What the heck is going to kill you?

In this age of instant and complete access to information, I have to wonder, now that I’m getting older, what is going to kill me?

After all, I’ve read a thousand books where people die.  I’ve watched parents and family members die.  I am older than I ever thought I’d be.  So it makes sense to think about The End Game.   Hey, we’re writers.  Can’t we review the plot of our lives and figure out where the character Death is going to make her entrance?

What is going to kill me?  Could it be the fact that as third child out of four, I was not compelled to eat my vegetables as a child?   Could it be that I didn’t quit smoking until I was 31?  Maybe my emotional ups and downs have yanked on my nervous system to the extent that it’s worn out?  Or do I enjoy the fruit of the grape too much? Maybe it’s all heredity and not at all in my control?

All that said, how would you plot your own demise?   But here’s the kicker–you’re writing a comedy.  Nothing bleak here.   Let’s make Her Majesty, Death, dance a jig.  What the heck is going to kill you?

27 responses to “What the heck is going to kill you?

  1. To Dance a Jig. by Marion L. Ritcey

    Sunday, October 14, 2012
    11:29 AM

    As I was walking through the woods one afternoon. The trees were in their fall coats. Chipmunks were hurrying to get enough food stored to get them through the winter. Everyone was doing what they were suppose to at this time. I turned the corner my walking stick struck a wasps nest. Well they did not like that, in one reckless move I had ruined their summers work and winter home. The sound that came from the nest told me to start running till the noise could not be heard. A few caught me and stung me. Now I was worried since I did not know if I was allergic to them or not. At that time I was just happy to have out run most of them. Well nothing happened so I guess I was okay.

    Around the corner I stopped a cute little kitten of black and white. As I got closer I saw just where the colors were. The large white strip up his back told me I was in trouble again. Well the tail went up and I tried to run away. It sprayed but did not get me. I dodged that bullet. Someone was looking out for me today.

    I came to the bridge across the canal and the tide was high. I would have to be carful where I walked. One step the wrong way and into the cold water I would go. Just as I got to the middle of the bridge a large wave crashed over the bridge. I held my ground and did not wash off.

    Almost to the car now I relived the events of my walk knowing I was lucky many times today. I was happy I had a few stories to tell when I got home. As I drove home a swam of lady bugs covered my car, I could not see anything. I ended driving off the road. When I got to the pearly gates Saint Peter meet and was laughing ,so were the others near by. They were reviewing my day on a wide screen TV.

    St. Peter thanked me for the fun filled afternoon, they all had watching me dodge the many mishaps they threw in my way. They said it was not my time but the lady bugs got out of control and they were laughing so hard they forgot to show me the way through the swam. So Now that I was here I may as well stay.

    • Now that you mention it, I think the idea of a wide-screen TV in heaven has always been part of the vision. Maybe it wasn’t a TV, but the folks up there routinely had a wide view of what was going on down here. Too bad they thought it was so funny! A great read.

  2. I love your sense of humor and your creativity. Nice job with Anne’s prompt.

    • Hey, Shaddy! Long time, so see. It is wonderful that you stopped by. I think you’ll find some familiar faces here and some new ones. Welcome back!

  3. Suddenly I found myself in a crowd of people staring down at a chalk outline on the side of the street. I asked a lady next to me what happened but she did not respond. A police officer was comforting a little girl who was holding a Schwinn 10 speed. The chalk outline looked vaguely familiar. I turned to a man beside me and asked what had happened but he would not answer me. The little girl looked down at the chalk outline and then at the bent fender on her bicycle and then at the officer.
    I felt a hand on my left shoulder. I turned to see a bearded man with long hair, wearing, of all things, a toga. I said, “Dude, move you hand or lose it.”
    “It’s time to go Dan,” the man said.
    “Get lost hippie,” said I.
    “Dan listen to me, I am Saint Peter, you were in an accident; now I have come to take you home.”
    I said, ” You shouldn’t smoke that stuff, get lost freak.”
    The man pointed to the chalk outline, and then to the bent fender and then to my cracked skull.
    “You mean I was killed by a 12 year old on a Schwinn 10 speed?”
    “Yes, I’m afraid so Dan,” Saint Peter said.
    “Jesus!” I exclaimed.
    “You’ll have to make an appointment,” he said.

  4. My mother-in-law is a very religious Catholic, but even she laughed at this one. What a way to go!

  5. My wife left me. Said I was a loser. Said she was sick of me losing every job I got. Angry about me losing our savings on horses that were losers just like me. But mostly seriously pissed-off about me losing the dog on a morning walk.

    I was devastated. I couldn’t cook, I’d run out of clean underwear, and I didn’t know how to work the TV remote. And I knew there was no way any other woman would be dumb enough to get involved with me. So I figured I had to get her to come back. But how?

    Then it hit me. She was a Catholic, purpose-built for guilt and masochism (which was maybe why she’d moved back home with her ‘told-you-so’ mother). And I remembered from years ago when we were first going out together that there was a river just near my mother-in-law’s house, and a cliff-side viewing platform that overlooked it. Yeah, that’d work – I could call her and say I was gonna end it all by jumping in the river to drown, and she’d rush over and take me back.

    Except I knew she wouldn’t fall for it if she turned up and found me just sitting there waiting for her. It had to look like I was serious about it. So I figured I’d have to actually be pretending to be floundering around in the water when she arrived. That’d be okay, because I’m a good swimmer, y’know?

    So late one really dark night I made my way to the viewing platform, and called her.

    “Hi, babe,” I said. “I can’t live without you, so I’m gonna jump off the Deep River viewing platform in exactly three minutes and drown myself. But hey, try not to blame yourself and spend the rest of your life wishing you’d been able to stop me by never leaving me in the first place.”

    “Huh? But Ralph…” she said, before I cut the connection.

    Okay. I put my wallet and phone on the bench, plus my shoes that I didn’t want to wreck by getting them wet, waited a minute or so till I could hear her running along the pathway yelling my name, and I jumped.

    And around about then remembered all the fuss the conservation people had recently made about the County completely draining Deep River to build a huge dam upstream.

    • Damn. That last line should’ve read ‘…draining Deep River by building a huge dam upstream’. Talk about blowing the punchline.

      • A cop once told me this story: A man was so committed to taking his life that he went to a cliff high over a river. He tied a rope around his neck and the other end to a tree. He swallowed some poison, then took a gun and tried to shot himself. Alas, he was shaking so much he missed and the bullet severed the rope. When he fell into the river, he swallowed so much water it diluted the poison. Some days nothing goes right.

  6. (I fixed it for you.)
    Ha ha! Talk about a head slap moment! Whoopsie.

  7. we should always check out the hole game when we play one. Cute read enjoyed it

  8. I have survived:

    Being a pouty, pimply, pubescent twelve-year-old with an attitude and a Mother who would have none of it.
    High School and Learning to Drive
    College and Learning to Drink
    Marriage and Learning to Cook
    Divorce and Forgetting to Cook
    A legal Career
    A Political Career
    Menopause
    4 Heart Attacks
    13 Heart Surgeries
    A Broken Neck
    And Bi-Lateral Knee Replacement
    So contemplating my own death is not exactly a new exercise.

    I would like to think that I will drop dead from exhaustion after discovering the ultimate cure for all cancers or from saving a litter of puppies from a house fire.
    It would be fabulous to “Pass On” right after taking bows during a 15 minute long standing ovation for my performance as Dolly Levi in a revival of Hello Dolly on Broadway.
    Better yet, I would love to die 2 hours after the last Inaugural Ball commemorating having been elected the First Woman President of the United States.
    But realistically, I will probably meet my end in a much more mundane manner. I do know that I am ready, almost anxious to go. I have led an interesting life. I’ve loved and been loved. I have laughed more than cried and I have known “The peace that passes all understanding.” I have been BLESSED INDEED !

    • I, for one, am counting on the word of Peanut Beranski to appear for ever. Sorry to keep you immortal, but ever since you showed up with your posting for “You Know You’re a Writer When….” (which I still get to enjoy every month), I’ve been basking in the knowledge that you would have a take on any challenge I threw out there. No dropping dead allowed. Yep. You are loved.

  9. That’s a grim topic. When I was a kid, we used to discuss all the ways in which you could get cancer. Everything could give us cancer: wearing bras when you go to sleep, drawing an imaginary line across your face, getting ink on your hand, wearing a rubber band on your wrist–the list was endless.

    Once when I was 10, I got horribly sunburned. I didn’t mind the brunet skin, or the infections I got. No. I was worried about cancer–my pediatrician lectured me about sun exposure and melanoma–I had nightmares for months. I obsessed about my moles, sure that I would die of cancer.

    I don’t even think I really knew what cancer was–just that it would make you die.

    Nowadays, I try not to think about it. I hope I die laughing my eyes out, or loving someone so much that my heart just burst one day.

  10. My wife had found my slumped body in the recliner. My head was rolled to the side, and a sliver of white drool hung from my lower lip. A partially eaten, mostly melted half-gallon tub of Neapolitan ice cream was in my lap. The TV was tuned to Monday Night Football. She disliked football immensely and hated Neapolitan even more. She had dialed 9-1-1.

    Detective Brock studied the scene as he awaited the arrival of the medical examiner. There was no apparent sign of foul play. Of course the forensics team would have to take the ice cream back to the lab for examination as poisoning was a possibility.

    My wife was sobbing in the next room, a uniformed policewoman tried to comfort her. “I told him to quit eating ice cream” my wife blurted out, “Now he has had a heart attack. I told him to watch his calories, to watch his cholesterol. Now he is dead. Dead!”

    The ME entered and Detective Brock updated him. “What do you think, Doc?” asked Brock. “Poison?” The ME ignored the detective. Detectives sure can be pushy he thought to himself. The ME felt for a pulse. None. The body was still warm. As the ME adjusted my head to examine my eyes, he looked startled. His hands went to my head once more, and he placed the back of his hand on my forehead.

    The ME announced to the paramedic crew, “OK, I’m done here, take him to my lab, I think this case is closed.”

    Brock looked at the ME with squinted eyes not believing what he had just heard. “Case closed? Already?”

    “Yep, case closed,” replied the ME. “Worst case of ice cream brain freeze I have ever encountered.”

  11. Case No. 2012/4414

    I arrived at the scene, 3489 Turnagain Road, at 0500 hours. Trooper L. J. Patterson, Badge 546, answered a 911 call from a neighbor and secured the scene by the time of my arrival. The Trooper advised me the home was owned and occupied by Gullible. He gave me a brief summary of the scene, warning me it was a bad one. I placed a dab of Vicks Vapo-Rub under my nose, donned booties and gloves and entered the cabin.

    The trooper was right. It was one of the worst scenes of this type I’d ever seen. At first glance, I thought it was a burglary because of the chaos, furniture and books tossed all over the room, keyboard and monitor covered in human remains, and unidentified small black objects covering everything.

    On further investigation, I realized that the destruction was confined to one room only, that being the home office or study.

    By the time the Medical Examiner arrived with the CSI team, I was pretty sure what the autopsy result would be. After a cursory exam, the ME said, “My god, not another one. Did you find a note?”

    “No, but I did find something interesting in all the papers scattered around. This one is readable. It says ‘Eddie and I were discussing all the horrible ways we might die. We went through them all—drowning, fire, disease. Then I said, ‘I’ll be ready when I get all these words out of me.’ ’ It’s dated 1965.”

    “That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?” said the ME.

    “Yeah, and those black things all over. Just like the last case.”

    The ME bent over and picked up one of the black objects and placed it in a plastic bag.

    “What is it?”

    He turned the bag over until the object made sense: “Lilliputian.”

    I found “susurrant” and placed it in a bag. “Think they’ll ever learn?” I asked the ME.

    “Doubt it. These writers, they just don’t realize how dangerous it is to be so full of words that they can explode. Why can’t they just get them all out and reduce the pressure?”

    S/Inv. Jack O’Reilly, Badge 1473

  12. That was entertaining and soooo appropriate!

  13. Good one Gully. Perhaps they’ll come up with a word for it, “Oh no, I think I’m going to bard.

  14. Yes yes! I think I’m going to bard!

    Everybody watch out!

  15. What the Heck Killed Me

    Sam talks to himself. He shares funny jokes with him, the other guy in his head. I watch them argue and talk over problems. We have a three-way relationship and I often find myself left out.

    “What are you two talking about?” I ask them. Sam laughs as an awkward look crosses his face. He ignores me. I see him nodding approval, shaking his head no, grinning, frowning at the other guy.

    Once I heard him yelling the back yard while driving the riding lawn mower. I walked around the corner of the house and saw him shaking his fist at the sky. The other guy yelled encouragement to Sam.

    I left Sam lying flat of his back in front of the television, remote in hand, explaining to the other guy who would win the football game. The volume was up so loud that when the crowd in the stadium roared after the Star Spangled Banner, the windowpanes in the den rattled.

    I could hear Sam and the other guy discussing the game, as I went down the kitchen steps. I walked to the large dog yard carrying the heavy bucket food for our six dogs; four border collies, an Australian shepherd, and an old Lab. They get excited when they know their dinner is on the way. I opened the gate and fought my way to each pan, while the dogs jumped, barked, and raced around me.

    I crossed their playground where they love to dig holes and stepped in one up to my knee. My head hit the hard ground and I heard a ringing noise. I felt light headed. I tried to get my foot out, but the dogs noticed me and ran over to see. I laughed when they all jumped on me at the same time vying to see who would sit beside me. As they licked my face and nibbled my ears, they scrambled for my attention.

    “Sam! Sam!” I tried to call him. I could hear the thump, thump, thump, of the noise of the game vibrating all the way to the dog yard. He could not hear me.

    I grabbed the hair on the back of Daisy, the lab, and pulled myself up. She steadied me until I was on my hands and knees. I cried a little, feeling sorry for myself. The dogs started crying too, so I stood up and limped to the gate.

    I staggered back to the house and through the back door. Sam didn’t notice me. The other guy looked shocked. He stood up.

    “What happened to you?”

    I ignored the other guy. I straightened my glasses on my head and pulled grass out of my hair. Disheveled, I looked as if I was dipped in milk and breaded with dirt. “Sam, the next time I go to the dog pen and don’t come back for forty-five minutes, would one of you check on me?”

    Sam clicked the remote between channels and said, “13 to 14, this is going to be a close game.”
    I looked out the den window and saw myself lying unconscious in the dog pen, the dogs licking me, and whimpering in fear. When I laughed at how silly I looked, spread out across the ground in a heap, one leg in the hole at the bottom of the dog pile, the other guy looked at me for a moment with uncertainty, before the grin changed his somber face.

    “Damn, gal! This might even surprise Sam.” The other guy circled his arm around my shoulder and pulled me close. We stood together in the den and giggled.

    Sam yelled, “Touchdown!”

  16. OMG! That is a wonderful story. Very well written. I need to see more, I love it. Lisa

  17. Teacher Ann,
    I just had to jump in here.

    What the heck is going to kill you?

    MAYBE,

    After worrying about it for 101 years, I ziged when I should have zaged.

    I didn’t think the gun was loaded!

    I hate driving on the wrong side of the street here in England.

    You say, “You forgot to check the gas before we took off!”

    I guess the fast draw is not something you pick up right away!

    Packing a parachute is child’s-play.

    Do you know anything about lighting an oil-stove?

    OR MAYBE,

    Life is like dealing with Artillery shells. You needn’t worry about the one with your name on it. That one will find you no matter where you are. The ones to worry about are those labeled, TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.

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