Say No More
I WAS DOING SOME MISCELLANEOUS RESEARCH THE OTHER DAY. “Miscellaneous” in the sense that I was just hopscotching around looking at this and that with no particular goal in mind. While I was roaming about I bumped into a compilation called, “Famous Last Words.”
About 90% of the listed “Words” were noble, erudite, and sounded more like Press Releases than someone’s actual farewell statements. I would think that in reality most people’s real “Last Words” are grunts, simple “I love you” declarations, and expressions of surprise like, “Uh, Oh,” or “What is happening?”
I must have spent twenty minutes reading through all of those “Famous Last Words” and I found just two that really impressed me as believable and practical.
Oscar Wilde, the Irish Poet, Playwright, and Cultural Gadfly must not have been expecting to die when he did. If he knew that his passing was imminent I’m sure that he would have penned something witty, biting, and brilliant. Instead his last words, immortalized forever, were,
“Either this wallpaper goes or I do.”
Score: Wallpaper 1, Oscar 0.
The other person whose last words struck a chord with me was one James Rodgers – an inmate on Death Row in the Utah State Prison. As he was facing his fate in front of a Utah Firing Squad he was asked if he had anything to say. He replied in a most practical and logical manner.
“Yes, I’d like a bulletproof vest, please.”
Whatever else, he was a man who kept his cool to the bitter end.
The whole idea of “Last Words” and someone standing by to write them down for posterity I find intriguing. Why should a person’s last words be any more important or wise than anything else they may have said when they were not nose to nose with The Grim Reaper?
I would think that in their final moments most people are not feeling very well or they are heavily medicated. In either case their final words are not going to be very astute or even intelligible – a lot like me on most days.
If there would be a way to monitor every person on earth and note their last words I would wager that there would be no more than three things that would lead the pack. I present –
“Krafty’s List of Not So Famous Last Words.”
In position #3 is –
These have to be the final words of oodles of dummies who say them out loud and then go do something incredibly stupid and fatal.
“I’m gonna kiss that there rattlesnake. Watch this!”
Yeah, this has to be up there with the dumbest things ever said.
Up in position #2 is our First Runner-up. If for any reason our Winner is unable to fulfill the duties of the spot at the top, our Runner-up will assume that honor.
“Not So Famous Last Words #2” –
“Hold My Beer.”
How many millions of times have these words preceded some butt-stupid stunt to impress a
bunch equally drunken friends? This has been said countless times but it is rarely written down to be held for the future. A collection of drunks won’t remember who said what ten minutes earlier or even who that suddenly extra beer once belonged to.
“I bet I can jump over that car that’s headed this way. Hold my beer.”
Rounding out my Top Three List of stupid last words is a sentence that is spoken millions of times every year around the world. The language may differ, but the thought, or lack thereof, is the same.
In position #1 and our Big Winner is”
“Don’t worry, it’s not loaded!”
Five words that are soon followed by loud noises, screams, and then some long eternal silences.
“Let me show you my new gun. Don’t worry, it’s not loaded.”
“Famous Last Words”