The Lighter Side of Suicide

Saying she feels bitter inside, Lizbeth Lemon bids good-bye to the daily grind.

With tender apologies to all who’ve been devastated by the obscenity of suicide, I offer an irreverent antidote to this sorrowing scourge. Yes, a light-hearted look at a different way of dying. Can it be done? Well, I’ll try to walk this tightrope with the same delicacy as the late aerialist Karl Wallenda did. Mr. Wallenda, you’ll recall, died doing what he loved most – plummeting to earth at terminal velocity.  And in the spirit of Mel Brooks embracing the brutal outrage of Nazis in “The Producers”, I endeavor to do the same with the sad barbarity of suicide. But whereas Mr. Brooks had talent, I can only offer chutzpah. I really hope you like this piece, because if you don’t I swear I’ll kill myself.

Few things are as ugly and sobering as suicide. Among the infernal competition of berserk human expressions, suicide always medals. It’s a depressing subject that usually isn’t discussed much or written about; and I know what you’re thinking – Why did it take so damn long for someone to develop luggage with wheels on it. My God, it was like dragging an 80lb. headstone through the airport sometimes. Wouldn’t it be easier to, oh I don’t know, put some wheels on this manhole cover.                               You were thinking that weren’t you?

Suicide has been with us since the first Samurai warrior publicly screwed up and reasoned hari-kari as his only alternative to lost honor. It’s different today. Now when a Samurai warrior publicly screws up he is merely assigned an evil Sudoku.  As for me, suicide is never an option because my life is always flashing before my eyes. And yet suicide continues to be trendy, particularly among the fashionably alienated (Note: The fashionably alienated are identical to the regular alienated except they dress better). Consider this: in Sweden IKEA sells shower rods with pre-hung nooses. At Wellesley College all copies of “A Catcher in the Rye” come with a cyanide capsule – even the Kindle versions.

So it is with a great sense of adolescent superficiality I sheepishly illuminate this most wretched act. To that end I’ve collected an eclectic group of orphaned suicide notes and I’ve decided to publish them (publish and perish?) in a tell-all book called “Not Harry Potter and the Slightly Mystical Phrase.” I’ve accumulated these notes from various sources such as the Golden Gate Bridge Authority, the green room of the Jerry Springer Show and rejected scripts of Fresno SVU. I sacredly honor the final anguished howlings of these troubled souls and promised not to publish one precious word of their tragic lamentations until, and not before, I’m given my first opportunity.

OK that’s long enough. I’ve got my opportunity now, so here goes. I do this, mind you, in the hopes it will prevent others from looking into the abyss and deciding to extinguish their own lives. Why should they when they can read this lively catalogue of seismic despair. Isn’t that reason enough to live? C’mon people as Judy Garland blithely sang before she overdosed on barbiturates: “Forget your troubles come on get happy.”

These suicide cases run the gamut from the organically psychotic to the Munchausen dilettante. The reasons for committing this act of bizarre irrevocability are multitudinous, but cannot mask the base urge to burst the surly bonds of earth and reunite with one’s eternal loving source. You do remember our eternal loving source; where empyrean splendor reigns and there’s no word for “aneurysm” or “foreclosure.” Bear in mind suicide is murder – a capital offense. And those found guilty are, ironically, sentenced to death. Win-win baby. As we’ll see by the tenor of their suicide notes, I think you’ll agree most of these people are fonts of another type.


Case Study #1

Name: Palatino Linotype 

Reason: Reason enough

The Note:

All is gloom. Sphincter muscles loosening ….Spelchek© failink.

So far I’ve already drunk fourteen 12oz. jars of Trader Joe’s Blue Cheese Dressing. At this point I’m legally moldy.

Such awful memories. Evel Knevel’s aborted Snake River Canyon jump. No closure there. Saw Dolly Parton without her wig and make up on. Nobody warned me. The whole Lindbergh baby thing.   Just downed another bottle. Metabolism slowing. Very confused now. Even though I’m fully clothed I somehow feel like dressing. If the paramedics ever save me they’re going to need several heads of lettuce and a whole lot of charcoal croutons.

Arteries hardening, circulation sluggish. There goes the fifteenth bottle. Damn! That bottle was 2 months past its expiration date. I hope it doesn’t make me sick. Well, that which does not kill me only makes me vomit.

I don’t care what anyone says – I loved ABBA. They had a lot of great ikeas.  

Just sucked down the 16th bottle. I can tell I’m near the end…craving bacon bits. It’s sad. Where I’m going they won’t even have pigs – unless Anna-Nicole Smith shows up. I know that’s an old reference. So sue me.

On no. I’ve been chugging Trader Joe’s Low Fat Blue Cheese Dressing. Damn it. Now I’m never gonna die. Switching to melted pints of Vanilla Haagen-Dazs. This is going to take hours. Now I have to kill myself otherwise people will know how stupid I am. 

Result: Lived. And while antiquing in Litchfield, Connecticut, Mr. Linotype bought an old Roman coin dated 6 BC. After attending an “Antiques Road Show” taping the coin was determined to be authentic. How the Romans new Christ was coming in 6 years is beyond me. At auction it sold for $38 million. Having learned from his harrowing calamity, Palatino has vowed to help others. Partnering with the Liquid Coatings Division of Kraft Foods Inc., he now promotes healthier lower calorie means of suicide. 


Case Study #2 

Name: Lucida Console

Reason: Didn’t want death to catch her unaware.

Method: Attending a Celine Dion concert (Talk about a cry for help.)

The Note:

Dearest Constituents,

Feelings welling up. Water on knee. Bible foods not working. Can’t catch a break. Went camping wiped butt with Poison Oak. Yoweee!!!

Can’t tell difference between The Munsters and The Addams Family anymore. Morticia-Lily,  Gomez-Herman it’s all the same.

You’ll please to remember Lord; I never asked to be born. Especially the way it happened. At first the doctors bundled the placenta and then threw me away. It took 30 minutes till anyone noticed the placenta wasn’t suckling. Not a good omen. The in between wasn’t so hot either. My Sweat Lodge expelled me for glowing. So I bought this one way ticket to a Celine Dion concert. My heart will go on, but I ain’t.

In closing, see that my parrot is fed and in the back of my closet is a small Tupperware container with about 30 hours of daylight Savings Time I squirreled away over the years – see that it goes to the orphanage. Yada yada. Sorry to have been such trouble. Oh yeah and good bye cruel world etc, etc.

Cc: Dewey, Cheetham and Howe

Ta-ta, Lucida

Result: The doyenne of schlock actually brought Lucida on stage for a chorus of “My Heart Will Go On” inspiring her to high functioning mediocrity.


Is Suicide a Hate Crime? Self-loathing Carried to the Extreme

Some accused of suicide profess their innocence. Under intense interrogation they claim they weren’t there when the attempted suicide took place. For example there was an attempted suicide case police investigated involving a Mr. Joseph Innocent. The interrogation proceeded thusly:

Detective Wrangle: Now Mr. Innocent, when an attempt was made on your life April 8th 2012 we have every reason to believe you were the perpetrator having complete knowledge of your whereabouts while possessing both motive and opportunity. And don’t even try to tell us you’re innocent.

Mr. Innocent: But I am innocent. I’m always innocent. I’m Joe Innocent. I mean I’m no friend of myself, but I was nowhere near the crime scene.

Detective Wrangle: Do not be coy with us Mr. “Innocent.” If you weren’t with you then who was? Do you have an alibi?

Mr. Innocent: Have is such an overused word. And as a matter of fact I do have an alibi. It’s my cat, Alibi Hufflepuff.

Detective Wrangle: Mr. Innocent we’re committing you to a foster home. 

Mr. Innocent: A foster home? I’m 38 years old and I own my own house. Alright I don’t actually own it anymore, but I am living in it rent free pending foreclosure.

Detective Wrangle: You may be 38, but you have the mentality of an 8 year old, so you’ll fit right in. Now are you going to admit to us you were with yourself on April 8th 2012?

Mr. Innocent: I’m telling you I wasn’t there. It was some other guy disguised as me who tried to kill himself.

It went on like this until the detective asked Mr. Innocent if he’d participate in a line up by looking into a mirror and asking him if he recognized anyone in there. Mr. Innocent initially said he didn’t see anyone he knew, but then broke down and finally admitted he knew where the person in the mirror lived and would cooperate by taking the detectives to the suspect’s house.

Mr. Innocent: I can maybe get you in touch with this guy, but I’m telling you, I was nowhere near me that night.

The case resolved itself when Mr. Innocent’s twin, Mostly, came forward to admit he didn’t really care for NBC’s “SMASH” stating, “It’s just copycatting ‘Glee’. It’s like a Beatles-Monkees thing, but for the life of me I don’t know if ‘Glee’ is supposed to be the Beatles or the Monkees.” 


Case Study #3

Name: Arial Black

Reason: Boyfriend never visits her at home. She met him almost a year ago at the zoo where he worked in the bird sanctuary, but still he refuses to visit.

What Arial failed to notice was that her boyfriend was a barn owl.

Method: (Faulty and ass backwards) With a noose tight around her tender neck, Arial attempted to jump up onto a chair in the misguided belief the rope would become taut and she’d asphyxiate. Instead she tripped on the chair and hit her head on a marble table; chipping the edge and leaving her with a cranial alcove where normally you find an occipital lobe.

Result: Arial lived, but was unable to multiply any number greater than 6 even with the aid of a calculator.

The Note:

Why is there always corn in my stool even when I haven’t eaten corn? What’s going on here?

And why is this guy Pete so important – people do things for the love of Pete or for Pete’s sake. Why does he rate?

I gave up rationality after it turned out the entire Newhart Show was only Emily’s dream from the original Bob Newhart Show.

I must feel something besides this black dog that never leaves. And how come people rarely use the word phallus anymore?

All that plus Madam Wong refuses to rent me a nail station at Sparkle Nail Emporium because of my “corn thing.” How does she even know? She should mind her own sh*t.

Outcome: Lived. Took a stab at corn futures. Bought in at only $4 a bushel and sold at $7 a bushel. Bought 2 bushels. Made $6. Now just sits around collecting welfare and complaining how the government should get off people’s backs.


Case Study #4

Name: Goudy Stout

Reason: Wedding bells were breaking up that old gang of his

Method: Listening to ABBA

Outcome: Became an ABBA fan. Saw Mamma Mia! 42 times

The Note:

How do I admit to the world I’m sexually attracted to genderless people? Maybe I’m eunuch that way. Where do you find genderless people? At a vegetarian meat market or a Barry Manilow concert? Anyway, I’ll never get what I really want. I hear the genderless prefer bonding with hermaphrodites so collectively they have the requisite number of genitals.

Suicide runs in my family. I’m surprised we’re not extinct by now.    


Case Study #5

Name: Lucida Console (A different Lucida Console)

Reason: TV series “Friends” ended its 10 year run.

Suicide Method: Opening the door to a Kenner Easy-Bake oven, turning on the light bulb and trying to squeeze her head inside.

Result: She survived although her hair was badly singed.

The Suicide Note (Drizzled in high fructose Pastry Frosting on Parchment Paper):

Monica I’ll always love you. Chandler you’re so cute I’d maim you if I wasn’t already fixated on Ross. Well this is it. I’m facing my demons now. You’re entering syndication and I’m entering an Easy-Bake oven. So long cruel world.

Outcome: Survived, changed name to Courtney Aniston and three years later won a regional Pillsbury Bake off for an original dish called “Corpses in a Blanket.”


Case Study #6

Name: Estrangela Edessa

Reason: Developed an acute downward spiral while waitressing at Outback Steakhouse and a diner ordered her to, “Get me some alligator soup. And make it snappy!”

Method: Tried to slither through a paper shredder.

The Note:      

Dear God or Bill Gates,  

All I want is the truth. Ambiguity everywhere. A company called Ice Liquidators – what do they even do. That new airline – Almost Virgin Air. Isn’t that like being a little bit pregnant. I need clearly defined parameters and a sensible matrix that provides satisfying, achievable goals…y’know like Stratego or the 1950’s. And then I want to explain to the world that when monkfish take a vow of silence it’s meaningless because they have no vocal chords. And every time my dogfish sh*ts in the aquarium, I feel compelled to scoop it up immediately and deposit it in the trash. This stand-in world will never do. Tell St. Peter I’m ready for my close-up.

Outcome: The paper shredder jammed giving her a darling page boy haircut. Ironically she died two weeks later after eating two of those Bloomin’ Maui Onions at Outback.


My Note on Suicide Notes

In writing this piece, I’ve learned this much: after all is said and done, more is said and done. And at the end of the day comes night, followed by another day until we’re back at the end of the day again (unless you dip into your Strategic Daylight Savings Time Reserve). So we begin to see a pattern whereby those who manually pluck their nose hairs are far more likely to sneeze than those who trim them.

Has a suicide note ever revealed anything new about the dimensions of human experience? Yes. That we’re as good at torturing ourselves as we are at torturing others. There’s self-created drama, genetically pre-disposed drama and then of course pre-ordained karma. You can focus on all that bullsh*t and make it your own or you can simply be thankful your luggage finally has wheels on it thus making it much easier to haul around all your baggage.

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