in the comments so God will go a little easier on you later?

 

 

 

 

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Nature · poems · poetry · spirituality · writing

Sequoia

Image result for sequoia

I dreamed of shadows and sheltered things

beneath the tree with golden leaves.

Today the mighty trunk sliced bare as bone,

the rings rough and splintered,

you take my hand as we count the lives together.

A thousand deaths, a thousand loves,

a thousand circles bound us with frayed fibers,

spinning its thread, the splinters cut deep.

Now and then at the wound’s core,

the sapling sprouts from a single seed,

always yearning and always bending toward love’s light,

free of pain again,

under the sequoia tree.

 

 

 

Humor · Short Story

The Bad Psychic

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Ronald MacDonald was a bad psychic.

Growing up on the hardscrabble streets of Punta Gorda, his childhood dream was simple: to help people understand that there is more to life than just the physical world.

And also — no, he’s not friends with the Hamburgler, so just shut the hell up about it.

Ronald’s first reading was brutally honest.

He sat down with a young woman who needed validation that her deceased loved ones were still around–but not watching her take a shower or have sex, because that would just be uber-creepy.

To begin the reading, Ronald lit some patchouli incense and gazed into his crystal skull of Sylvia Browne.

Image result for Sylvia Browne psychic

“Okay,” he inhaled deeply. “I’m getting a sense that there is a father figure near you…”

“Yes! My dad! He died when I was 16!” the woman sobbed, wiping away tears.

“He’s showing me a sign for…..huh. That’s weird. He’s showing me thumbs down. Yeah. He’s got both thumbs down. Oh…and now he’s jumping up and down. He’s holding a sign that reads…”

“What? What does it say?”

“Disappointed.”

“Disappointed? What?” the woman yelled.

“Now he’s underlining the word disappointed with a red sharpie. And adding exclamation points. Yep, he’s not proud of you and never was.”

Ronald didn’t let his first reading fiasco stop him from crushing yet another person’s hopes about the afterlife. He read for his elderly neighbor, Ethel, who had recently lost her husband of 70 years.

Ronald began the session. Sylvia Browne’s skull glowed a fiery orange. “Ah, your husband Stan is here! He’s standing right behind you!”

“He is?” Ethel sat straight up in her chair. “How does he look? Is he okay?”

“He’s very excited about something. He’s pointing at you and shaking his head.”

“What does he mean? That it’s not my time yet? That we’ll be together again someday?” asked Ethel.

“Well… now he’s showing me a huge plate of pot roast. He said that’s what killed him. Your leathery, disgusting pot roast that he had to pretend to like for decades.”

“He didn’t like my pot roast?” Ethel’s voice quivered.

“Now he’s opening and closing his hand rapidly to indicate talking…now he’s showing me the sign for choking someone…” Ronald closed his eyes and drew a deep breath.  “Oh! Okay! He’s saying your nonstop bitching slowly killed his soul and he would have rather died than to listen to another second!”

Ronald slowly exhaled as the incense swirled around him. “Oh!” he continued. “And now he’s saying the only thing that scares the crap out of him in the afterlife is the thought of you dying and your soul finding him on the other side so that you can continue your relentless blabbing on and on about politics and that godawful show, The View. And he says that by the way, all of the women on The View end up in hell. Especially Joy Behar.”

Sadly, Ronald MacDonald’s psychic career pretty much tanked when it was discovered he really couldn’t read anyone and basically made everything up as he went along. Yet curiously, he delighted in causing others needless pain and suffering.

He now has a successful career as a politician in Boca Raton.

 

 

Family · Parenting

The Final Curtain

 

curtain

This is a true story that happened over 13 years ago.

 

“Say your goodbye,” the emergency room doctor suggested, his eyes brimming with compassion. But the deep wrinkles etched across his brow revealed the weariness of all the pain and death they had witnessed behind the hastily drawn curtain.

Say your goodbye.

The beeping of machines dissolved into the background. The relentless ticktock of the clock on the ER wall paused as if waiting for my response. I felt myself sinking into black nothingness. My fingers shook as I clasped her limp hand and traced her wedding ring, its sharp edges jolting me awake. The abyss beckoned me: Don’t be afraid! Lean in! Peer into the darkness!

Say your goodbye.

I leaned over to kiss her pale cheek for one last time. I knew my mother was minutes away from leaving her body, but never expected the stark coldness, the unforgiving finality, the emptiness lying beneath my lips.

I wasn’t sure what to do next. I never had the chance to say goodbye to my dying dad. How do you say goodbye? What do I say? Thanks? Thanks for raising me? For teaching me hard lessons? I’ll see you again someday? Catch you on the flip side? Don’t go? Don’t leave me here all alone? Fear gripped my heart, squeezing the air out of my lungs. I was suffocating right along with my mother. A torrent of tears spilled down from my eyes onto her face. My entire body shook as I held onto her hand.  I can’t do this alone. I can’t do this. I can’t say goodbye. I’m not ready.

“Mom…I love you,” I sputtered into the abyss.

“I’m…..fine….don’t….worry,” my mother gasped, her breath gurgling between each word. “I love you…tell….your brothers…I love them.” She closed her eyes.

This was it. I can’t believe she’s dying. My mom! Dying! It’s just not real. It can’t be real. An ER nurse gently ushered me away from my mother as the doctor closed the curtain around the stretcher once again. She walked me to a small windowless waiting room separate from the larger waiting room outside the ER. This must be the private room for family members waiting for someone to die? Will they move me to an even smaller room when they tell me she’s dead? “We will try and get her stable,” the nurse said. “For now just wait in here. I’ll come get you if anything happens.”

It was midnight. Only bad things happen at midnight.

Only a few hours before I was drifting off to sleep next to my snoring husband and one-year-old son in our upstairs bedroom. A heavy rain pounded on the roof of our house. Without warning, I felt the atmosphere shift; the particles in the air pulsing and bright. Something is off, the universe whispered. Something big is happening.  Electricity surged through my body. The only other time I’ve felt this way was the night my dad suddenly died in a hospital bed 3,000 miles away.

I sat up, listening intently to the steady thrumming of the rain above our heads. I nudged my husband awake. “What was that? Do you hear that?”

“What? I don’t hear anything,” my husband whispered. “It’s just the rain. It’s nothing.” He rolled over to snore again.

But the rain wasn’t right; the wind urgent. Something was wrong.

I crept down the hallway and stairs into the dark kitchen. I wasn’t sure why I was checking, but I knew I had to check. An unseen force propelled me to walk through the kitchen to the door leading to our attached garage. I slowly opened the door, the wind howling outside in response. A low grown escaped from the shadows on the floor. There was my mom, lying on the bottom steps below her in-law apartment above the garage.

“I…can’t…breathe,” she whispered, her tiny frail body wrapped in her nightgown and bathrobe. She was still clutching her phone in one hand. She had managed to make her way down the steps to get help, but didn’t have the energy to remain standing long enough to knock on my door.

Now I was in a hospital, with my mother and The Abyss hiding a few feet away behind a thin white curtain. Soon two of my older brothers arrived and we waited, the foggy early morning hours bleeding into each other. Finally, a nurse entered the “Waiting For Death” room where we had sat for hours like stone statues. “She’s turned a corner! She’s stable!” she informed us.

We were stunned. The ER doctor suggested many times to me that she would probably die that night as she was drowning in her own fluids, her lungs almost completely filled from the congestive heart failure. But now she was suddenly stable. “If you hadn’t found her when you did…” he said to me, his voice trailing off.

My mom almost died that night back in 2003. I said my final goodbye, but the universe had other ideas. They transferred her to Maine Medical Center in Portland and a week later she underwent a quintuple bypass and valve replacement surgery at the age of 69. After the ten hour operation, she emerged feeling like a new woman. “I have a new heart now!” she told me in recovery. The surgeon informed us the average lifespan after such a surgery was 10 years.

Of course, her Mainer stubbornness proved him wrong. I’m thankful to have spent an additional 13 years with my mother and counting. She’s 83 now and enjoys relatively excellent health. I’ve let a lot of things go since she almost died. Peering into the abyss will do that to you. Our once stormy relationship has softened over the years to one of forgiveness, respect, and love.

Often we talk about those final moments; the time she was almost pulled over the edge. I’ve asked her more than once if it hurt to not be able to breathe, or if she was scared to die.

“Oh no, not at all,” she insists. “There was no pain. It was very peaceful. I saw your dad, you know. He was standing at the foot of my bed with two really big angels on either side of him. I knew I would be okay. Not scared at all. I was ready to go.”

I’ve seen death up close before when I was 21 and viewed my dad’s lifeless body lying in a coffin. I’ve carried the burden of not being present when he left us. I felt cheated out of saying goodbye to him. Yet the years of guilt, anger and sadness gradually faded away, transforming into acceptance and gratitude.

I don’t know why I went out to the garage that night. But the universe has a way of balancing things out. Saying my last goodbye to my mom that rainy October night prepared me again for the final curtain. I know when the time truly comes for my mom or me, I’ll be ready to jump into that abyss with less fear and more love.

Death · poems

Listen

When I lie down to die
I hope you make a feathered nest
of downy white flicked with silvery gold,
and its velvet strands will be enough
to cradle my fading heart.

When I lie down to die
and the last tear slips across my cheek,
I hope the doves will gather to coo
a melody strung with faded memories
into my soundless ears.

Then I will know the path out of the woods
is to follow the pulse carried aloft on the wind
as it dances and twirls beyond the moon.

And I will smile as the dove’s wings open
for the song humming among the stars
has echoed in my soul for centuries.

And I pray you will hear this too,
when I lie down to die.

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____________________________________________________

This poem is dedicated to my father on the anniversary of his death.

 

Family · Humor

Happy Impending Death Day!

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Our culture doesn’t do so well with death. We don’t like to talk about it or even think about it.

Except for people who were born and raised in Maine. We’re more down-to-earth types who treat death like it’s a bad dentist appointment. Yeah it’s gonna happen to you one day so you might as well suck it up, deal with it, and move on.

My 80-year-old mother cheerfully sat down with me last week to go over her old family photo albums again because, “I might not be here tomorrow.” She has told me this every single day for about 15 years.

Anytime I try to plan something with her, she gives the same response.

“Hey, Mom! Want to drive up to Bar Harbor and see the ocean this August?”

“Sure! But I might be dead by then.”

“Hey Mom! Wanna go to L.L. Bean’s with me this weekend?”

“Sure! But I might be dead by then.”

“Hey, Mom! Want to go out to dinner tonight at that Italian place?”

“Sure!”

“What — you’re not planning on dying later today?”

“Well, I’m hoping I die during the meal. Serves them right. They don’t serve Sanka. What kind of a place doesn’t have Sanka?”

So once again last week we sat down to sift through old family pictures because she might die at any second.  Her albums are full of faded sepia toned photos displaying the typically stern, emotionless faces of my relatives from the early 1900s.

I’m convinced the photographer must have yelled out the directions, “Frown! Frown harder! Look miserable! You’re sullen! No, I need more sullen! Dour! Do dour! Great! Hold that pose! Yes! You’re sad! Profoundly sad! Hold it! Hooold it! Perfect!”

Basketball is just so 'meh'. (My grandfather is the particularly ecstatic boy sitting in the front to the left)
(My grandfather is the particularly ecstatic boy sitting in the front to the left)

And most of my relatives died young of a horrible disease.  It’s a miracle I exist at all. My mother points her shaky finger to every person in the photo, tells me his or her name and how they died like she’s rattling off her grocery list.

“This is Charlie, died of tuberculosis. He was 35.”

“This is Charlotte. She died of tuberculosis. She was 15 years old.”

“Oh, and this is Sarah. Died of tuberculosis. She was four.”

“What happened to the dog?” I ask. “Please tell me he made it at least.”

Welcome to the early 20th century when even the dogs looked depressed. (My grandfather is the one holding the dog)
Welcome to the early 20th century when even the dogs looked depressed. (My grandfather is the one holding the dog)

After a few more photo albums filled with tuberculosis, my mom likes to throw in a zinger, probably to see if I’m really listening.

“Oh! And this is your great-great uncle Fred,” she smiles brightly and points to a handsome young man sporting a snappy blazer and smoking a cigarette.  “He was a pilot and flew his plane straight into the side of a mountain, killed instantly.”

“Wait — are you sure it wasn’t tuberculosis that got him?”

“Darla!” she scowls at me. Then she clears her throat. “Well, actually yes. The coughing is what made him crash the plane.”

My eyes bug out.

“I’m kidding! Kidding! Oh no, the poor man just slammed straight into a mountain! Boom! Never had a chance!” my mom yells, throws her head back and cackles.

And they say death isn’t funny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family

A Starry Night in November

November 17, 1991.

What was it about the air that day? Sharp and bright, laced with the scent of burnt amber leaves. The sweet promise of decay and death infused my senses, yet a bitter taste lingered on my tongue. Something wondrous and beautiful tugged at the frayed edges of my mind. Those worn gossamer threads were unraveling, and it chilled me to the bone.

Although 3,000 miles away, I already knew you were gone from this world. The moon and stars whispered to me as I crossed the dark field alone. Your universe has shifted, Dear One. I paused and looked up at the sky.

So much magic within that pause!

Standing over your grave, this air continued to fill my lungs, forcing me to breathe in spite of my urge to jump into the cold ground with you.

Why was the day we buried you so lovely? Why was the sun still there? How dare it burst through the clouds, igniting the caked soil on our feet with its dappled brilliance as we stood huddled and abandoned at the edge?

It was a fitting departure for you, Dad.

November was your favorite month.  It meant football games blaring in the background, turkey roasting in the oven, icy mittens melting on the radiator.

Now every year when November comes, the old familiar ache of dread begins again. First, it was a twisted knot of fear boring a hole deep into my gut.  Then for years only tired sadness would creep, casting heavy shadows in my eyes.

Finally, it gave way to something bigger than I ever imagined:

Peace.

For your luminance has roosted, nestled permanent and deep within my wounded heart. Keeping these bones of mine warm with the hope you’ll carry me through the many pauses yet to come.

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Family · Motherhood · Parenting

Deep Thoughts by Little Miss J

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My daughter is six and a half years old and tends to be a wee bit dramatic at times. She’s also much smarter than I’ll ever be.

The other morning she flew into my bedroom, eyes ablaze, and wailed, “Oh, Mommy! It’s just not fair! I mean, seriously! Seriously!” She threw herself onto my bed. “Like, seriously!” she cried again.

“What? What is it? What happened?” I rushed over and started stroking her long brown hair.

She lifted up her tear-soaked face and sobbed, “It’s this!” she blurted, dramatically handing me the board game cover she was holding.

“Oh! Of course,” I shook my head. “Scrabble. Wretched game. Just terrible.”

“No! I love it! I was winning with the word, QUIET! But it says Ages Seven and Up, Mom! Seven and up! So I can’t play it anymore!” and she continued her writhing, moaning, and gnashing of teeth.

When I was her age, I spent most of my days either eating Scrabble tiles or jamming them up my nose.

So it’s no surprise that my girl is also interested in other typically light, playful subjects such as life, death, afterlife, God and reincarnation. And she usually interrogates me with rapid-fire questions right as I’m tucking her into bed at night.

This wouldn’t be a problem if I were half as smart as she is or knew any of the answers.

“…and so Big Bird and Elmo played baseball and they all lived happily ever after…” I read aloud to her then closed the book.

“Man, I love Big Bird…” I sighed and stared off into the distance.

big bird

“Mom?”

“Is this a question about why Elmo has no ears?…. Please?”

“Oh, Mom! Elmo’s not real,” she wrinkles her nose. “He’s imaginary. This book was fiction. That means it’s made up. Mrs. Bouthot [her kindergarten teacher] said so.”

“Well, she would know,” I frown. “Pffft.”

“She does know. She knows everything!” her eyes widened. “Mom? What happens after you die?”

“Um, you go to heaven. OK, good night!” I kiss the top of her head.

“How?”

“You just go.”

“What do you take with you?”

“Um, your soul. Okay! Good night!”

“And where do you go? Is God there?”

“Yes. And it’s very nice and beautiful and wonderful,” I pull the covers up to her chin. “Sweet dreams! Think of Big Bird! I know I will!”

big bird

“What’s God like?”

“Umm….he’s a pretty cool dude. He loves us no matter what.”

“Even when I don’t brush my teeth?”

“Even then.”

“So….we’re babies again after we die?”

“Uh, I’m not sure…”

“Do we stay the same after we die?”

“Uh…”

“How old are we?”

“Well….I don’t know exactly…”

“Where do we all live? Are there houses? Do we eat food? Is there candy there? Can we come back? I’d like to come back as a baby again. That’s what we do, right? We get to pick new families and keep coming back down here?”

“Sure, I guess….maybe, but I’m not sure…”

“I want to come back as a princess ballerina veterinarian!”

“I want to come back as Mrs. Bouthot. Or Big Bird.”

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Parents: How do you handle heavy questions from your kids? Do your kids know more than you do, too?
Others: What happens after you die? What’s the meaning of life? Why does Elmo have no ears?

Family

Dear Dad

Part of a parent’s job is to make us feel safe. Comforted.  Accepted. Loved. Hopefully, this gives us the ability to venture out into the big bad world with little fear.

You did that for me. Thank you.

When I try to visualize your face, I see your smile and your twinkling blue eyes — like we’re sharing a secret joke no one else would understand.   “See? Life is funny!” you chuckle.  “Isn’t it ridiculous? Let’s laugh about it. It’s gonna be all right, Punky.”

You helped me to always find the humor in life. Thank you.

When I think of the person you were, I remember a quiet, intelligent, loving man who stood up to do the right thing. You always wanted to help others. No matter where their life’s path had taken them or their circumstances. You weren’t scared, you just did it. Actions speak louder than words. You weren’t looking for praise or attention. You did it because it was the right thing to do. You once told me, “Who knows, one day they might turn around and help you when you need it most.” What you put out there will come back to you times a hundred.

You taught me to reach out and help others. Thank you.

You gave me the power of having an open mind, to see all sides to things. You allowed me to discover my beliefs on my own, to keep questioning and learning while always practicing respect for another point of view. You taught me that being gentle to myself and others takes strength. Kindness is more important than being right.

You gave me the gift of compassion, trust and faith.  Thank you.

Compassion for others starts within. If you’re not kind to yourself, you can’t be kind to others. You will never resolve negativity you feel with others in your life — anger, resentment, jealousy — until you resolve those issues within your own mind, your own soul. The ability to love myself is crucial if I want to fully love and be open to others in my life.

You showed me to trust in myself. To love myself. Thank you.

Today  would have been your 75th birthday. And I know that wherever you are, in my mind you’re still chuckling, calling me Punky, and telling me it will be all right. And I know it will.

Thank you for everything you taught me.

I am the person I am today, I am the mom I am today, because of you.

Happy birthday, Dad.

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Humor

My Exclusive Interview with Death

Wee Hours of the Early Morning Show with Darla
I’ve got my eye on you, buddy…

[Zippy music intro ends, audience applauds]

Me: Okay, and we’re back! Thank you so much for being here, Mr. Reaper. I know you’re a busy man.

Grim: Hey, no problem. Thanks for having me. I don’t get that a lot.

Let’s start out with what you’ve been up to recently. Seems you’re pretty busy?

Always.

So why, Death? What gets you up in the morning? What’s your motivation?

Man, going for the tough questions right off the bat, huh? I guess I’m just trying to keep people alert, on their toes. Frankly, what I do isn’t easy.
[points to mug on the coffee table]
Hey, is this water? Good God, I hope not! Hope it’s tequila. Death is an exhausting business, dude. And I be takin’ care of bidnezz, every day, ya dig?

[slurps from mug]
Ooh, yeaaah. That’s the stuff.  Takes the edge off. Smoooooth.

Well, I did some research and looked back over your amazing and prolific career, so first off let’s talk about some of your duds.

This is about John Lennon, isn’t it?

Well…sure…let’s start with that one.

Look–hey, it was a mistake, okay? A colossal mistake. And I paid for it back at the bar later that night. The other guys, man, they wouldn’t stop ribbing me about that one. I’m sorry, really. After that happened, I swore I’d never do something crazy like that againBut let’s be honest here, everyone’s allowed one screw-up, am I right?

What about Jimi Hendrix?

Well…I…uh…

James Dean?

Um…oops?

George Carlin? You could’ve at least given him at least a few more years! I mean c’mon!

I’m sorry, okay! What do you want from me? Now that dude was OLD. 

Larry King?

Pfft. Why should I bother? He may already be dead, who knows really?

Donald Trump?

[cold stare]

Rush Limbaugh?

Hey, I don’t wanna discuss this, you promised me we wouldn’t go there.
[nervously sips from mug]

Okay, let’s switch gears here. Tell us a little bit about what happens after you show up. Life after death stuff.

Oh, ho ho! [chokes on drink] Sorry. Uh huh. No can do. Hell, no.

Just a little? We’re all dying to know.
[audience laughs]

Good one. OK…let’s see…there’s this tunnel, then a bright light, soon you’re enveloped with utter peace, unconditional love and happiness…blah, blah, blah… It’s all actually quite nice.
Beats a 7 day poop cruise on the Carnival, am I right?

[audience roars with laughter]

Really? Death isn’t that bad? It’s actually nice?

Nah. It’s not at all nice. I was kidding.
[audience gasps]

You were kidding?

Yeah. There’s nothing after death. Just a big, black void of emptiness.
[audience boos]
What? What did I say? Sheesh, tough crowd.
[smirks, shrugs shoulders]

Would you care to clarify that statement? Are you saying it’s nothing but a vast meaningless abyss after we die?

Ha ha! Oh, no, no, no! I was kidding. Kidding! Again! There’s no big black void! But if you could see the look on your face right now, it’s priceless, man!
I never get tired of pulling that one on people.
[waves spirit fingers in the air, whines mockingly]
Ooh! boo hoo! It’s all nothing! It all means nothing! There is no purpose to life! Woooo! How terrifying! Wah!
God, that always makes me laugh.

What I find fascinating, is you are everywhere.  All the time. You could strike anyone at any moment.

Yeah. That’s right.
[nods smugly]
I’m good.

So any of us could go at any time?

I’m afraid so.

And you might give no warning. None whatsoever.

None. Zip. You just never know when it’s your time.
[long pause]

BOOM! [suddenly lurches forward and grabs my arm] Gotcha!

Ahhh! Holy [bleep]! What the [bleep] was that?! Let go of me!  Holy [bleep] [bleep][bleep]!
[jumps out of chair, audience goes wild]

Oh, I was just teasin’  ya!  Relax! Your audience thinks it’s funny!
[audience laughs]

Nice, well, we seem to be running out of time, Grimmy.

[looking down at notecard]
I want to thank you Mr. Reaper for coming here tonight and–

You don’t know how right you are about running out of time, my friend. You don’t know how right you are. Mwa ha haaaa–

Anywho. So ladies and gentlemen, the Grim Reaper can be seen on his upcoming tour dates at the Shady Pines nursing home in Pensacola, then he jets off for a three night show in Las Vegas.  Be sure to check him out. Or…not…I guess.  In the meantime, all One Billion seasons of Death are available right now on Blu-Ray–

MWA HA HAAAAAA! I’m coming for you, Darla!  No one can escape me!

You are so stupid. [laughing]
We’ll be right back, folks. If I don’t die during break! Up next–Carrot Top!

Oh, God, you had to bring him up!
[Band starts to play. Grim leans in, whispers to me, we laugh uproariously and it cuts to commercial]