The Last Laugh is On Me
by Saralee Perel
When my husband, Bob, and I were walking through Beechwood Cemetery in Centerville, he shook his head and said, "Epitaphs are so serious."
"Right, Bob. Strange, isn't it?" I walked ahead of him, knowing full well where this talk was going.
He caught up with me. "W. C. Fields wanted his epitaph to read, 'On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia.' Want to hear what I want?"
Apparently he thought I said, "YES! TELL ME!" He went on, "I'd rather be at Burger King, but then again, that's why I'm here in the first place."
Suddenly he stopped and looked at me lovingly. "I changed my mind. Our epitaphs should be an everlasting communication between each other."
"What a beautiful thought." I reached out to hug him but he was busy taking notes.
He said, "My first line will read, 'There once was a girl from Nantucket.'"
That night I couldn't sleep. I get goofy when I don't sleep. I was thinking that the people who die never get to hear their own eulogies. So I wrote my own.
When I woke Bob and told him, I added, "Everyone at my funeral will hear the truth instead of some made-up fairy tale of what an incredibly amazing person I was."
"Let's hear it."
Fifty-five time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Saralee Perel, will be missed by everyone in the universe… and elsewhere.
Bob interrupted, "I guess you haven't been sleeping."
Known as the Mother Teresa of the 21st century, Saralee gave millions of dollars to the neediest. Insisting on anonymity, she disguised herself as Oprah. If it wasn't for Saralee, Donald Trump would be living in a trailer down by the river.
Saralee is the only psychiatrist who could rehabilitate Charlie Sheen. At his first session, he swaggered into her office and chain-smoked cigarettes. Instead of answering her questions, he'd respond by singing: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me." By his last session, he had quit smoking (anything). While he was talking to Dr. Perel, he was knitting tiny pink booties for his poodle. He left her office singing, "I'm a little teapot."
Because of her beauty and unparalleled gorgeous body, Saralee was often mistaken for Jenifer Aniston. Coincidentally she was, in fact, Aniston's personal trainer.
By the age of seven, Saralee received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contribution to world literature for her New York Times bestselling book, "My Autobiography: A Profile in Courage.
"Bob," I said, snapping my fingers to stop his face from being stuck in that stunned expression. "Now I'll read my newspaper obituary. I want people to know the real me, not some lofty made-up stuff about how benevolent I am."
Saralee died from asphyxiation while screaming her head off about how benevolent she is, at which point friends and family surrounding her put a pillow over her head.
She is not survived by anybody worth mentioning.
According to her wishes, Saralee was buried with the Oscar she won for writing and starring in the remake of "Titanic." She brilliantly changed the ending so that instead of the ship sinking, the passengers were rescued by the pirate, Johnny Depp, after which they all partied on the deck eating Chinese take-out.
She was also buried with her Olympic gold medal for the coveted honor of winning first place in the category: "Rock. Paper. Scissors."
Saralee was most proud of being nominated and accepted by the prestigious society, The Who's Who of Owls.
Visiting hours will be held at the end of her driveway in Marstons Mills, anytime. Knock on the front door and Bob will toss her over his shoulder and lug her out. BYOB.
An informal mass and barbeque will be held in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. In lieu of donating money to charitable foundations, send exorbitant useless gigantic flower arrangements.
"Bob?" I called out. "Can you hear all this from the kitchen?"
"No. That's why I'm here."
So I yelled louder, "All I have to do now is my epitaph for my tombstone."
He slowly came into the room. "I'll write it," he said solemnly.
Get my drift, I ask of thee.