Never too early to think about how you want to be re­mem­bered

The Catoosa County News - - COMMENTARY - Dick Yar­brough

Do me a fa­vor, will you? I would greatly ap­pre­ci­ate it if you would see that my obituary gets printed as is, just in case I hap­pen to kick the bucket or cash in my chips or buy the farm or any other eu­phemism that you deem ap­pro­pri­ate for the oc­ca­sion.

Let me say em­phat­i­cally that I have no plans to die anytime soon. I have sock draw­ers to re­ar­range, po­lit­i­cal egos to prick and sun­sets to pon­der. I got a glimpse of death a few weeks ago and didn’t like what I saw. Ev­i­dently, Death wasn’t crazy about the ex­pe­ri­ence ei­ther and gave me a pass. A good friend sug­gested that the rea­son I sur­vived the or­deal is that God wasn’t ready for me and the devil wouldn’t have me. What would I do with­out my friends?

But that ex­pe­ri­ence did make me think about how I want to be re­mem­bered. The best way to do that is to go ahead and get it down on pa­per like I want and then de­pend on kind souls like you to see that it gets in the pa­per that way I wrote it.

I know I’m ask­ing a lot of you, but when you con­sider the count­less hours I have spent try­ing to pro­vide you state-of-the-art, cut­ting edge ob­ser­va­tions on ev­ery­thing from 10 im­por­tant facts you need to know about tree stumps to why that fat, ugly toad in North Korea should worry less about blow­ing the world up and more about get­ting a de­cent hair­cut. Surely, you can do this one lit­tle thing for me? Please clip and save:

“Dick Yar­brough, a mod­est and much-beloved colum­nist, re­cently kicked the bucket, cashed in his chips, bought the farm or any other eu­phemism that seems ap­pro­pri­ate for the oc­ca­sion.

“While giv­ing no specifics, a spokesper­son in­di­cated the cause may have been a case of tech­nol­ogy over­load. Af­ter lis­ten­ing to a guy in In­dia try­ing to ex­plain why AT&T wouldn’t al­low him to Google Ya­hoo un­less he pro­vided his 37-digit PIN num­ber or an­swer his se­cu­rity ques­tion: What was the name of your best friend’s cousin’s gold­fish, Yar­brough sup­pos­edly swal­lowed his lap­top whole.

“Dick’s much-ad­mired mag­na­nim­ity to­ward the plethora of id­iots with the temer­ity to dis­agree with him while he was on this earth has likely qual­i­fied him for eter­nal life. If given a choice, he would pre­fer it be spent in Athens, Geor­gia, the Clas­sic City of the South and home to the Univer­sity of Geor­gia, the old­est stat­e­char­tered univer­sity in the na­tion. No word on whether or not he has been pre-ap­proved for ad­mit­tance but if so, he would like for it to be on a crisp, bright Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon in the fall while the Dawgs are wear­ing out some un­for­tu­nate in­vaders be­tween the hedges and the Red­coat band is play­ing, ‘Glory, glory to old Geor­gia.’ If that isn’t heaven, what is?

“Along with an un­canny abil­ity to put com­mas where they don’t be­long and omit­ting them where they do, Dick Yar­brough was best known as a uni­fier of oth­er­wise dis­parate groups of peo­ple. From loud-talk­ing, know-it-all Yan­kees to Bap­tists who think tot­ing a gun to church is a ‘sanc­tity-of-life’ is­sue (‘Thou Shalt Not Kill Ex­cept Af­ter the Love Of­fer­ing and Be­fore the Clos­ing Hymn’), to su­per­cil­ious lib­er­als who con­sider Bill Clin­ton the God of Love to politi­cians who suck up to pub­lic school teach­ers when run­ning for re-elec­tion and then spend the rest of their time un­der­min­ing pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion — all share a sim­i­lar opin­ion of the man, which prob­a­bly doesn’t be­long in an obituary in a fam­ily news­pa­per.

“To his ador­ing pub­lic, he be­queaths his ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of Bo­li­vian postage stamps, a rarely­heard eight-track tape of ‘Lawrence Welk’s Hip-Hop Clas­sics’ and a copy of his soon-to-be re­leased book, ‘Fifty Ways to Hate Broc­coli.’”

OK, that’s about all I can think of that I would like in­cluded in my obituary. You may ask why I didn’t list my No­bel Peace Prize, Heis­man Tro­phy and the fact that peo­ple are al­ways con­fus­ing me for ac­tor Brad Pitt. (I’m a cou­ple of inches taller.)

That would sound like brag­ging and, as you know, one of my re­deem­ing qual­i­ties is my re­luc­tance to brag. I’m ex­tremely proud of that. How­ever, if you think it is im­por­tant to add these items to my obituary, please do so. It’s your call. Af­ter all, what do I care? I plan to be in Athens on a crisp, bright eter­nal Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon singing “Glory, glory.”

You can reach Dick Yar­brough at dick@ dick­yarbrough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Geor­gia 31139 or on Face­book at www.face­book.com/dick­yarb.

Philoso­pher & pun­dit

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