and they go to an orientation in heaven. They are all asked, “When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning you, what would you like to hear them say about you?
The first guy says, “I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor in my time and a great family man.”
The second guy says, “I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and a school teacher who made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow.”
The last guy replies, “I would like to hear them say…‘Look, he’s moving’!!”
One day I called someone up and got the wrong number. I apologized profusely but then realized just an apology was not enough. I offered some money as partial compensation and then threw in some stocks and bonds at the last minute. Then I thought, perhaps if I could take their address and send them everything I own, then take a journey to Tibet to acquire wisdom, I could then inform them of the truth, something money could not buy. Naturally they were still indignant, but were at least convinced of my sincerity in wanting to make it right. They suggested that after I go to Tibet, I kill myself, thus offering my last breath as penance. This seemed slightly out of line, but not being a good businessman, I agreed.
So now I’m in Tibet, standing on my head on a llama, thinking ’bout the day I got dat wrong number.
—Steve Martin, “Wrong Number,” from Cruel Shoes, (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1979), 61-62.
“Mrs. Larson, you’re not going deaf in your left ear. You seem to have a suppository stuck in there!”
“Well, now I know what happened to my hearing aid.”
I started with the phone book. Looking up Mensa was not going to be easy, what with having to follow the strict alphabetizing rules that are so common nowadays. I prefer a softer, more fuzzy alphabetizing scheme, one that allows the mind to float free and “happen” upon the word. There is pride in that. The dictionary is a perfect example of overalphabetization, with its harsh rules and every little word neatly in place. It almost makes me want to go on a diet of grapes and waste away to nothing.