The Spectre Of Death In Chapel Hill

A typical vacation afternoon in the Rees house: I’m googling “artisanal pencil sharpening” while my mom weaves baskets and my dad reads the obituaries.

My dad is talking about how sometimes obituaries say “So-and-so died,” but sometimes they say “So-and-so has returned home” or “So-and-so left this world for the next one,” or whatever.

Of course, this led to a discussion of how my dad wants his obituary to read. He’s a modest person who likes Shaker furniture so of course he wants to keep it simple; he wants the lede to be: “Philip Rees died.”

Then he thought and said, “I want it to read: ‘Philip Rees died after a courageous battle with boredom and pointlessness …'”

Dude, we about had to write my obituary on that one, because I was DYING with laughter.

But then we realized: The very fact that his would be the greatest opening sentence in obituary history actually meant his life had not been pointless!

It’s like Death is a snake made out of newspaper obituaries eating its own tail or something! Total mind-blow. We had to eat tomato sandwiches just to keep our minds from melting.