Last words

June 10, 2006 at 12:40 am (Uncategorized)

Zarqawi.jpgSo, the butcher of Baghdad had something to say before he went on to his eternal reward of daily anal abuses. There are those who would like to believe those final words were: "My spleen just dripped into my pants!" or "There is shrapnel in my scrotum!"

WASHINGTON (AP) — Terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was still alive when Iraqi police arrived at a site that was bombed by U.S. forces, a top-level spokesman for American military forces said Friday. “He mumbled something but it was indistinguishable and it was very short,” Caldwell said.

The fact is, we'll probably never know what the zealous murderer had to impart in his last moments. Last words are notoriously misunderstood and understandably exaggerated over time. Edgar Allan Poe, dying of thirst as he suffered the delirium of alcohol withdrawal, was said to have uttered: "God help my poor soul" on his death bed. I'd like to think that's true. But it is just as probable that the agonized wordsmith muttered: "For the love of God, give me some friggin' brandy, you assholes!" before he succumbed.

If you believe Oliver Stone, Jim Morrison's last words may have been either "love my girl," or simply "out." Very romantic, both of them. But again, the truth is probably more banal than profound. The Lizard King, likely muddled from an indulgence in heroin in booze, probably growled "Hey, look! My penis!" before his heart exploded.

Lord Byron was quoted as saying: "Now I shall go to sleep. Goodnight," before he was gone from the world. Emily Dickinson, eloquent to the end, declared: "I must go in. The fog is rising." Caligula, the sexually energized Roman Empire was said to have proclaimed: "I am still alive!"

burial.jpgThat latter sort of chills me. It chills me in the same way as the notion of a dying priest shouting: "So that is where we go! My life's work has been a waste!" upon his death bed. It chills me in a way that's not emotionally healthy. Because let's face it: we all have at least one person in our lives whose last words we never got to hear. And in the darkest of moments, we'd like to dig them up and demand that they tell us what thoughts were on their lips when they passed.

So, go ahead and expound on what Zarqawi might have murmured before his last breath floated down to hell. Postulate on the last words of other notable dead people, I don't care. I'll believe you as much as I believe the historians and other men of record.

And for posterity, I'll tell you in advance: when the hand of doom descends to carry me away in two or three hundred years, I expect my last comment to be simply: "What th…"

For more on the last words of the famous and infamous, check out this link.

Advertisements

56 Comments

  1. Omnius said,

    Last words always fall into one of three categories. The ones that are so esoteric that they’re meaningless, such as “It’s full of stars..” or the ones that are so obvious as to be useless, like “It’s a bomb,” or “He’s got a gun.”

    Then you have the third category, the random sentence that has nothing to do with anything in particular, least of all the imminent death, such as “Why are you watching C-Span?”

  2. jarheaddoc said,

    I don’t place a lot of faith in death bed confessions. The medical establishment can make educated guesses as to what’s going on in the brain as a person dies, but to reveal a deeply profound subject right at the end? Horse poop: If someone has carried a secret that long, it goes to the grave with them.

  3. Linda said,

    Then I guess we’ll just have to try harder to get YOUR secrets out of you now, jd. Everyone has ’em!

  4. Linda said,

    Omnius, jd’s words have me thinking about spilling secrets on the deathbed, that doesn’t completely fit into your categories, does it?

    Like, the treasure chest is buried in the third cave; or Hoffa is chained to a cement block under a buoy in Long Island Sound.

    We probably all know something we’ll never tell, except maybe at the very last moment just to see the expressions on people’s faces. Don’t we?

  5. Asshat said,

    FAMOUS LAST WORDS

    “I’ll get a world record for this.”

    “It’s fireproof.”

    “He’s probably just hibernating.”

    “What does this button do?”

    “I’m making a citizen’s arrest.”

    “So, you’re a cannibal…”

    “It’s probably just a rash.”

    “Are you sure the power is off?”

    “Yeah, I made the deciding vote on the jury, so what of it?”

    “The odds of that happening have to be a million to one!”

    “Pull the pin and count to what?”

    “Which wire was I supposed to cut?”

    “I wonder where the mother bear is?”

    “I’ve seen this done on TV.”

    “These are the good kind of mushrooms.”

    “I’ll hold it and you light the fuse.”

    “Let it down slowly.”

    “Rat poison only kills rats.”

    “Just take whatever you want, this is a ghost town.”

    “It’s strong enough for both of us.”

    “This doesn’t taste right.”

    “I can make this light before it changes.”

    “Nice doggie.”

    “I can do that with my eyes closed.”

    “I’ve done this before.”

    “Well, we’ve made it this

  6. AO said,

    I think the butcher of Baghdad looks like Luciano Pavarotti. I wonder if they got the wrong guy?

  7. Fred said,

    How about “Oh Shit”?

  8. Linda said,

    Sure, that’s a classic, Fred!

    I see the Pavarotti thing, AO. Opera fans the world over will be on the edge of their seats, hoping it ain’t so.

    How about, “It’s a brown bear, we’ll be safe if we play dead”. (or maybe that’s black bears, I’m not a bear expert, I got that from “A Walk In the Woods”, great book.)

  9. Asshat said,

    His last words..”What the fuck was that??”

  10. Mainetarr said,

    They say the last thing he saw was American soldiers. I know one thing he didn’t say, God Bless America.

  11. LaFlamme said,

    My brother once dared me to get out of the car in a Baltimore ghetto and say: “Excuse me, fellas. Could you tell me how to get to the Gap?”
    I didn’t do it. Hence, I’m still here to bore you with blogs like this.

  12. LaFlamme said,

    If I’d done things differently last night, my last words could have been: “What? The bull doesn’t care if I use the flash on my camera.”

  13. LaFlamme said,

    Or: “Say. Is it true that the color red enrages a bull? Because, as you can see, I’m wearing a red sh…”

  14. LaFlamme said,

    Or: “Fellas, fellas! Put that rope away! The poor thing just needs someone to talk nice to it. Heeeeeeere, bully, bully, bully…”

  15. LaFlamme said,

    Or: “Hey, bull! That escape was a pretty good trick. You got any utters?”

  16. LaFlamme said,

    Or: “Screw you, officer. This is private property. I can stand anywhere I…”

  17. LaFlamme said,

    Or: “Hey! I dropped my pen. Better bend over and pick it up.”

  18. LaFlamme said,

    Or: “I wonder what he’d do if I poked him in the eye.”

  19. LaFlamme said,

    If anyone has the SJ today, check out the police log. We’re talking spellcheck run amok. Among the names you’ll see there: “Diane and Perky Mourned,” Angela Heifer,” and some guy named “Dumfound.”

  20. LaFlamme said,

    Lee Harvey Oswald: “It wasn’t me. It was the CI….”

  21. K2 said,

    Or, hey, Jack, good to see. . . .

    I think they should have let the children pet the bull. We really need more mobile petting zoos.

    I doubt al-Zarqawi wans’t singing Floyd’s ‘Good-bye blue sky” when he got blown up.

    Did, did, did, did, did, did, did, you hear the falling bombs?
    The planes are all gone but the pain lingers on
    Good-bye, blue sky, good-bye, blue sky
    Good-bye
    Good-bye

  22. Linda said,

    Mark, you arent usually awake at 10 a.m., are you? Not that its any of my business or anything, but it just seems unusual to hear from you at that time.

  23. Linda said,

    I just read the SJ and I see what you mean, Mark, about the spellchecked police log. You didn’t even mention my two personal favourites — “Victor Buzzed” and “Anti Surety.” If either of those are correct names, and the owners of them are reading this comment, I apologize.

    The other really entertaining item in the paper was the item about Lindsay Lohan, who says she’s not ready to quit playing the field. She says, “I’ve become like the guy in relationships. Lately I just cannot be in a monogamous relationship.” Nice to see she’s battling stereotypes.

  24. Omnius said,

    “Omnius, jd’s words have me thinking about spilling secrets on the deathbed, that doesn’t completely fit into your categories, does it?”

    Just because it’s true doesn’t mean it’s funny, and if it isn’t funny then it isn’t true.

    Someone’s final words rarely fall into that category, I think. It seems that if someone had a secret like that to tell, it would not be the last thing they say. If they know that they are dying, they will make sure that people hear it before they slip away, possibly in their sleep, and if it turns out to be an accident, it won’t be the first thing to come to someone’s mind. If I were shot in the chest and quickly bleeding to death, I would not be thinking “I need to tell Rick where I parked the car,” or “Luke, I am your fa–” It’s fairly safe to say that my last thoughts and words would be more along the lines of “Oh, did that suck!”

    In the few cases where someone does reveal a big secret as their final words, I think it would usually wind up being one of the esoteric comments – meant for a select few.

    “Did you hear that Dave Biggs came out of the closet on his death bed?”

    “Who?”

  25. Gil said,

    I would hope that anything I say in my deathbed would be deep and profound, but it will probably end up something entirely inane such as, ” Where did I leave my keys?”. or ” Do you smell gas?”
    I remember the words my grandfather said on his deathbed. He said “Son. uugghh”
    -Robin Williams (back when he was still funny)

  26. Linda said,

    Sure Omnius, that makes sense.

    I don’t PLAN to go with cheap shots, I mean I don’t do it on purpose really. It’s just that when people say always or never (#1), I can’t help trawling through my own experience to see if any exceptions fall out. It’s tedious even for me, so it’s no surprise if it annoys you. It’s nothing personal you know?

  27. Omnius said,

    Linda,

    I hope you don’t think I was annoyed, because I really wasn’t. If I sounded stiff or different than I usually do, it’s because I had been up all night gaming, slept for half an hour, woken up to do garden work, and then came in and read posts and left my second comment. My sounding strange was just because I was tired and out of it.

    As for cheap shots, I don’t think you took one, and even if you did I don’t think I would care unless you actually intended malice. I’m more concerned with low-blows than cheap shots, since I’ve been known to throw a few of the latter myself. =)

    And shortly, thankfully, I get to go to bed and sleep. I hope.

  28. Linda said,

    Oh, OK. Yes I thought you were annoyed. I don’t think I know how you usually sound. Post more often, then I’ll get to know, OK?

  29. Omnius said,

    Sounds like a fair deal to me. 🙂

  30. Linda said,

    And by the way — it’s my own damn fault I don’t know how you usually sound. I meant to be reading your blog but had a crazy week. I’m fixing that right now.

  31. AO said,

    Is this rain ever going to stop??

  32. Anonymous said,

    AO, it will, and you’ll be sitting by the pool drinking wine and fanning yourself and saying, what a gorgeous summer it turned out to be after all. Don’tcha think?

  33. Linda said,

    That was the usual suspect.

  34. Linda said,

    Do you suppose it’s any use to try and fix Keanu up with Lindsay?

    http://www.movies.msn.com/celebs/article.aspx?news=224827&GT1=7701

  35. AO said,

    HEY!! Fix him up with me before you start thinking about Lindsay.

  36. Linda said,

    So … do realize he’s looking for someone to have his children? You’d sign on for that, AO?

  37. AO said,

    Um…no. But, it would be fun trying! 🙂

  38. Linda said,

    Hey, if you are truly looking for new opportunities, i see that Beyonce is looking for an all-girl band, quick. AO, can you play any of the following instruments? and can you get to Weehawken, NJ for the audition on Monday?

    “The band will include drummers, keyboard players, bassists, guitarists, horn players and percussionists.”

    Do a little traveling, make new friends .. but don’t forget the Lost Solers, if you go on the road and become a big star, OK?

  39. K2 said,

    Some advice I just heard on the ol’ radio: ‘Be thankful you’re living. Drink up and go home.’

  40. AO said,

    Nope, can’t play ANY instrument. And, I have no idea who Beyonce is. I’m also not a fan of N.J.

    Good advice, K2. Now…drink up young man!!! That’s an order!!!

  41. Mainetarr said,

    I almost just peed in my pants reading the police log. THAT was funny. AO, Beyonce was in Destiny’s Child and sings Crazy in Love. I love her. I want to look just like her. She is the one who coined the phrase Bootylicious.

  42. Linda said,

    Hey hello MT. What’s new? Rainy drive?

  43. AO said,

    Still don’t know who she is and, if she coined the phrase “Bootylicious” well…’nuf said!

  44. "The Weasel" said,

    Dan’s last words “pass the pudding”

  45. Anonymous said,

    From all that I hear, that seems appropriate.

  46. K2 said,

    As they say in NY, New Jersey is the arm pit of the earth.

  47. Mainetarr said,

    wow, it sure is dead in here today…you guys missed a good book signing yesterday. And you also missed some kick ass food at Bugaboo!!

  48. K2 said,

    The . . . endless . . . rain . . . sapping . . . my . . . strength. . . . Must . . . blog . . . on. . . .

    Bugaboo is like the word ‘niggardly.’ I switched to ‘penurious’ years ago, for safety’s sake.

  49. Mainetarr said,

    Good thinking K2. I hear you about the rain. The sun is just peeking through right now, but I hear we are expected to have rain until Wednesday. uggg!

  50. AO said,

    The sun IS out! Well, what do ya know, Bert!

  51. Linda said,

    Sun’s out here — I got rained on earlier but that was then — now the SUN IS SHINING!

  52. Mainetarr said,

    And just like that, poof, the sun is hidden by clouds. You know how hard it is to house break a dog in the constant rain? WTF?!

  53. Linda said,

    Yeah, puppies, that could be a problem.

    My dog, who will swim in any river, pond, puddle or swamp, hates to go out in the rain. He’ll stand in the doorway and look out, going “hrrmph,” then he’ll look at us complainingly as if the rain were our idea.

  54. LaFlamme said,

    Speaking of puppies, that Milo is heroic. He came to the book signing and, did he get people to flock over? Oh, yes he did! Damn, that is one charismatic dog.

  55. jarheaddoc said,

    How many books did he get people to buy, mark? I’m sure his cut of the profits, such as they are, would be pretty simple: a bone, scratch his ears, or his belly, or maybe have MT teach you that special rub!

    That’s what I like about dogs: they are such simple people, with simple needs

  56. Mainetarr said,

    You’re just jealous cuz you don’t get that special rub, JH.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: