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My Living Will 

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Life is a sacred thing. Particularly, I would like to point out, my life. So no one should kill me—no matter what.

Even if I’m totally begging to be killed, and you’re like, “Well, it’d be pretty easy to kill this guy,” don’t. It can be tempting sometimes, I know. But even if my brain has turned into a bowl of Wisconsin cheese soup and every important bodily function of mine is conducted via rubber tubing, my life is a very special thing and I still have a lot to add.

Sure, if I’m in a persistent vegetative state, I may not be someone you want to invite to your party, but I can still do many important things like blink, moan and defecate via some rubber tubing—all of which can be fun at parties. Still don’t want to invite me to your party? Well, I probably wouldn’t even want to come, anyway. And it would be hard for me to get there, too, since my arms and legs wouldn’t work.

I’ve told my wife how sacred my life is and how, even if I’m in a coma for 30 years, she shouldn’t kill me or date or move on in any way. And she promises she won’t. But I wonder.

She seems like a nice lady, but I’ve seen indications that she could very well be a plug-puller. For instance, a beloved family fish of ours recently fell victim to a vicious flushing by her hand. Sure, he had taken to spending most of his time floating belly up on the surface of his fish bowl with one eye closed. But his other eye was open and he could still move his fin a little. Using my completely foolproof slippery slope line of reasoning (e.g., legalization of gay marriage will inevitably lead to the world catching on fire and Satan ruling over us all from his velvet throne), if she can flush a fish, would it be so hard to see her flushing me down a metaphorical toilet? Or even a real one?

As a precaution against this happening, I carry a note with me at all times, spelling out my wishes should I fall into a lengthy coma:

“If you’re reading this letter, I am probably in a persistent vegetative state. But wait: Perhaps, I am only very, very drunk. Have I recently demanded taquitos? Have I made a clumsy grab at your breasts? If the answer to both of these questions is no, chances are I am in apersistent vegetative state. (Just to be extra sure, poke me with a stick.) Either way, though, don’t kill me!

“Is my wife nearby? Is she with someone cute? Does he have a bigger penis than me? Ask casually—try not to make a big deal about it. But if he does (I’m somewhere between 4 centimeters and a foot), shoo them both away from the plugs that govern my life functions! Did my wife’s boyfriend run away like a girl? That figures. But that’s what you get with a penis like that.

“If my parents are there, see if they remember the time I flunked out of college and cost them $10,000. Does my mom remember the time I got her cigarettes for Mother’s Day? Does my dad remember the time I was playing third base in Little League, and I wet my pants? Again, ask casually. If they remember any of this, get them out of the room immediately—and wait for my persistent vegetative state to come to a sudden end.”

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About The Author

Joe Bartenhagen

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