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 state-chartered 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 rarely-heard 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 Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb