Do you ever think of the art of leaving the world with a good one-liner? It is an art form, you know, though perhaps generally inadvertent. For instance, James Brown said, “I’m going away tonight.” Lewis Carroll said, “Take away those pillows, I shall need them no more.” Lou Costello said, “That was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted.” And Thoreau said, “Moose … Indian.”
Don’t misunderstand: I’m not expecting to need a good one any time soon. I was just thinking about it, and thought I’d have a bit of fun. so I’ve been making a list of little phrases that might serve on on the way out. Most are original, while some are based on the profundity of great thinkers from Oscar Wilde to Charlie Brown.
Let me know what you think. … Oh, and here’s a poem too.
- I hid the gold behind the …
- Well, I sure didn’t see this coming.
- Aw, who cut the cheese?
- Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
- And now for a word from our sponsor.
- Excuse me a moment.
- Somebody wind the clock.
- I smell pancakes.
- Time to piss on the fire and call the dogs.
- Good grief.
- Don’t tell me, let me guess.
- Is there any more pie?
- Stand back, let me handle this.
- Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.
- Now was all that really necessary?
- I make a motion to adjourn.
- Has anybody seen my hat?
- Well, that’s how they get ya.
- Tomorrow will be beautiful.
- Get the gate.
- Did you say wheat?
- Stop at the next gas station, I need to pee.
And finally …
- Don’t laugh, you’re next.
The Last Word
So this is what it’s like
to be alive. It is all
so difficult; the air and light
resist me. Even the music
makes me cry or laugh.
I expected we would have wings
and make love behind waterfalls.
I thought there would be
and elephants fearlessly singing.
I thought I could make you believe
in water running through rocks
between the trees.
You would bend down to drink
and find me living there
with the last word of the first poem
that would ever make you weep.
Then you would love me. Then
you would return my calls.
But here we are, living
on our oily streets
and the malignant traffic running
between us, helicopters
pounding down the sky.
The elephants are wise
and careful and very shy.
So I am leaving messages
for you: the last word
of every poem I write.
The Last Word by Kyle Kimberlin is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.
– Dorothy Parker
I don’t know what year it was, but my Sheltie Tasha was young, so I’d have to guess mid 1990s. We were walking on Coast Village Road in Montecito one day, and Jonathan Winters came up to us. I mean I saw him nearby, recognized him, but intended to leave him alone. That’s what I usually do when I see a celebrity: I leave them in peace. I could claim that it’s because they have a right to a personal life when they’re not working. But famous people make me nervous. Still, Jonathan Winters changed his course and walked up and started talking to me about my dog.
Tasha was exceedingly cute. But that’s not why we talked for awhile, about dogs and what a nice day it was, etc. We did because Jonathan Winters was simply an uncommonly nice guy.
My parents have a good story about meeting Winters one evening years ago, in the Carrows restaurant in Carpinteria. They struck up a conversation, he sat down at their table, with his wife, and they talked for a long time. He was so friendly and likable; not a molecule of the self-importance or conceit that it’s so easy to associate with celebrities.
Tasha and I saw Jonathan again in Montecito on another day, and we chatted again. I think I said something like, “Thank you for making us laugh.” I hope I did. Because it’s not as easy as it looks, to get that reaction. I imagine it’s something you have to be good at, without the effort that would make it false. And it’s even harder – just by being yourself – to be remembered for being openly, spontaneously gentle and friendly.
A long time has passed since my last post here. It’s troubling, for a guy who used to post daily. But the fall and winter have found me pacing the focs’le, adrift deep in the horse latitudes. No wind in my currents, and it’s even more disturbing that through my glass I see in the distance many good ships with full sails and following seas, moving well.
So I thought I would start the new year by sharing a testimonial, a tribute to the worth, the efficacy, the abounding helpfulness of my work. Just to motivate and cheer me up, you know? This was received by email through the contact form on my website, from someone in Asia, I believe.
I simply wished to thank you very much once again. I am not sure what I could possibly have created in the absence of the actual ways provided by you concerning this industry. Completely was a horrifying circumstance in my circumstances, however , seeing a professional avenue you processed it took me to cry over contentment. I will be happier for this assistance and thus believe you know what a great job you happen to be carrying out teaching people all through a web site. Most probably you have never got to know all of us.
I truly don’t know what to say. How very kind. I only wish I had the time to follow the accompanying link, to see what sort of adventure it might portend.
I’ve decided to close my Facebook account immediately. Tonight. The linked video will explain why, and I strongly advise you all to do the same.
It’s been great reconnecting with old friends but I’m outta there. If you’re connected with me on Facebook, you can still keep up with me through my MySpace page.
You’re on your own. Good luck!