I'm also counting on medical science to mix up some stem cells in a Petri dish and start creating replacement organs in time to replenish my own decaying pumps and filters. So, barring nuclear Armageddon, a freak bus accident or artificial sweeteners giving me cancer, I plan to be right here with a bottle of Viagra in my bionic hand until I'm around a hundred and twenty. Why 120? I don't know, it just sounds like a nice round number. Plus, my offspring will be in their 80s by then and I'll be able to check out knowing that they probably can't get themselves into too much trouble from there forward. I like to keep an eye on things.


I also have trouble envisioning an afterlife that could compete with the filthy, beautiful chaos swirling around here on planet earth. Lounging my way through eternity in a Shangri-La of love and lack of need strikes me as a little on the boring side. Sure, it probably beats spending your days being chewed up by Satan's molars, but it doesn't take much to compete with that. Although, who knows, maybe you get a fifteen minute break to swing on the dark one's uvula every hour or two, that'd be kind of fun. And, where exactly is the 90% of the population know as life's jag offs going to be during all of this? Is there a non-jag off section of heaven where I could be placed? Would I even qualify? I know it's hard to believe, but there are one or two misguided souls that interpret my magnetic charm as jag off designation worthy. So you see, I really have no choice but to stretch this life out like giant piece of taffy and hope it doesn't get to thin in the middle. If there is something after the curtain drops, I'll deal with it when I get there, but for right now, I'm staying on stage for as long as I can.   


This topic may seem to be a bit cryptic to be penned on a sunny, summer day by a man in the self-defined prime of his life, but as of late, I've had to ponder such matters. You see, my wife and I recently set up a trust, to ensure that our massive debt is in good hands in the event of our untimely deaths. It seems like an easy enough process; you pick some poor bastard that will have to slog through the quagmire of your life after you're gone, sign a few papers and then sit back and hope said poor bastard is never called into service. And for the most part, that is what it is, but there's a little more to it than thatÖthere's always a little more to everything, isn't there?


One of the papers you have to sign outlines your funeral arrangements. Now, I've always pictured my funeral to be quite an affair; huge standing room only crowd, men weeping and laughing at the same time, inconsolable women and children, former lovers pounding the carpet and screaming, "Why, why!" (a small corner would probably suffice for this section), while mourners from other more lack luster funerals look on in envy and wonder of who this Chuck Scott was and how he'd come to touch so many lives. Not only is this scene unlikely, but it comes off as a little self-absorbed to be put into words while sitting across from your lawyer on a fine Tuesday morning at the tender age of 43. And isn't it financially irresponsible to actually have the full blown viewing for two or three days, just so people can file past and take a gander at the lifeless pile of flesh that used to be me? I mean quite honestly, I'm not very good looking in my present state of animation, I doubt any amount of formaldehyde and polished mahogany is going to significantly improve matters. So, all the general public is going to get for its trouble is a few hours of staring at an urn and maybe one or two air brushed photos designed to subliminally trick people into remembering me as handsome. And if I've picked my trustee correctly, he will have the good sense to schedule this hootenanny in an honest to goodness saloon. I've always held fast to the belief that drunks make better mourners, there's nothing like a little liquid drama to insure a more teary-eyed spectacle. Of course, in doing so, I run a greater risk of having my ashes defiled by a vomiting mourner, but given the fact that I have vomited on some of the mourners while still alive, it would almost seem appropriate.


The lawyer also advised my wife and me to get substantial life insurance policies. I, for one am not entirely comfortable with this arrangement. Not that I think my wife is that diabolical, but a large insurance settlement combined with my many annoying habits might actually tip the scales in favor of poisoning my food. Truth be told, if she were to create a list of pros and cons for employing such a maneuver, I'm not sure I'd be able to come up with any legitimate argument for ditching the plan. Actually, having a term life insurance policy is probably one of the most comforting things I've ever possessed. If I live for the duration of the policy, great, that's the plan after all, but if I die, I do so with the full knowledge that my last act on this planet will be coming out on the winning end of an investment strategy and sticking it to an insurance company at the same time. And while my cackling laughter during my last minutes will probably be chalked up to hysterical dementia or shock, it will actually be the product of my picturing an AIG agent writing out a hefty check, while mouthing the words, "that son of a bitch!" as I slip into the great beyond. That alone is worth the monthly premium.  


So, I'm prepared to die, which is probably the best assurance I could ever have that it isn't happening any time soon...especially if I keep having the dog taste my food before I eat it.