To Die For

Originally posted May 10, 2010

Last week my friend Ron (holla, Fink!) sent me a link to an article on Jalopnik. At first glance, I thought, Oh, it’s just a guy on a bike. On closer examination, I thought maybe it was a wax figure, but once I read the accompanying article, I discovered that David Morales Colón, who was gunned down at the tender age of 22 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was in fact, dead. Muerte.

His relatives eschewed the traditional open casket, the humble cremation urn and the dignified gold-plated casket (in the style of Michael Jackson) in favor of a more—or less…I can’t decide—morbid display. I mean, who’s to say that it’s less unsettling to see someone lying in a casket mimicking slumber than it is to see that same person straddling his beloved Honda CBR600 F4?

This dip into the uncharted waters of death really got me thinking. How would I want to be arranged for my wake if I chose to go a similar route? To get myself past the pearly gates, would I ask to be dressed in my favorite tennis skort and positioned on the baseline about to serve up an ace? Or would I prefer for them to dress me in that superfancy Dior I haven’t been able to wear during my time on Earth?

The dress has always felt just a little too over the top, so I always just hang it back in the closet, waiting for the perfect moment. This could finally be the right occasion for that little number. I mean, really—what bigger party could I be attending than the one welcoming me into heaven?

After ruminating for a few days on my own sartorial choices for the afterlife, I began to imagine the possibilities for a diverse selection of others who will all assuredly be deceased someday.

An exotic dancer or S Factor home enthusiast could be arranged upside-down and spread-eagle on the pole that was so close to her heart. Lady GaGa, Beyoncé and Madonna, should they die in this century’s version of the plane crash that killed Richie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, could be strategically placed on an enormous light-up stage—all three pantsless, of course.

Derek Jeter could be dressed in pinstripes, natch, and suspended mid-leap in a Red Sox–defying snag on a mock infield of Astroturf. Steven Tyler could be in skintight leather pants, shirtless, at a mike stand draped in scarves. I could go on, but then you’d think I was really weird.

I get that this is a slightly morbid line of thinking with which to occupy my idle-time thoughts, but it so appeals to my plan-ahead nature. I like to map out all the possibilities (and by that I mean outfits) for each and every situation. And thanks to the creativity of Colón’s relatives, I now see my wake as the last party for which I’ll ever have to dress up. It’d better be a doozy of an outfit.


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