So It Goes
Wednesday, April 11, 2007. Kurt Vonnegut dies.
If you’ve never read any of Vonnegut’s works, you’re missing out. His brand of humor and insightfulness is unparalleled in the literary world. He is, without a doubt, my favorite author, and the world is a lesser place without him in it.
RIP Kurt Vonnegut.
In an article I read today about his passing, I was reminded that his mother committed suicide shortly before he left for World War II, and that he himself attempted suicide in 1984. His novels have always had a wry fascination with death. Per the article:
Vonnegut once said that of all the ways to die, he'd prefer to go out in an airplane crash on the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. He often joked about the difficulties of old age.
"When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life; old age is more like a semicolon," Vonnegut told the AP.
"My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide. And I'll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children."
Unlike Mr. Vonnegut, I have every intentions of offing myself when my Joie de Vivre is gone. If I contract terminal cancer, or Alzheimer’s, or some strange Hungarian squirrel flu which reduces me to a babbling shell of my former self – I’m outta here.
But I’ve gotta do it right.
One of my friend’s wife’s relatives committed suicide very recently. She hung herself. RIP Friend’s wife’s relative.
Vonnegut tried to kill himself with pills and alcohol. The success rate for that form of suicide is less than others. It’s a half-assed attempt – more of a cry for help than anything else.
But hanging yourself… imagine the effort and self-malice required to hang yourself. You’ve got to get a rope sturdy enough to hold your weight, then ascertain that the beam is also strong enough, then you have to tie a sure knot to the beam, making certain that the rope is exactly the proper length, then climb onto a chair or a box, sliding the noose around your neck, which you also need to ensure is not going to slip, and finally take the Big Step.
This would take some time to do – so someone that kills themselves via hanging has really thought it through. And, during the whole set-up process, I’d have to imagine that they realized that they were not going to die right away. No, they’ll just hang there, kicking, clawing, trying to draw a breath, the world getting lighter as they begin to pass out, the blood vessels in their face popping, and then, when the moment comes where they finally pass, their bowels release themselves.
And that’s how their loved ones find them – hanging there, dead, covered in shit.
It really seems like a bad idea.
No, no, Hiko ain’t goin’ out like that. When/if the doctors tell me that I’ve got terminal lung cancer and I’ve got a month to live, I’m gonna seek out everyone that I ever cared about, tell them I love them, tell them goodbye, then fly to Alaska, climb my dying ass as far as I can up Mt. McKinley, sit down, drink me a fifth of the finest scotch, and freeze to death.
Helluva last view.
***The other day, I was talking to one of my friends that lives in LA. He was discussing the latest West Coast self-improvement trend, most likely as he was downing a tofu smoothie. “It goes like this,” he explained. “You identify your two greatest faults, then you concentrate on fixing those first.”
“I have way more than two faults,” I joked.
“I know. Your list of faults makes War and Peace look like a pamphlet.”
Ha ha! Touché – Monsieur Assbag. “Too true, too true. So how can I narrow it down to just my two favorites?”
I thought about it. Let’s see… well, I’m bitter and negative. But I don’t really see those as faults – just logical repercussions of living in this sporked up world. In my mind, if you aren’t a pessimist, you been sniffin’ the glue too long.
I drink too much. But one must do what one must to suffer the fools (and for them to suffer me). Besides, I like it.
I’m immature. But that just helps me to relate to my kids. If you have to be a bitter negative drunk for the rest of your life, you might as well have some fun.
“This is difficult,” I told my friend, since I apparently have enough faults to fill the Sistine Chapel.
“Take your time,” he replied as he opened another package of delicious rice cakes.
“Well,” I finally said, “according to my girlfriend, I’m very impatient.” Actually, it’s not a question. I am. I can’t stand waiting. Don’t drive with me unless you long for the excitement of passing people on curves.
“OK – that’s one.”
“And I’m pretty sure I’m chronically lazy,” I mused.
“OK. There you go. So those are the two things you need to fix,” my friend pronounced.
I considered that for a moment.
“I would, but it sounds like a lot of work, and it would take too long,” I concluded.
Besides, it’s hard to be lazy and impatient at the same time. Who would want to sacrifice the equilibrium?
***4/12 – Cavs vs. Nets “Thoughts”: The first half of this game made Pittsburgh women look attractive. Even the ones that haven’t shaved their mustaches lately.
The second half was what they need to do if they ever hope to make a run in these playoffs.
They smashed a bad team at home. That’s what they should do. Not much else to say about it.
***4/14 – Cavs vs. Hawks “Thoughts”: I didn’t watch this game. I turned it on just before half to check the score, and after I saw the score, I didn’t really need to watch the Cavs rip off the Hawks’ collective arms and beat them with their own bleeding stumps.
Chicago has one game left – Wednesday at the Nets. If the Bulls win that game, they will be the #2 seed. Cleveland has two – Tuesday at Philly, and Wednesday at home vs. Milwaukee. They must win both and hope for a Bulls loss.
The optimist says “Hark! There is hope! New Jersey could beat Chicago!”
Well, you’d better sporking hope so, because the playoff route of Nets/Raptors/winner of Bulls-Heat-Pistons is a helluva lot better than Heat/Pistons/Bulls. Excuse me, sir – would you rather wrestle this de-clawed, paralyzed kitten, or this rhino we just castrated with a chainsaw?
It really yanks my colon, because I believe that the Cavs might’ve been able to get on a playoff roll and possibly come out of the East had they maintained the #2 seed. But since the Bulls will win on Wednesday, it’s all for naught. And we are headed for a first round exit courtesy of those bastages from Miami (the worst sports town in the history of the world – nay – the universe).
Lay off the glue and prepare thyself.
***Dear Mr. Hiko: I noticed that you don’t seem too fond of Brady Quinn. He’s the prototypical franchise QB, he played in a pro style system, and he loves the Browns. How can you not want Cleveland to draft him? Are you an idiot or just retarded?
Malachai, Shaker Heights
I see that you have memorized the platitudes that the draftniks have been listing regarding Mr. Quinn, and I commend you for your memory skills. The fact is that I like to use my personal judgment in these matters. I watched many Notre Dame games over the last two years, mostly so I could understand the hype that is Brady Quinn.
I have yet to get it. Not once did he strike me as anything special. A good player – yes. Special – no.
I don’t care about his stats, or the glowing praise of the pundits, or how tall he is or how many reps he can do at 225 or how far he can throw a discus or how many cheeseburgers he can eat in an hour. What I saw of Brady Quinn was a decent-but-not-great QB. And, I firmly believe that if your team is picking at #3 overall, you need to draft what might amount to a great player. The Browns may need a franchise QB, but you can’t force a square peg into an ear hole. The Browns need a lot of things, so you take the player that has the best chance to be great.
I think Quinn will do fine in the NFL, and will have a decent career. But that could be said about every damn last player drafted in the first two rounds. Would I cry if we drafted Quinn? Nah. He’s an upgrade over what we have at QB. But I wouldn’t be happy either, because I’d see it as a waste of a pick that high. And I’d hope like hell that I was wrong about Brady.
I hope that my mature response to your inflammatory question inspires you to think for yourself, and, agree or disagree, to respect the opinions of others. Now go spork yourself with a rusty crowbar.
Dear Mr. Hiko: Who do you want to see the Browns draft on April 28th?
1-Adrian Peterson, 2-Joe Thomas, 3-Calvin Johnson (even though we don’t need him, he’s the best player in the draft), 4-JaMarcus Russell, 5-Trade Down to the 7-10 range and take the best available Defensive Lineman not named Alan Branch.
Have a stupendous day,
Dear Mr. Hiko: I’ve been looking to invest, and I was wondering if you had any advice on which stocks/bonds might yield the highest net gain? Thanks in advance.
Hans, Corfu, Greece
You’re talking to someone that has to break into his 401k in order to afford beer. I wouldn’t give financial advice to a 10 year old. Go back in time and invest in Microsoft.
Dear Mr. Hiko: I’m 23 years old, and I’ve been dating a girl for the last 5 years who is the most wonderful, caring, understanding person I’ve ever met. I feel that she is not only my greatest love, but my best friend. She’s smart, attractive, and she nurses injured bunnies back to health. I can’t imagine my life without her. I know that I’m still young, but I think I’m ready. Should I ask her to marry me?
Hell no. Never marry your high school sweetheart, dumbass.
***With weather this shitty, we should at least get to watch football on the weekends.
***Only 12 days ‘til the draft, boys and girls. Day-um, I do love that day. WOO-FRICKITTY-HOO!
***Quote of the Week: “One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.” – Kurt Vonnegut