Intriguing Stories

Life Ain't Good Unless it Drapes All Over Ya

Generally it's considered poor form, at least by Western cultural standards, to jump off a bridge as a means of snuffing it. Perhaps this needs to be re-examined in the light of deterioration due to aging and the giddy influence of Prozac.

Take my uncle for example. He was considered at times by others in the family to be a bit odd. Clothes were his big thing. He left behind a basement stuffed with racks of some really decent rags scattered among the bizarre ones, fur coats and God knows what else. He had enough shoes to make Emelda Marcos green with envy. Loose and baggy was the style. As far as he was concerned, clothing hit its peak there and just couldn't hope to get any better, so that was the rule. He summed it up quite well in a single sentence,

"Clothes ain't good unless they drape all over ya."

He was definitely not one to mince words and always had a formula worked out to handle any situation. Take a family get-together on Thanksgiving, for example. If you asked everyone in turn how they were doing with the standard over-eating binge, there was always a flurry of good words about the grub, the weather and anything else that came to mind. When it came his turn, a typical comment would be more on the order of,

"I surely didn't like those floating potatoes."

That's it. No further comment. Generally at that point it didn't matter because everyone turned away and pretended it never happened and that maybe when they turned back again he would not be there. This I consider to be a little bit contradictory even for him. You would think that for someone whose take on food in general was,

"Boiled dinners...them is the best kind."

would be much more amicable to a floating potato or two. Maybe I just don't quite understand the subtle distinctions between boiled and floating dinners. Maybe I'm blessed because of that.

But, who can fault him for expressing his opinion. He fancied himself as a good checkers player. But don't get caught offguard by him in a triple jump, particularly after contemplating your move for a decent amount of time. The longer you thought about it, the worse the words stung,

"You studied long, but you studied wrong."

Anyhow, as the years piled on, his dancing years finally began to taper off. He was a real live one and danced himself silly well into his 70's. But the 80's took their toll and life became a drag. He talked about suicide for a couple of years, but considering his track record no one really took him seriously.

So when one night he went over the edge and plowed face first into the rocks at the bottom of the bridge, some people were taken quite by surprise. But he was no slouch. He had used up just about all of his accumulated fortunes and left virtually nothing of value behind to anyone else. And who cares? They just throw everything away anyway unless you leave behing a case of gold bars or a Van Gogh original or something really classy like that.

So tell me honestly, is it really such a bad thing to do yourself in while you still have the gumption and wherewithall to pull it off? And what about the honor aspect. Some societies (take Japan, for example) find it in the highest honorable tradition to remove oneself from the land of the living when it improves the general well-being of society. It's a good, noble sacrifice and takes great courage to perform properly.

So don't you agree that classes in basic bridge jumping should be provided for the entire populace? Doing it with dignity, honor and a flare for showmanship make the experience so much more pleasant and enjoyable for all that it makes no sense to have it any other way, not to mention doing oneself and everyone else a favor.

In conclusion, I think he was on the right track and almost made it. Too bad he had to check out just before reaching the ultimate revelation. He was so close. Because what he was really trying to say was,

"Life ain't good unless it drapes all over ya."
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