Friday, May 5, 2017

Living Last Day Is Hard Work

There’s an old expression, “Live every day as if it were your last.” This is a nice sentiment, intended to encourage people to make the most of each day and not waste time. But did you ever think what would happen if you really lived each day as if it were your last? It might not turn out quite so sentimental.

The alarm clock buzzes at 5:30 a.m. I turn it off and lie back in bed. My wife nudges me and says, “C’mon, get up. You’ll be late for work.”

“Why bother?” I exclaim. “Payday is not until next week, and I’ll be dead by then.”

“What are you talking about?” she asks.

“Today is the last day of my life! I’m certainly not going to waste it by going to work!” I then pull the covers over my head and fall back to sleep.

My wife climbs out of bed and mutters, “I’ll call your boss and tell him you’re sick. And I WON’T be lying.”

After a while, I decide I should go to the office. “There are some things I’ve always wanted to say to certain customers,” I whisper to myself. “And since I’ll be dead tomorrow, it doesn’t matter if I get fired.”

I get up and drive to work — without buckling my seatbelt. Even though I drive at twice the posted speed limit, it takes me longer than usual to get to the office for two reasons: (1) I stop to buy a pack of cigarettes, figuring if I start smoking at this point it won’t exactly matter, and (2) the state trooper takes forever to write the tickets for multiple traffic violations.

It turns out I don’t spend too much time at the office. Security officials escort me to the front door soon after I call my three “most favorite” clients and tell them they look just like baboons — only not quite as smart. I thought it was a nice touch to jump up on my desk during the phone calls and do a Tarzan yell.

I spend the rest of the day living as if it were my last: test-driving new cars like Steve McQueen in “Bullitt”; going to the mall to use my VISA card in every single store; and buying a million-dollar life insurance policy so my wife will be able to clean up the credit card bills and assorted damage claims — using my VISA card to pay the premium, of course.

When I finally stagger into the house at a quarter to midnight, my wife exclaims, “Where have you been?!” Her anger turns to puzzlement when she looks out the picture window and says, “Where did that brand new Mercedes come from?”

“Don’t worry,” I say. “The dealer will track it down and pick it up tomorrow.”

I walk into the kitchen and begin to eat ice cream right out of the carton. “You’re lactose intolerant,” my wife says. “You’ll get cramps.”

“Not if I only have minutes to live,” I reply. After wolfing down a few spoonfuls, my busy last day catches up with me and I drift off to sleep.

The next thing I know the alarm clock is buzzing. It’s 5:30 a.m. and my head is pounding and my stomach has cramps. I also crave a cigarette. My wife nudges me and says, “There are state troopers at the front door! They’re looking for you!” 

“Aw, who cares?” I say. “Today’s the last day of my life.” I pull the covers over my head and groan, “Living each day as if it were my last is gonna kill me one of these years.”

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