Firstly, let’s get one thing straight: I plan on living forever, infinitely, until the end of time, until the collapse of reality. Why shouldn’t I? I’m doing pretty swell so far…
… But it is better to be safe than sorry. At least according to my dead Uncle Emmanuel it is. Lot of good that did him, practiced good safety all his life and then one night he just didn’t wake up. His heart stopped cold. He was only eighty-three years young.
But I do have some demands on the off chance I do happen to die. I agree that it is selfish to want things of people after you stop living, but I’m on to something here. I’m Babe-Ruthing that the next big fad in social media is DIY online Living Wills. No lawyers, no bullshit. Just update as you go. Aunt Debbie pisses you off? Write her out of the will. She doesn’t deserve any of your…oh wait, a Passover card….from Aunt Debbie? With a check for a hundred bucks?
She’s back in the will. That easy.
In the interest of spear-heading innovative trends in internet memes, submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, without further ado, I present unto thee:
The Living Will of Jake Reber
In the unlikely event of my demise, the first thing you should do is raid my body for all it’s worth. Donate all the organs, I sure as Hell won’t need them. All of them, that is except for my intestines.
My intestines will be used to make Bass strings, which are to be put on my Upright Bass. I realize that gut strings are traditionally made from sheep intestine, but after a lifetime of variable bowl consistencies ranging from highly loose to diamond-hard and pelletine, I’m sure my intestines will be resilient enough to forge at least a decent ‘G’ or ‘D’ string. Please shoot for the full set, though. I have never heard of anyone performing this procedure but I can point you towards Germany or Japan as likely willing candidates. No country on Earth is more depraved sexually or musically than those guys. They’ll love it.
With my Bass now strung with Jake-gut strings, I will live forever in my music. I have loved my Bass more than any woman I have ever known, but just like a woman, if I’m dead I won’t be satisfying her. So just be sure my bass goes to someone who will only play it occasionally, if not regularly. The strings are never to be changed, but every June 4th (my birthday) as well as on the anniversary day of my death (hopefully the same day as whenever Tom Waits dies). Be sure to get it in the studio to record with it, so I can be some kind of weirdo posthumous carnie legend in a couple decades.
If I slip into a coma, don’t rule out I might return in some convoluted comic-book rebirth. Don’t keep me on the feeding tube. Just pull the plug; I’ll figure something out. Captain America and Batman both died from getting shot, but they actually just went back in time and managed to fight their way out it. Neither of those guys needed their bodies to do it so I’m not super-worried about it.
Nextly, never under any circumstance hold up traffic for my death. No funeral procession. The general population need not to be inconvenienced by some asshole they don’t know/care about dying, and I’m no better than any other asshole.
Just burn what’s left of my organ-less body Viking style and put my Bass in casket if you have a funeral. Be sure to hire a band to play that will make sure to put the ‘fun’ in ‘funeral.’ And get a keg of New Albanian Elector. Or have it Groucho’s.
I do not wish to be buried as I will be dead and have little use for a plot of land. But if you want to make statue of me, that is fine. Just don’t make it creepy like those Shriner's statues. A child and a fez is the worst possible combination of accessories to adorn a statue with.
Engraved into the statue will be the following epitaph:
“If only intelligence was measured by how much obscure music you know...Jake Reber wouldn't have been such a fucking moron.”-Raanan Hershberg
The statue will be paid for by auctioning off all my possessions that aren’t my Bass. If I don’t amass any more wealth by the time of my death then I don’t mind if it is made of chicken-wire and paper-mâché. Just make sure to pay the artist and tip well.
Deactivation of my Facebook account and other online identities will be the responsibility of my next of kin, as I need not be wasting precious internets with that shit. In case of my return, I will simply create a new identity of ‘Jacob Thomas Emmanuel Reber, Version 2.0.’ Who knows, I may even add third middle name if I feel so inclined. Depends on how many cybernetic components my body has.
And in closing, my final wish is to have my likeness dressed as Abe Lincoln to replace the actual portrait of Abe Lincoln on the $5 bill. He can keep the penny, as well as his $1 coin. Even if I somehow fulfill my 8th grade superlative award prediction of, “Most Likely to Become President” and even prove myself to be a good enough one to merit my own portrait on a bill of currency, just give me the fiver as Abe and call it a wash.
Enjoy your lives!