Why do we do anything on this earth if tomorrow we could be hit by a bus…
Why bother losing weight,
eating a healthy diet,
getting the exercise my body requires
or quitting smoking
or cutting down the beer intake
from an ocean into
a narrow inlet
or going to the doctor
or visiting the dentist
or having that heart palpitation
checked out for sure?
Why bother, when tomorrow a runaway bus
could squash you like a beetle in the middle
of Main Street and not even know it hit you and
all of that effort and hard work will have been for nothing
and you will be just as dead as I will be when I croak from
due to one or several of the factors we have already listed?
Why bother, remember that famous runner that dropped dead?
He was in better shape than I will ever be and he died anyway.
Or that professional volleyball player.
Or Merv Splineshaft the garage mechanic he quit booze, quit smoking, figured he
was getting his life together when that tow truck rolled over him while
he was trying to pick up his pack of nicotine gum from under the wheels but
he forgot to set the parking brake. Squashed his head like a coconut.
Why bother when there is no guarantee that the sun will rise?
I am a Renaissance man, steeped in the teachings of
the, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” school. So
why exactly are you bothering with this effort?
Well…if the bus hits, I want my mind to be clear, like a tolling bell or a
deep blue alpine lake. I want my every cell to fully experience
being hit by a bus. I want every sensation, fracture, dislocation and
scream to be imprinted, mapped, cross referenced and recorded. I want to
be the healthiest man to ever be hit by bus. I want to survive
being hit by a bus and write a poem entitled, “On being hit by bus.” I
want to travel the world reading my poem and give people an insider’s
view of what it is like to get hit by bus. I will wager that people are
mighty curious about it. And I want to liberate hit by a bus from
its negative root. I want to interview hit by a bus for German television,
“So…Herr Bus, what is your take on all of the negativity surrounding you?”
“Well, Steven I’m just a poor kid from the streets of New York. I never figured I would
make it out of Grade Three much less be sitting here with you
discussing philosophy. But…I must say I am pretty disappointed that people use me as justification for their lassitude,
complacency and indifferent neglect. Hey…I mean it’s
cool with me if you’re lazy and all, you make a better target if you can’t waddle out of the way fast
enough, but there is no need to blame me. And you are right of course. I am not all negative.
I work at being positive. I consider myself, a genuinely transformative event. I
change people’s lives. Some for the better, most…well the benefits are not
really in plain view for all to see. And of course, you may not appreciate the shape or timing
of your transformation, but you will not be the same person after you meet me.
I can promise that.”
“Thank you for your time Herr Bus. I know I speak for everyone when I say, I like
you, but I hope that we do not meet again. Being hit by a bus once was
good enough for me. Thank you for coming on the show tonight.”
Oh, if I die after being hit by the bus, I want my epitaph
to read, “No muss, no fuss, he was hit by a bus.”
People will come from miles around to visit my grave, roast hot
dogs, eat macaroni salad and take pictures.
It will be great. I will finally be cool.
Besides I think that getting hit bus would be a far better death experience than
say slipping in a pool of your own vomit and cracking your head wide like a jumbo
brown egg on the toilet after a night of Renaissance tequila and beer chasers or having
your heart seize on sunny Sunday afternoon because you ate forty years of
cheeseburgers and french fries or because having your body
slowly crap out due to neglect and indifference.
I want people when they read my obituary to go,
“Whoaaaa…hit by bus? Man that sucks,” and
not, “Heart attack at 45?”
“Vomit? Fractured skull? In the bathroom?
That is sad, he was a smart guy, he really should have taken better care of himself.”
I’ll take the swift lightening bolt of tragic fate over a slow sad dissipation any day
of this God’s week.