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by Bob Iozzia

As I was checking my local newspaper’s obituary pages in search of a recently deceased acquaintance, as well as yours truly (don’t roll your eyes—you know you do it, too), it struck me that the smiling photos of most of the dearly departed belie their present condition, which is dead. It is also incongruous with the circumstances that lead to their current dead condition—from a long and courageous battle with cancer to a drug overdose.

By the way, I didn’t find the acquaintance’s obit (boo) or mine (yay).

As I’ve become a veteran human of a certain age, I find I’m craving more reality in my life. Fantasy has served me well all these years, especially before I met my wife, but it’s time to put on my big boy Depend. Therefore, I’d like to suggest to those of you older folks who aren’t feeling so well lately that you or someone you trust take a photo of you sporting an appropriate “Oh, crap, I’m dead” facial expression.

I am in no way suggesting that you impersonate a corpse; just don’t smile like an idiot … and don’t wear those stupid French Foreign Legion-looking Zembo hats or even an Eagle Scout leader uniform. You’re a damn grownup, for chrissakes; act like it for once in your life (and forever in your death).

One other suggestion before I double-check my newspaper, and this is for whoever is responsible for writing the obituary. I can’t believe that everyone who has passed was a “devoted,” “beloved,” “loving” or “dedicated” whatever. Let’s face facts, people. Many of us are pricks, bitches and evil assholes in life. Death will make us saints?

I’ve seen one or two realistic obits through the years that were obviously written pre-death by the subjects because they threw shade on others, not themselves.

Ladies, your “loved one’s” demise is your last chance to finally get even. Instead of describing someone as a “devoted husband,” say, “George was devoted, alright—devoted to chasing every tattooed young thing in a tank top. And beloved? Yeah, by every bartender within a ten-mile radius of home.”

Men, you can get your revenge, too. Try honesty in describing your spouse. It’s okay to write something like, “Sheila was a loving, dedicated wife. Riiight. She loved torturing me about chasing every tattooed young thing in a tank top and was dedicated to driving me to an early grave because of it. Who’s driving now, Sheila?”

I’d love to expound on this subject, but that will have to wait for another day—“Wet Tank Top Young Things of Tattoo Town” is on in five minutes.