The Last Word

It is the final chance to make a statement without fear of editing, rebuttal or even consequences. With proper planning and a flash of inspiration we can leave one final impression on the world. Of course, I am speaking of those cheerful words carved in stone; epitaphs.

Unfortunately, many times the deceased have not foreseen their demise leaving the writing of their epitaph to others. Warning, this can be dangerous! For instance the following is carved on a headstone at, appropriately enough, Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:

Here Lies
Lester Moore
Four Slugs
From A 44
No Less – No More

Often the name of the deceased seems to lead to some funereal puns. Here are two more actual examples, first from New Mexico:

Here Lies
Johnny Yeast
Pardon Me
For Not Rising

And from Jolly Old England we have:

On The 22nd Of June
Jonathan Fiddle
Went Out Of Tune

In order to stave off future embarrassments for well known celebrities I have volunteered to pre-scribe epitaphs which I feel appropriately reflect their auras and contributions to the world:

Here Lies Bill Gates
Taken By The Fates
Grew Up A Nerd
Invented Microsoft Word
Put Food On Many Empty Plates

How about homages to two musical icons:

Under This Dirt
Beneath This Stone
Lies George Thorogood
B-B-Bad To The Bone


Paul Simon
Still Dead
After All These Years

Because I’m finding it a bit maudlin writing epitaphs for the living, I’d like to employ my handy-dandy time travel machine and memorialize the lives of two historic figures:

Christopher Columbus
Well It Looked Like India

Here Rests Julius Caesar
An Old Roman Geezer
Brutus Wielded The Knife
Cleopatra Erstwhile Wife
Said Just Put Him In The Freezer

For a more relatively recently deceased singer I offer:

From Dust Thou Art
To Dust Thou Shall Return
Dusty Springfield
Resting Now In The Dusty Urn

Now, before it is too late, it seems time to follow my own advice. However, before I pen my epitaph, I will leave specific instructions as to my burial site. Please inter me at the corner of a long dog leg right par five golf hole. No headstone so I won’t be in the way of golfers. Just a slab with a low hanging tree branch blocking the path to the green:

Jim Raftus
Unplayable Lie

– END-

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