Death Becomes You

All obvious creepiness aside, an interesting writing exercise is that of obituary writing. Whose obituary should you write? Yours, of course.

Pretend you’re dead. What will the newspaper say about you? How did you go? Freak fishing accident? Accidental decapitation? Who survives you? What kind of memorial service will you have? Something traditional, or will you have your ashes shot into space?

Tell all. Spare no details. Go.

95 Responses

  1. From the ArchivesGRAND CAYMAN
    From the Archives

    GRAND CAYMAN – October 15, 2052 – Reclusive writer and popsicle stick and pasta sculptor Jamelah Earle was found dead this morning in her residence. She was found by her companion, a well-oiled cabana boy named Sergio, who was in Earle’s employ for “the bringing of the margaritas, and for the Yahtzee.” Though investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of death, a preliminary report released by local officials suggests that Earle tripped over a shoe, went flying into a cabinet, and suffered severe head trauma. Medical examiners have ruled out alcohol as a factor.

    Earle, best known for her 25-page, 362-chapter novel, Come Up With Your Own Damn Title, is credited for revolutionizing the world of minimalist literature with profound, pithy statements sometimes only one word long.

    For the past 20 years, she’s been creating sculptures, made from popsicle sticks, glue, pasta, odd bits of yarn and the occasional ketchup packet, exhibiting under the name Lola.

    Detectives are mystified, however, as Earle also died in 2031, disappearing from the public eye after a freak accident involving jello, a blow dryer, and bubble wrap. “I guess the other one was staged,” an unnamed source from the police department said.

    “She’s dead for real this time. I seen her,” he added.

  2. Thurman Dead, World
    Thurman Dead, World Shrugs

    ==Former Dollar Store Socialite Turned Recluse Dead==

    After an extended battle with boredom, former Poet Laureate of eBay Caryn D. Thurman finally succumbed to it at age 41. She is survived by a daughter, a hesitant bridegroom, her mother, brother, two nephews, a niece and cats. Lots and lots of cats. She was preceded in death by Galaxy Boy.

    During the 90s she was a spokesmodel for Boone’s Farm beverages and rose to fame in early 2003 as the first self-proclaimed Poet Laureate of eBay and mayor of the motherfucking bourgeoisie. Though she was respected and critically acclaimed by various convenience store clerks, times were tough and she was frequently seen cracking skulls, shouting on stage and coding php for food. In the last months of her life, she had become a veritable hermit, only leaving her home for karaoke night and Pringles runs. Literary pimp, Levi Asher, noted “Well, she was something else, I tell you, but never the same after Neil Diamond’s accident. I was there … at the end … her final words were ‘Oh well’.”

    Memorial services are scheduled for Monday at the Waffle House. Family and friends ask for donations to Literary Kicks in lieu of flowers or celebratory gunfire.

  3. Man Dead in Queens Blvd.
    Man Dead in Queens Blvd. Scuffle

    Jan 22, 2005
    Forest Hills, Queens

    An unidentified adult male was found shot to death on Queens Blvd after an alleged argument with the owner of a white Porsche Carrera GT. According to witnesses, the owner of the white Porsche accused the victim of scraping this car with his blue Saturn LS2. The victim of the shooting then rudely responded that there was no reason for anybody to have a white Porsche, after which words were exchanged and gunfire ensued.

    The incident took place at 11:17 pm outside the Taco Bell restaurant at Queens Blvd. and 69th Rd.

  4. Are you sure this wasn’t
    Are you sure this wasn’t related to a dispute over a parking space?

  5. the fortune teller told me”i
    the fortune teller told me

    “i see something exploding,
    like a bomb — you should
    really be careful”

    (but Mansi said, “do you
    really think reincarnation’s
    as simple as you die, and
    then you’re born again? what if
    i were to tell you that a soul can
    pass from one life to another,
    without the body dying? what if
    i were to tell you that two souls
    can switch places, in time —
    it all depends on your karma”)

  6. When Irish Eyes are no Longer
    When Irish Eyes are no Longer Smilin

    LONDON–at a time whenever Andeh will be 100 years old.

    Little known writer and former humanitarian aid worker Andeh was found a goner at age 100, after attempting to scale the fence of the house of Nick Cave. Best friend of Andeh, Nigel, had been standing on the ground, and heard Andeh’s last words, which were “I’m finally gonna talk to him!”

    Andeh could be best remembered as old and yet cool, and often wandered around bitching about how “that Eggers guy and that Koontz guy can get published, but I never can!” Andeh could also be found yelling out, “I’m glad I left America whie I could, because at least in England, they don’t have Wal-Mart!”

    Fans recalled the rarely published collections of poems were all about “nature, and space, and how much formal education was wack”. Andeh had also written a book called “How to beat the System, without really beating it, but thinking you can”.

    Friends and family gathered from far and wide, with interesting guests from Dave Eggers’ 4th nephew, to people who showed up in sunglasses and long cigarettes. Even Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie showed up, for some reason, apparently both secretly in love with Andeh. People though they saw Andeh speak from the casket whispering “that is so chill!” but it wasn’t so. Nick Cave showed up, too saying only “that Andeh person was always staring at me eating sandwiches in cafes. I just didn’t get it!”

    Someone found a papyrus paper with Andeh’s last requests. On it, it said “please don’t play that Werewolves of London song at my funeral.” So some random techno song was played. From the mid 90s of course “the last time music was still good” as Andeh had written. And there was an open casket wake, what with Andeh being sort of Irish, and all.

    WalMart decided to open up a store outside of London in memory of Andeh, noting aside that “with that bent, we can make a shite-load of money!”

    (People also thought they saw Andeh slipping away from the wake and shouting “I fooled them all” and got into a limo, with Damon, Jolie and Cave, but that may just be a likely story.)

  7. Letter-to-Editor Writer
    Letter-to-Editor Writer Legally Dead

    Posted in the classifieds of this paper, your editor was horrified to read, “For all legal purposes and estate disposal; Warren Wiippa is declared legally dead after missing for seven years.” Wiippa was always writing this paper on postcards and hotel stationary to give the overseas view of Texas and the USA and the fools running the show. His only published work is Cerebral Cyanide, published when–as he was rumored to always point out–Random House’s Xlibris.com accepted any manuscript gratis. Tales of rejected manuscripts are now afloat with this recent news. Sadly, he dropped off this paper’s radar years ago. His Weltanschauung will be missed. He is said to be survived by families in South Korea and China, according to his sister, an area resident, in a telephone interview yesterday who said that he gone missing years ago after his tour bus was found burned in western China. She couldn’t give the exact location of the found wreckage or details on his families.

  8. Peace Patent Recipient
    Peace Patent Recipient Expires

    Uni was born when she took on the thought of ‘I.’ During the time she thought she existed, Uni received the No-Bull Peace Prize in 2005 for getting world leaders to play ‘Cooperative Musical Chairs,’ which led to the extinction of the concept of ‘war.’

    She earned the devotion of the planet’s inhabitants for her unceasing devotion to using her 2011 Publisher’s Clearing House winnings to develop voice-actuated television channel changing.

    Uni’s existence ceased to be when she let go of the thought of ‘I.’

  9. Know the ETHD ?Estimated Time
    Know the ETHD ?

    Estimated Time of Humanoid Departure 20xy

    wet
    spectral dimmer,
    frugal coincidence,
    a shadow for a moment:
    we had and have confused times Y’know
    child of these and us though he claimed
    he just didn’t know — didn’t know but tried
    and drifted, they held the lights he connected
    then burned out exhausted, tempted and
    seemingly seduced, one real-isation,
    said something about the Andromeda home
    and that we’d never know about
    the masquerade of life; touched, yes:
    wrapped in blue light was the foggy grave,
    awful weather when he left those deceived faces
    maggots won’t care and he won’t care on this side
    of duty
    anymore
    we’re freed from those sad searching eyes
    but have doubts we know better
    surviving dependents and left-overs showed
    normal behavior
    he said he’d just return to those
    waters of disguise and a
    strange lady didn’t dare to come near
    a red rose in her hands, all clad in black
    or was it vice versa for this
    once in
    what You call
    a lifetime
    or this hard aped rock?

    “organ music: confusion will be my epitaph”

  10. Well, down at the
    Well, down at the motherfucking bourgeoisie, we all mourn. And drink lattes. And eat Pringles.

  11. Anne Earle Dies at 90Anne
    Anne Earle Dies at 90

    Anne Earle, mother of famed writer Jamelah Earle, was pronounced dead on the scene in her Michigan home during one of the worst blizzards of recent history. Ms. Earle, her daughter informed authorities, had been suffering from advanced eccentrics due to not “getting enough oxygen to her brain.”

    “At first we were unaware that anything untoward was going on,” her daughter said. “My mother has always marched to the beat of a different drummer, if you get my drift. So when her behavior became a little erratic, we scarcely noticed. But the doctors put her on oxygen, and she did become a little less weird.” She added that mother still enjoyed wandering the house in a tattered flannel shirt and blue jeans doing high kicks and yelling “I’m 90 years old!”

    The deceased had often been quoted stating that she would probably die frozen to death at the foot of her drive in a blizzard while taking out the garbage. “When the forecast for the worst storm in history was pending she became a little withdrawn and seemed to be working on one of her unsolvable, nonsensical problems,” her daughter said.

    During the autopsy, they found a small wasabi pea lodged in the tubing in her oxygen tank. Death was caused by suffocation from lack of oxygen, the coroner said.

    A final entry on her blog reads “I have solved the problem. A way to guarantee that I WILL NOT die frozen in a blizzard. Heck, I won’t even die cold. MUHAHAHAHAHAH!”

    A quiet memorial service will be held with ashes being scattered in Death Valley. “My mother’s last wishes,” her daughter said, “was a request that her final remains be scattered in a warm place. At first we thought about dropping them into the furnace, but since they were already ashes, that seemed a bit redundant.” Ms. Earle is survived by her daughter, her mother and many friends and family. “She will certainly be missed,” stated her brother, “she always managed to keep everyone laughing or at least wondering what on earth she would do next.”

  12. Too funny, J. I can add that,
    Too funny, J. I can add that, after the second report of your demise, you were seen driving down to Mexico with Dennis Hopper in a VW microbus. I’m sure rumors will persist.

  13. “she was frequently seen
    “she was frequently seen cracking skulls, shouting on stage and coding php for food” – oh, man!

    The main thing I remember is, she concocted a fine mint julep at her summer plantation.

  14. Billectric
    Billectric Succumbs

    JACKSONVILLE, FL, June 9, 2004 -Bill King, not really known as Billectric, nor Bill King either, for that matter, was found somewhat less energetic than usual in his back yard, apparently the victim of a gnome slaying. Authorities are not saying whether King was slain with a garden gnome or by a real gnome, and whether or not he would have known the difference.

    Billectric first exploded onto the literary scene with a series of short stories that usually required caveats like, “If you don’t understand it at first, keep reading…and if you don’t like the first story, read the second one, because it’s different…” and so on. In later life, King expended considerable media hype to persuade the public that, despite his early work, he wasn’t queer.

    It is not known exactly how old Mr. King was when he died. Most of the writers and poets in his circle could only say, “Damn, he was old when I met him! He had to be fucking ancient when he croaked!”

    Billectric was also known for his frequent use of italics.

  15. hambone, you always got a
    hambone, you always got a story going. I like how you use these opportunities to write instead of just talking. You take the subject and fly!

  16. “…or at least wondering
    “…or at least wondering what on earth she would do next.” Hehehe. I bet you are a character. I got this picture in my mind of a 90 year old woman walking around the house in jeans and flannel shirt doing high kicks. Good stuff.

  17. ThIs iS bILL, sPeAkiNg tO yOu
    ThIs iS bILL, sPeAkiNg tO yOu fRoM
    beYoND the gRaVe…yes, J, yOu wARNed mE of tHe gNoME peRiL..aLaS, i wAs uNreCePTivE…

    Oh, uh…

    OOooooOOoOOooOoooooo….

  18. “…published when–as he was
    “…published when–as he was rumored to always point out–Random House’s Xlibris.com accepted any manuscript gratis.”

    Hahaha, hey, one way or the other, right?

  19. I like the “born when she
    I like the “born when she took on the thought of ‘I’…ceased to be when she let go of the thought of ‘I.'” Nice touch.

    I can vouch for that voice-actuated TV channel changer as being mankind’s greatest asset since the futon.

  20. Leave it to you, Judih, to
    Leave it to you, Judih, to exist forever as a universal harmonic wave.

  21. NEWSWEEK Inset Block:In the
    NEWSWEEK Inset Block:
    In the reclusive years before his death, Billectric often expressed paranoia about the garden gnomes which populated his lawn. This obsession sometimes escalated to incidents involving the illegal discharge of firearms and pans full of green beer laced with arsenic. When asked why he didn’t just remove the gnomes, Bill is reported to have chortled snidely, “Oh, that would be so simple, now wouldn’t it?” Some sources say he more or less chuckled those words, but those closest to him said it was definitelty a chortle.

  22. AROOooooo! Werewolves of
    AROOooooo! Werewolves of London!

    “open casket wake, what with Andeh being sort of Irish, and all” – great touch. If you see James Joyce, tell him I’ll try to finish Ulysses before I get there.

  23. Now I seem to understand much
    Now I seem to understand much more about Your absinthe-drinking skeletons: voodoo-power ‘gainst those gnomes, clever Bill…know Your district! Thanks, I love to laugh!

  24. The Tour Ends in
    The Tour Ends in Florida

    Sunday Nov 5 2006

    Local vagabond & self-proclaimed “River Prophet” Chris Hutson was found dead in his bean bag after an attempt to listen to every Grateful Dead show available on the internet. Doctors say it was just to good for him to bear. He was best know among local bartenders for his uncanny ability to “forget” to pay his bar tab, even after the threat of legal action “That son of a bitch still owes me money,” said Eddy, a bartender in 5-Points Jacksonville. At this time Eddy is not considered a suspect. Chris is survived by numerous friends who wish to remain anonymous & scores of women who never gave him the time of day.

  25. This is so sad. I asked Bill
    This is so sad. I asked Bill if he had gotten over the bizarre fear of the gnomes, (especially after I tried some of that green beer) his only & insistent reply was as follows “Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.”

  26. Hey old man are you sure you
    Hey old man are you sure you didn’t eat some of that deadly yellow snow?

  27. WHOO-HA !Garcia poisoning.
    WHOO-HA !

    Garcia poisoning. Worst case I ever saw. If only Khris had known, most of those Five Points chicks don’t wear watches. Well, enough grieving. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if I collected his books & CD’s for safe-keeping.

    HEY, Khris! Cook-out tonight at my house. For real. Bring my Kerouac book, thieving punk hipster. And a bunch of your books, too. And some CD’s. And beer. Steal some from Fuel Coffehouse. Fuck ’em! Booj-wah profiteers, getting fat on our angst and sweat!

  28. Oops, I first read of your
    Oops, I first read of your demise on my phone, & the first thing I did was squeeze off a few rounds of celebratory gunfire. But I was in the Waffle House parking lot, so nobody noticed.

  29. How exciting — at least you
    How exciting — at least you outlived Levi and me but I never wanted to be old, didn’t seem very promising.

  30. Almost Burroughs like in its
    Almost Burroughs like in its unremarkable remarkableness or some or other affixs or cat.

  31. You’ve been dead for awhile
    You’ve been dead for awhile it must be those gnomes who kept typing this stuff for you … in fact I’m beginning to think there was never a Bill at all … just gnomes.

  32. Joshua M. Moorewas found dead
    Joshua M. Moore

    was found dead at his parents’ home in Aberdeen SD. The deceased was born July 3, 1979, making him twenty-five years old at the time of death.

    Mr. Moore had lived a varied life dwelling in many states and cities during his time on earth. He was a published author in small presses across the United States. This spring would have been his final semester before attaining a B.S. in Communications from South Dakota State University in Brookings. He also had attended Northern State of Aberdeen S.D. and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN.

    Josh enjoyed reading, writing, music and nature. He was looking forward to graduating from SDSU and working in the field of Communications or attending a graduate school for Creative Writing.

    Mr. Moore apparently fell from the top step to the bottom of the staircase in his parent’s home, Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Moore. Both of the deceased’s parents were employed by Avera St. Luke’s of Aberdeen. Mr. Moore died of massive brain trauma at St. Luke’s hospital.

    Josh was born in Bismarck, ND and is survived by a large extended family from that area, Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska, MA and many other parts of the nation. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, and his maternal grandfather along with various cousins and great uncles and aunts.

    The Moore family of Aberdeen, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Moore(brother) and Jacob Moore (brother) request that any donation or condolences be sent to the charity of your choice.

    Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic church in Aberdeen, SD. Mr. Moore will then be cremated and his ashes sent off the St. Anthony Fall’s bridge in Minneapolis MN into the big river at a later date. A reception will held after Monday’s ceremonies at the VFW in Aberdeen. All are invited to attend.

  33. Wow Bill, with you & I
    Wow Bill, with you & I both dead, isn’t it ironic we will be discussing Desolation Angels tonight over dinner?

  34. My writing career as an Obit
    My writing career as an Obit writer

    My shift as the obit writer/cop shop reporter ended and the July 4th fireworks show was over everywhere – over. Free at last, after a grueling three-day holiday weekend for anyone but me, I ran down the chinked, wornout marble staircase all the way to the underground parking lot and jumped into my beat up Chrysler Salon Fury, a big ass 8-cylinder engine just like the cops used to drive, except mine had no hubcaps, and so I gunned the beater to the Missouri border so at last I could drink a real beer again and not that Iowa 3.2 piss-water any cheesy 18-year-old high school boy in Des Moines could swallow in any of those rinky dink taverns lacing the Racoon River.

    I wanted to wash away the detritis of writing about all that holiday death and soak my my brain in alcohol to cleanse it from the pain and grief and sorrow and timidness and smallness. “Yes, Mrs. Borowski, I am truly sorry to bother you at this time, but this could be the last time your son will ever be in the paper, and it might…” Wailing cuts me off and a man gets on the phone and he gruffly asks me what in the hell do I want. “Sir, it could be a lesson for all our readers that they should be careful on the water if a storm suddenly comes up and they’re in a bass fishing boat, which happens to be made out of steel…”

    He hangs up on me.

    I do a little write-up about how the guy was an avid fisherman and hunter and that he was struck by lightining at the resevoir trying to pull up the anchor because of the black clouds in the distance but a bolt from the blue side came out of nowhere and knocked him out of the boat and blew his hair and beard off and the bottoms off of his feet as it made its exit.

    The editor, a pickled-faced tiny woman intent on converting everyone in the newsroom to Mormonism, changes my copy to read that the lightning “destroyed” his feet, not blew out their bottoms like I had written. So much for journalistic integrity and telling the truth.

    “People read this paper with their bacon and eggs and they don’t want to read about blown off feet,” pickleface says to me scrunching up her eyes and mouth at me. I start to clear my throat and start to disgree and then I stop and shrug my shoulders. “Okaaay…” I say and let it go.

    They had started nicknaming me the angel of death that week-end, the guys on the copy desk. Some little kid fell off a four-runner on a sandbar near the river and was swept away. They never found the body and sitting there typing up the little news brief I was thinking of some family somewhere huddled in a kitchen or living room with friends and relatives and how the mother would be shaking and the father awfully quiet and stoic in that Iowa way and a little brother probably pissed off because it ruined his Fourth of July.

    No fireworks tonight.

    Or, the two prison convicts that just got released and decided to reunite for the holiday and went fishing, got drunk, came back and drank some more. One guy passes out and the other heads up the rickety shotgun shack stairs to make it with the other guy’s woman. The passed-out guy wakes up on the picnic table and saunters into the house and hears what’s going on in the bedroom. He grabs a Rappalo fishing knife from the kitchen table that’s laying next to a pile of gutted carp, which is a bottom-feeding garbage fish that only those down on their luck ever bother to bring home, like the old black man with no teeth who used to fish from the stinky green pond in my hometown.

    So a fight erupts and the two convicts come banging grabbing limbs tumbling out of the house and the guy with the Rappalo fishing knife, serrated, plunges it deep into his friend’s heart and the other guy instantly collapses. That’s what the cops had told me anyway. Oh yeah, right next door, in the yard was a sandbox and three five-year-old kids saw the whole thing happened. That’s how the cops got the story.

    So I’m barrelling down the deserted four-lane highway and off in the distance, a lone bottle rocket goes off and I’ve got the windows down and doing 80 so the only sound I hear is the howling of the wind through the car and its dark now and I can only see the forest of the trees black on either side of the road. I’m thinking about the two kids on the motorbike who left a bar and weren’t wearing helmets and were flying down a parkway and hit the curb because they were too high and they both catapault off the bike. One guy lands in an empty field and he’s scratched up but otherwise okay. The other guy would have made it too except for the telephone pole right in front of his face. Smack. It just took his head clean off. A helmut would not have helped in any way.

    I shook my head and lit up a cigarette trying not to think about that kind of shit. At least I was free for the next 48 hours and didn’t have to talk to any cops or coroners or funeral home directors and anyone else. I was going home and the stateline was only about two miles away. Finally I see the bubble of white lights and the antspeck of a gas station just on the other side. I pull in and bolt out of the car. Running into the store I head to the ligqour section and the beer cases.

    “Hey, sorry, but it’s after midnight and it’s now Sunday and we don’t sell on…”

    I cut him off and plead. It’s just some middle-aged beefy guy. I stroll up to the counter. “Oh, man, you don’t understand, I’ve been locked up in Iowa for three months without one taste of Missouri beer. You gotta help me out, man.”

    He looks at me. He looks up at one-of-those old-time beer clocks with a nature shot of mountains and electric effect that makes it look like the water in a stream goes on forever and I am thinking I wish I was there in that river of beer and then I look down at the counter and try not to look too defeated.

    It’s 12:09. I look down and see the guy is missing three fingers snapped off at the midpart of his knuckles.

    “All right kid. But hurry up and don’t let anybody see you.”

    We were in a deserted gas station straddling the Missouri-Iowa border. I hadn’t seen a car in 90 minutes. So I went back, grabbed the beer, paid for it as fast as I could squeeze the dollars out of my wallet and jumped back in the car.

    The radio blasting out sixties tunes because the old time rock station was the only thing I could pick up, I was yelling along with the songs, sipping on beer number two and nothing could be better. Except I looked down at the dashboard for a second and noticed something funny. The needle guage was moving erratically and just about to enter the red zone and then all of a sudden dense white smoke comes pouring out of the air conditioner which is strange becase it’s not on and doesn’t work anyway. Then smoke flies out of the hood and this terrific noise comes from the engine and I know I am fucked. So I move the beer can from between my legs and wave off the smoke. I’m choking as I slow the car down and the car is bumping up and down and then I see an exit and go for out and I’m lucky because just then the car dies and the noise ends and I coast up the exit all the way up and roll down the road a bit and stop. After a few seconds the smoke starts to die down. Fuck me.

    So I get out, grab the beer and go behind the car and take a leak. It’s pitch black and I am alone. With maybe about 20 bucks in my pocket, a half pack of smokes and four and a half beers. At least the beer tasted good. I slammed the open can and as I’m chugging it I look straight up and there’s the Milky Way in all its glory. Stars and black white horse high clouds magnficent in their shape and stars, stars all radiating from one end of the black disk that is the ground to where I swivel my head to the other side.

    You never see night clouds like that in the city.

  35. Bill, I’m glad you get a
    Bill, I’m glad you get a kick
    out of it; and sorry to hear
    about your untimely demise at
    the (hands? hat? beard?) of a
    gnome– hmm, reminds me of
    Amsterdam, vaguely, it always
    struck me that the Dutch economy
    seemed to subsist on hash, whores
    and gnomes– okay, perhaps I’m
    exaggerating… they also make
    delicious pancakes, and they
    can claim Rembrandt and Van Gogh,
    not to mention Descartes.
    so the list reads:
    Rembrandt, Hash, Van Gogh, Pancakes, Whores, Descartes,
    Gnomes.

    “I’m beginning to detect a pattern, Watson.”

    “Oh? What is it, Holmes?”

    “Everything that’s been listed
    points towards the existence
    of a bourgeois economy
    in which all values must be
    made explicit, so as to attain
    the status of a commodity–
    thus the mystery of sex is
    reduced into real-estate with
    tinted lighting; the variety
    of feasting is reduced into
    a plate-sized, single product;
    creativity is reduced into
    an admission fee; insanity,
    reduced into the smoking-habit;
    and the metaphysical question,
    is reduced into a trite passage
    of prose, over-laid with a great
    deal of algebra (so as to further
    confuse the masses).”

    “But Holmes, I still fail to understand how any of this relates to Garden Gnomes, and how it should solve the murder?”

    “Elementary, my dear Watson–
    what is the last thing missing from our list, of the uncertainty
    of life reduced into products
    with an easily described monetary
    value, to be obtained simply by
    the outlay of one’s potential–
    for that is what the market truly operates by, Watson– men don’t sell their labour, but rather their potential for labour–“

    “Holmes, I had no idea you were
    a Marxist!”

    “You should have adduced as much from my ascetic demeanor, Watson–
    but at any rate, the last quality remaining to be lowered to the value of mere magic, blind superstition/hocus pocus illusion–
    MUST be the spirit of whimsy.”

    “I must say, Holmes, I’m a bit surprised whimsy should be the last thing to go, after we had already done away with sex and art and religion!”

    “Aha! Yes, but whimsy had been the
    FIRST thing, my dear Watson, the birth of Humour, what Octavio Paz called the Modern Invention, and what Milan Kundera equated with the essence of modernity!”

    “So you are saying that Mr. Bill
    Electric was murdered by the degradation of whimsy?!”

    “No, Watson! This is death BY
    whimsy, rather! The gnome is in
    no manner actually culpable–
    that had merely been a misdirection! What we have
    witnessed here today, had been
    an intentional suicide, and a
    deliberate framing!”

    “And who was to be framed, Holmes?”

    “Ah! That’s the twist, Watson!
    Our suicide was framing–
    HIMSELF! As in a portrait!”

    “I must say, Holmes, this is
    the strangest murder I have
    ever witnessed.”

    “It is what we call, post-modern,
    Watson. Now that I have solved
    this mystery, I propose we adjourn
    for a delicious savoury pancake,
    old boy.”

    Well said, Holmes!”

    ==========================
    Cheers,
    A.

  36. Angel of Dog Barf DeathJay
    Angel of Dog Barf Death

    Jay Mejia, yesterday, died of a broken liver, his heart tattooed MerMer bespoke the love of his life, who preceded him in death. He was 52. His life still was quite the mess.

    He leaves behind three dogs, two cats, two turtles, and unemployed bartenders on every side of the San Francisco Bay. He is survived by a mother, and a brother, and one daughter…and a very nervous CEO who wonders if he will still be invited next year to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    Mr. Mejia never killed anyone. He was affable, and kind, but unpolished and rude, at times.

    He was a failed writer, but still managed to get Jay Leno to speak about his client on national TV…the holy grail of a PR guy, yes, Thompson’s Pet Pasta, Mr. Leno blurted…and Jay Mejia triggered a spike in dog food purchases across our great land…but Purina Mills fought back with their message that you should never change your dog’s diet. Jay Mejia, on that night in Burbank,CA, the next day, caused millions of dogs across America to vomit after eating Thompson’s Pet Pasta, the first human grade pasta for dogs. Yes, he will always be remembered for making dogs vomit all across America…his only claim to glory. Thank god, the cats survived by turning their whiskered noses away from such foul victuals.

    Mr. Mejia was a very minor poet wannabe, and maybe, maybe someday, someone might remember him.

    He was a good dad, but not the best.

    He loved the sea. He loved people. Some called him weak since he fell on the side of those whose voice could not speak.

    He was a hack writer.

    He was loved though, and maybe still, we hope.

    He favored lentils yet also enjoyed barbeque ribs. He drank too much whiskey and smoked too many cigarettes.

    He was a small enigma and now here he lies buried in the cemetary across from his mother’s patio … he and Mermer, his childhood sweetheart, here they rest.

    together … these two now and forever

  37. Local Author Joins
    Local Author Joins Friends

    Local author Khristophorous, upset over the deaths of colleagues Chris Hutson and Bill King, was found dead on the grounds of the Billectric Estate after consuming what appears to be a pan full of green beer. Residents at the Billectric Estate could not be reached for comment. Several furtive, bearded men, assumed to be groundskeepers, were questioned by the authorities. This is but one more mysterious case of death among authors. Fortunately, most of Jacksonville, FL should remain unscathed as they are by & large illiterate.

  38. a eulogistic discoveryJanuary
    a eulogistic discovery

    January 8, 2187
    Antarctica
    Pole City Plaza
    Area# 230942
    (Audio Recording found in box buried 20 feet under local outhouse)

    “Today, March 16, 2032, we lay to rest, Sir Patrick Alan McDonald from the North. A dedicated artist/phenomenologist and father of 5. His recently deceased wife Angelique, may she now rest in peace as well. (coughing, clearing of throat) After living a life uncompromised and overflowing with experience, I know he would have wanted me to quote him saying “I would rather live a full life now and die aware than live a half assed life and live forever.” Although I can hear his words echo out into the haze, remembering all the times we spent wandering before the floods and throughout all the adventures we survived during the ‘Great Migration’ of 2020. I feel it would be more appropriate sending him off into this, the next long journey into the unknown with a haiku he wrote years ago…I believe it goes something like this:

    ‘you noticed a pause
    before the storm shook our hearts
    -the first silent song’

    Now let us breathe and sing out his last, the song of a life lived in full.”

    (recording ended)

    (analyze, interpret, file under “death” last name McDonald first name Patrick middle initial A.)

    (end of transmition)

  39. gathering threads-the fabric
    gathering threads
    -the fabric of a lifetime
    runs smooth off the page

  40. Sunday Morning PaperAn
    Sunday Morning Paper

    An anonymous man died while skydiving yesterday.

    The man was reported to have shouted “Wheeee!” before landing in a running wood chipper.

  41. Wired on the WallBaltimore,
    Wired on the Wall

    Baltimore, MD 1/23/05

    Mark Coburn of Baltimore, MD. and known as the “WIREMAN” was found at 6:23 am yesterday dead on the scene after his Lincoln arc welder exploded. He had been on a week long
    quest to create a series of rebar and wire sculptures for an upcoming show at the Gallery Neptune in Bethesda, MD.

    He is survived by a wife, artist Carole Jean Bertsch and daughter Lucy Marie Coburn of Falls Church, Va.

    Details of the accident are sketchy, but eye witness accounts from neighbors say there was an immense boom and a fireball shooting over 100 feet into the early morning sky over the Hollins Market section of downtown Baltimore. City fire officials say that all that remained of the artist after the fire was extinguished is a charred black outline on the studio wall. Longtime friend Sowebo Arts Inc. President Bill Adler shaken at the news could only say, “Mark always did wanna go out with a bang!”. Carole Jean was not available for comment. Friends at Scallio’s tavern across Hollins St. were amazed at the visual display the explosion caused, bartender Kenny Smith said,” that man was always pushing the limits.”

    Funeral arrangements are sketchy for the moment but a memeorial service is in the works to be held at the deceased sculptor’s beloved National Muuseum of the American Indian in his hometown Washington, DC.

  42. Unemployed bartenders — nice
    Unemployed bartenders — nice touch. This is nicely written and makes me mist up a bit, even though I know you’re still alive and kicking.

  43. Wow Josh — this is kind of
    Wow Josh — this is kind of melancholy. I wonder what will be written on your gravestone…

  44. Nicely done, Warren.
    Nicely done, Warren. Although I wonder what happened to the tour bus.

  45. This is a great approach — I
    This is a great approach — I like the idea of the discovered audio. Nice!

  46. Wow — this is almost a
    Wow — this is almost a sci-fi thriller if I am reading it correctly. Very interesting …

  47. betcha would’ve loved to have
    betcha would’ve loved to have been there, mark

    (who wouldn’t)

    are there photos of the black outline?

  48. nothing i going to get burned
    nothing i going to get burned no gravestone no memory no feelings no feelings

    what sex pistols song does that come from?

    i wish i was in the stooges in 1972

    that would be fun this is lame

  49. i know the feeling running
    i know the feeling running from MN to WI for our beer runs…the river states…i lived in one, just another river…a quiet calm forbidding place making iowa seem like a field of dreams.

  50. Smashing discourse, old boy.
    Smashing discourse, old boy. Your convolutions never cease to a maze!

  51. Well that explains that giant
    Well that explains that giant fireball I saw.

    Damn, it lit up the entire California sky late last night.

    Christ, I thought it was a ufo. Instead it was just guy in balmer blowing a welding torch. JeezLouise, he must have torqued that sucker up…

  52. so whatever happened to the
    so whatever happened to the chihuahua?

    did they ever find it?

    o, the humanity…

  53. One less member of the Saturn
    One less member of the Saturn community of gas-saving planet savers…

    oh well, taco bell would have killed the poor bastard sooner or later anyway

  54. Hot DAMn, jOTA man! I could
    Hot DAMn, jOTA man! I could hug you for writing like this. High-octane, hard-boiled Gonzo noir! Boy, are you crazy?

  55. loved, divedinto haiku
    loved, dived
    into haiku pools
    of rhy & me
    and it was time
    for her to blow
    her mingus trumpet
    and did she ever

    this one really made some noise

  56. I hate it when that happens.
    I hate it when that happens. But at least you died happy. Or, at least, happy followed by briefly horrified.

  57. “that man was always pushing
    “that man was always pushing the limits.”

    Something tells me that is a most appropriate statement about you, Wireman.

  58. hella out!hella was born.one
    hella out!

    hella was born.

    one thing lead to another

    and he died.

  59. The Fox Network announced
    The Fox Network announced plans to remake this popular 70’s TV series,Night Stalker. The role of the street-smart reporter made famous by Darrin McGavin will be played by Jay “jota” Meja. The first episode is slated to feature a confrontation between the Reporter and Buckethead, the tongue-in-charred-cheek horror character created by Bill “Billectric” King.

  60. I was sure you’d get it while
    I was sure you’d get it while bone fishing in the azores. huh. my bad!

  61. pluckin’ my harp strings up
    pluckin’ my harp strings up in the clouds while looking down and thinkin’ … “Damn I love you all!”

  62. His Shadow Looms Large Upon
    His Shadow Looms Large Upon The Land

    NEW YORK, NY – January 1, 2100

    Famed novelist, dramatist, filmmaker, and ladies-man Dominic Camella died last night at the very stroke of midnight when his airborne home, the Camellicopter, crashed into the East River. Mr. Camella had made the fatal error of hiring to fly his hovering abode the same man who piloted the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane on its fateful 1977 flight. (How that man managed to live this long is as much a mystery as why Mr. Camella lived in an airship.)

    Camella’s career began in 2019 with the ground-breaking novel “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler,” which he later adapted to both the stage and the screen. “Laissez…” is the story of Chaim and Chaimina Zilberfisz, conjoined twins from Boro Park who share a brain and play a double-necked guitar in the Grand Ole Opry. The film version starred Robin Williams as the twins.

    Camella, a famed opponent of anti-polygamy laws, is survived by his three wives, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel, his countless children and grandchildren, and his beloved cats, Humbert, Humbert, and Dolores. Funeral services will be held in Jerusalem, where in an unprecedented move, both Jews and Muslims have given up claims to the Temple Mount in order to allow for the construction of a pyramid in honor of the deceased.

  63. J. Harris dead at 35,
    J. Harris dead at 35, finally.

    Writer, amateur singer & musician & sometimes bartender J. Harris died at her home in filthy York Pennsylvania Saturday night. She was 35.

    Harris had been contemplating death as usual when it showed up to greet her with a mysterious yet suspect respiratory failure. Even on her best day she was a dreamer who habitually lost her keys and important papers, especially W-2’s. What really drove those around her nuts though, was her inability to locate the T.V. remote.

    She is survived by her fiancee Sean, her dogs Frankie and Sashie, her bird, Mr. Birdie, and assorted fish. No service will be held as it would only encourage her creditors. As stated by a recent phone caller to her former address, “bitch owed me money!” Exactly.

  64. I enjoyed your story too
    I enjoyed your story too much. I don’t know why, it reminds me some stuff I read a long time ago by G. Apollinaire call “The leprosy”. but the tale reminds me of Apollinaire, in general!

  65. Not GoingI ain’t going. I
    Not Going

    I ain’t going. I refuse to serve if called. I believe if I’m stubborn it’ll work.

  66. HA fiahcracka!!!how’s you
    HA fiahcracka!!!

    how’s you know you not reading dead peoples?

    huh? huh?

    bwuhahahahaha!

    mmk, jes kiddin’.

  67. Who say’s I’m not. The Count
    Who say’s I’m not. The Count de Saint Germaine 700 years old & counting.

  68. i think dog barfing is an
    i think dog barfing is an admirable mention in the book of life.

    (“yes, we remember him”)

    sleep tight, hota one.

  69. firecracker:…a sci-fi
    firecracker:…a sci-fi thriller, yes. when I was a child I read a lot of them, this sounds like a “classical one”, and this is more likeable by quoting a newspaper of Rosario…

    arcadia: sorry about the quoting perhaps too literary. I would certainly like that my death appears in the sports supplement, too! Besides, I feel so glad that in the moment of your death, yo would be so noble and brave!
    taking in mind that the hongos are more simp

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Litkicks is 26 years old! This website has been on a long and wonderful journey since 1994. We’re relaunching the whole site on a new platform in June 2021, and will have more updates soon. We’ve also been busy producing a couple of podcasts – please check them out.

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