To My Relatives
If you are reading this, I am dead. Or I am close to death. Or you have been snooping through my papers.
Let’s assume that I am dead. I HEREBY REQUEST that you, my relatives and kin, carry out my wishes regarding the following:
MY LETTERS: As you will see in the garage, boxes No. 12 through 26 contain my letters. I have saved every letter I have ever received, including letters from collection agencies. Please go through the letters, reading each one, and divide them into important and unimportant letters.
I donate the important letters to you, my relatives, to divide fairly among yourselves. I urge you to go back through the “unimportant” letters and see if there might still be some important ones in there.
MY PETS: Please adopt and provide loving homes for my dogs, Snappy and Bitey; my cat, Sprayer; and my goldfish, Methuselah.
MY CLOTHING: Please help yourself to my suits. You will notice that, because of my unusual physique, the suit pants are size Extra Extra Large and Extra Extra Extra Large, while the suit jackets are size Tiny and Extra Tiny.
MY LIBRARY: Please donate my collection of books—all five of them—to the local library.
PORNO: Also, please donate my pornography collection (boxes 30 to 45) to the local library.
MY COINS: In the attic, you will find many, many quart jars of pennies. I’m not sure how many. Please spend these pennies on whatever you would like. You may want to cash them in at the bank. However, I’m told that banks will not accept pennies unless they are wrapped in coin wrappers. Maybe that could be a family project, to remember me by.
MY GUNS: As some of you know, I have many guns, scattered throughout the house. Most are loaded, so please be careful opening drawers, closets, and medicine cabinets.
MY PUSH LAWNMOWER: Please donate this to Goodwill, after first cleaning off all the bits of grass and dog poop that have got stuck on it over the years. Also, please sharpen the blades with the hand sharpener (somewhere in box 28). Oil and rebalance the wheels.
MY CAR: Sorry, but it’s still stuck in the surf at Party Beach. It’s yours if you can tow it out.
MY “MURDER”: Please send an anonymous letter to the police, claiming that my friend Don killed me.
MY SAFE-DEPOSIT BOX: Attached to this letter is a key. It is the key to my safe-deposit box. Take the key to the bank and open the box. Inside you will find another key. This is the spare key to the box. Take both keys to the bank officer in charge of safe-deposit boxes and close out the account. You may have to fill out some paperwork and pay for back rent.
TRAPDOOR: The trapdoor no longer works. I think the neighborhood kids broke it. Please cover the button with a piece of duct tape.
SKULL: As you’ve probably noticed, there is a human skull on the shelf in the dining room. This was sold to me as the skull of Khrushchev, the Russian leader. It was a damned lie! I don’t even think it’s Russian! Still, it’s pretty cool. First dibs gets it. (Suggestion: as a funny gag, put a cigarette between its teeth, like he’s smoking it.)
MY WIND CHIMES: As you know, I have more than a hundred wind chimes hanging down from the eaves of my house. Please help yourself. Unfortunately, some of the wind chimes have been damaged by the next-door neighbors.
MY REMAINS: Please have me cremated. Then form the ashes into the shape of me. Then deep-fry me. Then bury me with full military honors (even though I was never in the military).
MY HOUSE: A real-estate agent told me that my house, if it were totally renovated (plumbing, electrical, roof, etc.), and if the bats and raccoons and yellow jackets could be expelled from the attic, and if somehow the house’s “tilt” could be fixed, would sell for about what I paid for it forty years ago.
I smell another family project! ♦