Not-So-Famous Last Words

I’ve never been mugged. I’m beyond positive that posting those four words will open the door for it to happen in the future, but don’t fret – I’ve already put my knuckles to wood, three quick knocks should, at the very least, buy me some time. I don’t have any numbers in front of me, but I suspect getting killed after a mugging is the rarest of the multiple, possible endings to that crime. But in my head, when I construct a narrative around the act, starring myself of course, it typically ends with my assailant ushering me to the next world via a gun or knife. Which is why I walk around armed with one liners I hope I have the strength to deliver to him or her, should he or she stick around long enough to hear them. That Tom Hanks’ gangster movie might have been the impetus for such an exercise. I believe Paul Newman tells Mr. Hanks’ character, “I’m glad it was you,” right after Hanks shoots him to death. Newman was Hanks’ father in that film, so there is some rationale behind those last words. I’d like to think that when a stranger finishes me off, out on some dark street, presumably late at night, that my uttering the same – “I’m glad it was you.” – would at the very least screw with my mugger-killer’s mind for a few days, weeks, months, or years. I’ve got other one-liners, and for a short period of time, my friends and I made a game of it: What one last thing would you say to the stranger who mugged and killed you? Other answers, my own and theirs, have included: “Ain’t we a pair raggedy-man,” “your shoe is untied (followed by a last second pop to the nose),” and “now the world will never get to see my special brand of dance.” We have dozens, but for me that Newman line, if it was Newman at all, really stands the best shot of making the jerk who iced me uncomfortable for a while. I’ll be the first to admit that I am probably giving cretins and criminals far too much credit here, and that they’d probably not think about it much given their crystal-methed state of being, but if there is some sort of being to welcome me upon my arrival to the other side – at least he might say, “Nice one, Rosch!” I can’t imagine a little humor would be a bad way to start phase two, and it’ll be good to have an almost instantaneous new friend there.

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