Tue, 24 Feb 2004

Who knows, I might die soon. There’s mad cows and anthrax envelopes everywhere. It worries me sometimes.

It’s not that I’m worried about being dead, which I predict will be dull and peaceful. Kind of like Saskatchewan, but warmer and with less out-migration. But I’m a little worried I’ll be dead and no-one will remember I was ever here.

Okay, I guess by now Palace of Justice has stuck in a few people’s heads. (Sorry about that.) But it’s not enough for me. I want to leave my mark on the world. A big one. Maybe not Crater Lake big, but at least as big as the buttock indentation on Randy Bachman’s futon cushion.

So I make lists. My old list was, What do I want to accomplish before I die? It looked something like this:

2005. Hit single. Cover of Rolling Stone. (NOT Spin.) Musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Make out w/ Tina Fey. 10 Grammy nominations. Grammy date: Norah Jones? (Backup choice: Sporty Spice.) Win Best Hard Rock Alternative Performance. (Backup choice: Best Barbershop/Gospel Choir Performance.) Make out w/ Dixie Chicks. (NOT chubby one.)

2006. Write screenplay for cop buddy-movie. (Casting suggestion: Steve Buscemi w/ The Rock.) Cover of Premiere. Guest on Charlie Rose. Discuss Freudian themes in Dude Where’s My Car. 12 Oscar nominations. Oscar date: Scarlett Johansson? (Backup choice: Colleen from Survivor season 1.) Win Best Screenplay. Dedicate award to imprisoned Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi. Host benefit concert in Bangkok. Liberate thirty million Burmese. Make out w/ Aung San Suu Kyi.

2007. Star in pornographic video.

2008-24. Coast on fame.

2025. First permanent resident of Moon Colony.

But I’ve missed my chance. Unlike the rest of you, who will have the luxury of slowly accumulating successes over the course of long careers, I have to make my mark fast, while I’m still young and supple, before my imagination dries up. Who wants to watch a thirty-five year old rock star with thinning hair and giblet arms?

Now I’m making a new, less-ambitious list. I’ve relinquished all expectations of fame. I’ve accepted that I’m never going to have sex with starlets, run for Prime Minister, or wear seventy-five-dollar shoes. My new list is simply to finish those projects I’ve already started. While the paramedics are waiting for my corpse to deflate – wandering around my apartment, drinking my leftover juice boxes, poking through the drawers – I want them to see some hard evidence that I’ve done something with my life. I don’t want them to think, “Here’s a loser who never accomplished anything.” I want them to think, “Here’s a loser who finished what he started.”

So I’ve been sitting here all day trying to remember all the projects I’ve started, trying to decide which ones to abandon for good and which ones to dedicate my energy to completing. I’ve tossed out a lot. My rock opera about the Book of Revelation. My screenplay about the last man on earth (he spends most of his time masturbating). My play about Amor de Cosmos, the second Premier of British Columbia. Gone, gone, gone.

Now there are sixteen items left on my list. Come over to my place sometime, you can see it. I’ll stick it on my wall. Once I’m finished with those sixteen items, I can die. Meanwhile, I’m obliged to keep on living; and, ergo, working. Oh, well.


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