On The Matter Of My Death

Let there be as much media exposure as possible
Torque it if you have to
Take some of the insurance money and hire a publicist

At the very least I expect
One of those back-page obituaries in the Globe and Mail
Maybe a six-sentence squib moved over the CP wires

Although what I’d really like, if you must know
Is a gala televised memorial
Where people tune in to hear what a swell guy I was

Hey, it could happen
At the rate the population bulge is about to die off
It’s only a matter of time before we have Obit TV

All eulogies, no apologies
Programming for the dead and dying
“The last channel on your dial”

So make sure everyone shows up
All my friends, all my drinking buddies
All my friends who put up with my drinking

All the women who put up with my drinking buddies
Hell, why stop there
All the women

Nothing says sadness
Like the damp eyes of grown women
At a funeral

Let the camera pan the crowd
My wife, my family, my colleagues
Well wishers in the back pews who didn’t even know me

Let there be touching, funny testimonials
Told to a rapt congregation
By guys I’ve known since we were twelve

Jetting in from around the world
Let it be a convention of everyone who ever liked me
Let them all be notable in their own right

And let the kids of my friends note my passing
Because you can’t fool children
Their melancholy means something

Let all this be on display
To everyone who ever thought ill of me
You know who you are

Let my enemies choke on the spectacle
Of someone who inspired affection among decent people
Someone who couldn’t have been all bad

Let me outlive them all

  • 1995