Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Different Ways of Being Dead

I suppose it's something that comes with age. I mean the urge to pass on wisdom and advice against the day you're not here. Or there. Whatever. We leaven it with humour, as far as we can. My father used to preface his advice with, 'When I shuffle off this mortal coil.' I increasingly find myself introducing remarks with, 'If I should go under a bus...' As in, 'If I should go under a bus, the spare key to the garage is behind the out-of-date beers in the pantry' (one of the prerequisites of such if statements is that they should seem to matter dreadfully to the speaker, but actually, in the grand scheme of things, be completely unimportant. Incidentally, if you are letting your beers get out of date, start worrying.)

I'm not mad on the idea of being 'late'. I've always made rather a point of not going there - being the kind of person who arrives so early that they catch the train before the one they were trying not to miss. Equally, even though I always caught the train and therefore was, I don't much fancy being 'departed', I shall be a 'snuffit' (you heard the term, here first, and I hereby claim copyright.)

I like the idea of being a 'snuffit'. Snuffits are small and hairy and have no visible genitalia. (I invented them, so I can define the breed, okay?) I'm not sure why this condition should attract me (it's quite worrying in most respects). Except, I suppose, 'all passion spent' would be hellish convenient, and frankly I can't wait. All that fancying of people, who are unavailable in both moral and practical terms, just leads to a lot of angst and misspent energy, and I'd be much better off collecting stamps.

I'm not quite sure where this is leading, and besides, I'm feeling rather tired. If I should require them, my hospital pyjamas are in the black tin trunk in the Number 2 attic - if the moths haven't had them. And remember that the key to the trunk is in the box on the hall table....

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