Sunday, August 9, 2009

of poisoned apples and eydie gormé

I had just gotten off the line with B. discussing his kitchen renovation- (counter tops to be exact- he was deciding between granite and what he called "Coriander") when, in the middle of cleaning my Hello Kitty AK47 while listening to the 1961 recording of "I Feel so Spanish" by Eydie Gormé, (if you remember, her version of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" with Steve Lawrence was the song I used during the processional at my last wedding) my princess telephone in the boudoir rang again.....
It was Mazeppa. Frantic. Seems that her mothers personal maid Chutiyah had locked herself in the slate lined guest bathroom shower, doused herself with gasoline and lit a match. The poor dear had recently lost her husband, and in the spirit of being old school, she naturally decided it would be perfectly proper to commit what until the last century was a common practice known as suttee. (albeit her husband was on the other side of the planet, I guess its the thought that counts) I found out later in the conversation that the main cause of Mazeppas freak fest was the minor detail that she had an important dinner party that evening where Itzhak Perlman was the guest of honor. Pretending not to hear her when she asked where I bought my potpourri and if they sold it in bulk, I suggested moving the party part and parcel to a nice restaurant, but she decided to make a few phone calls and change the menu to barbecue and the venue out of doors. She also had the where with all to find and serve Nestle Itzakadoozie ice pops in his honor. Always on her toes that one.
The Grim Reaper must get less commission on those people that choose to end their own lives, don't you think?
I am certain that he has had quite a summer so far, what with all the suicidal hi-jinks going on around the globe and in our own back yards. Like the idiot that went into that aerobics class and killed those poor women, and like Warren. Dear, dear Warren.
My old pal Warren Pease was a man as thick and wordy and full of conflict as the novel that shares his name. We went to the same school when we were children and sat next to each other in Sister Oubliette's Math class, always chose each other when we were choosing people for our side in Sister Mary Truncheon's Phys Ed class and were often seen sitting together waiting for our turn outside the Mother Superior's office for some slight infraction. Like the time we tried to exorcise Mary Anne Montenegro's “Mrs. Beasley” doll with a railroad spike, it's a long story.
Admittedly, it was a bit of a shock when I heard not only that Warren had taken his own life, but also the way he chose to do it. It seems after he failed to come home one evening, he was found the next morning in his office dressed up like Snow White with the remainder of a poisoned apple in his hand. Of course the police questioned everyone that worked with him, including seven coworkers that just happen to be "little people"- you could say that at least one of the gentlemen questioned were not amused at the inquiry, grumpy even.
Though surprising, Warren and I had always joked around about having the final word when it came to our own mortality. I always thought he would end it all with a measured amount of flair and panache, and after that certain summer at camp, I was almost certain he would very likely choke himself to death during auto-fellatio, or perish during one of our infamous and rousing games of Strip Russian Roulette.
Suicide is an awful thing to do, dying for that matter is considered outre these days, yet many people I come into contact with every day do so passively by over eating, drinking, taking drugs, getting diseases and generally acting a fool until they die. I think the act itself is terribly selfish, you should consider the feelings of others before you commit such an act, especially if you are what they refer to as an adult.
A clearly willful act of suicide in early youth is not only preferable and more interesting to the public, it also is the only time in ones life that you can get by with the general "I am ending it all because no one understands me" sort of explanation without coming off as being overly dramatic. If you are young and priggishly determined to get back at all of those people that question your beliefs by ending it all, try and include as many of them as you wish by leaving a number of well composed suicide notes to each of your tormentors, explaining in detail how they were the principal cause of your despair. The psychiatric community will thank you for this. Also, young people should never commit suicide over college grades until their final exam scores have lowered the class curve. Your peers will thank you for that. Do not kill yourself to get back at your parents, if they actually do detest you, you'll just be playing into their hands.

As for the rest of us far beyond the Age of Reason, If you absolutely, positively must end it all, please do so as you would perform any other gesture as personal as this, neatly or in an interesting manner and always in good taste. Murder-suicide is considered the lowest form of bad taste so it should absolutely never even be considered. -Even if you are used to having an entourage wherever you go.- (this includes being a suicide bomber. The idea of ending it all for a cause seems calculating at best and tends to give others impolite thoughts about how empty your life must be otherwise... tre declasse)
My suggestion? Try and be creative with your method of self destruction, travel to San Juan Capistrano and handcuff yourself to something in the bell tower around the time the swallows return -being fluttered to death even sounds like fun- or work at an abortion clinic for ten years, go to a Catholic country and turn yourself in for mass murder. Or, go with a surprise ending. It's always fashionable to try to be beaten to death by a bunch of teenagers in the restroom of a public park that's known as a hangout for gays or by going to the red light district and slapping the first pimp you find. This will give people lots to say, especially your wife and children.

The value of planning cannot be over estimated. If you are going to really make headlines, you should start laying the groundwork early in life by being a nice quiet straight A student and a dutiful child to your parents. It gives no end of pleasure to everyone when a person like that throws themselves on fire into the Senate from the visitor's gallery or commits Seppuku with a string fed lawn trimmer. Some people try to add extra shock value by committing the deed in the all-together, i.e. nude. Just a grace note here, try and be honest about how you look in the buff will you? Remember, there is always the chance that you might not be found for a while and, like television, death, initially adds at least ten pounds- what with the bloating and all. It is much safer to wear something simple in white, to contrast with the blood, or a smart ensemble that will show your superior breeding, even if its only to the crime lab. And be sure to empty your bladder and bowels beforehand, gore from a bullet wound might be dramatic but there's always an element of low comedy to excrement. You're welcome.

If you are a traditionalist, among the classics are climbing out of a window onto a ledge so that crowds can gather and urge you to jump, but be sure to let at least one policeman climb out to reason with you before you jump, as this is how they get get medals and promotions. Guns are also a classic- if a bit expected- and razors lead to all kinds of messes as one forgets if it is better to go "across the street" or "down the road". Using natural gas, though it seems to be the most green of means, comes across as being wasteful of our natural resources and drugs are too chancy as you might miscalculate the dosage and just have a really good time -or you might wind up in the hospital as a human vegetable. In which case you'll spend the rest of your life being pestered to become the head of a "Grassroots" Republican group.

There are times and places that it would be very bad manners to commit suicide. Never do it at someone else's funeral, it is stealing the show and much too pushy. (This is how the British improved manners on the Indian subcontinent when they put a stop to suttee, more or less) Try and not kill yourself in a way that will result in your becoming a martyr. The world does not need more hideous portraits painted on black velvet of the type seen depicting MLK, JFK, Jesus or Elvis, on T shirts with Tupac, Biggie or Kurt Cobain or the horror of Franklin Mint plates with images of Princess Diana, or Michael Jackson.

As a final thought, a classic from an expert on the subject, Dotty Parker.

Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful; You might as well live.

Now, how about a drink, something light. Cheers,

Hari Kari

1 oz brandy

1 oz Cointreau® orange liqueur

2oz orange juice
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.


Pom said...

Fit to be a brochure at the high school guidance counselor's office. All well thought out and sound advice. I applaud you.

(I'd always heard that "jay walking" was better than across the street or down the road)

Le Cornichon said...

Merci Pom! (blush) Noblesse oblige you know...

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