“Dead Rubber”, according to one of my marathon googling sessions, means “boring”. My “Dead Rubber Posts” are my monthly blog cop outs. I give myself permission once a month to publish a post that isn’t up to my usual stellar standards. Some of you might not recognize any difference between these and my other posts (which is a sad commentary on the hours I usually take to polish them before hitting the “Publish” button); nevertheless, I feel I should be up front when I’ve spent less time composing a post than I did addressing an envelope to my mortgage company.
I was trying to postpone my Dead Rubber post until later in the month, but I went to see David Sedaris tonight and it’s a “school night”. He did recommend to an aspiring writer in the audience to “write every day”, neglecting to say how much. I am pretty sure he meant more than the “Great job!” I scribed on my student’s papers this afternoon.
I have decided to start gathering unusual obituary statements. I did not set out to collect these. But they keep appearing to me. It’s not that I even usually read the obituaries. Every once in awhile, I run out of Sunday paper to read during the week. And, as I gulp down my breakfast at 5:30 a.m. I must read something. So I skim the obituaries.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned the prominently displayed obituary headline, “She was skilled at Bunco.” I’m not sure about you, but to me that seemed an odd way to immortalize someone. But certainly not the oddest.
Today, I chanced upon an even stranger sentence buried deep within an obituary of a woman who “supported live music, the arts community, and hula-hooping.” In addition to these worthy pursuits, this woman “held a great appreciation for port-a-potties.”
Please don’t let someone put that in my obituary. Because I don’t. And never will. Ever. Appreciate. Port-a-Potties. I don’t care if I just drank two gallons of Diet Coke and I’m in the middle of a treeless, building-less prairie being filmed on a reality show and it rains for two days straight.
Now that we’ve got that cleared up, does anyone else but me wonder what her coffin looked like?
She was a skilled Bunco player.
That was the subheading of an obituary in Sunday’s paper. It was positioned right next to the picture of the deceased, encapsulating her life’s essence in that one square inch of newspaper. Not being an avid reader of obituaries, I almost missed it as I turned the page, but that somewhat humiliating homage hooked me.
“How depressing,” I thought. While simultaneously beginning to compose my next blog post.
Fortunately, the woman in question had apparently achieved much greater things than her Bunco playing skills and they were thoughtfully outlined in the several paragraphs underneath her picture. In fact, there were at least seven other characteristics described in the article that would have made more appropriate headlines. I sighed with relief that there wasn’t a recently deceased eighty year old woman who had been known for nothing greater than her amazing luck with dice.
Let’s face it People, Bunco ain’t a game that requires skill.
But, of course it got me to thinking about my own subheading. What would my, “She was skilled at _________” be? Well, I guess it would depend on who was chosen to describe my skills. These would be the likely responses:
Dimples – making duct tape bags.
Cap’n Firepants – humiliating me in public.
Wonderbutt – picking up my poop.
Mrs. P.I.B. – stemming the tide of blood every time she clipped my toenails.
Crash and The Dictator – cheating at Scrabble.
Big Mean Kitty – Nothing. She’s a hack.
Upon reflection, I think I may have to consider writing my own subheading. Or, I might just emulate the mother of a friend of mine, and go ahead and compose my whole obituary right now while I’m actually lucid. Except I’m not going to do anything stupid like e-mail it to the daughter who I didn’t trust to write it in the first place. I’m going to skip the middleman and just file it with the paper myself tomorrow.
I figure I better do it soon because Big Mean Kitty has been increasingly hostile.
So, I’ve got all the blah blah blah about tremendous teaching, prodigious parenting, and wonderful wifing down. Now I just need that six word subheading.
She was skilled at –
finding inane blog topics.
Now that takes some actual strategic thinking, People.