Day 92: Write your will here.Posted: April 2, 2011
The Book provides a useful connect-things-in-this-column-to-people-in-this-other-column template for making a will, and a place to sign and date below: legally binding! Woo-hoo!
By “useful” I mean, of course, “useless”: I don’t have, for example, a lover, mistress, best friend, or favorite child to whom I wish to leave things, and I don’t have any secret life savings, hoards of pubic hair, space shuttles, or giant dildoes to bequeath to those I leave behind.
What’s the point of writing a will, anyway? Once you’re dead, it’s not your stuff anymore — why do you get to decide who gets what? Why do you have to decide who gets what? Why would you even care?
Maybe we should go back to the primogeniture system: firstborn gets everything, wives get nothing, younger children marry well or fritter away their lives – it’s all arranged in advance, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it, so there’s no room for complaining or hurt feelings or any of that nonsense. Right?
Really, though, that system was designed for the wealthy, for monarchs, and for characters in Jane Austen novels. I’m none of those, and so must find another solution.
Do I, though? What am I going to leave behind that’s important? Maybe something, maybe nothing. It’ll all be unimportant to me at that point, though, because I’ll be dead, and therefore will have no use for any of it – and yes, I’m repeating myself – I’m going to flog this horse to death, and then it won’t have to decide which of its colts gets all the carrots – anyway, I’m dead, I don’t care, and so I don’t understand why it’s my job to sort it all out.
If it were up to me — and it’s not, which is the whole point of this post — but if it were up to me, I’d want my carcass to be burned on a pyre built out of my worldly possessions: clothes, furniture, kitchen utensils, garden tools, even my books.
No, I’m just kidding. Not the books. I mean, let’s face it, obviously my books will be important hundreds of years from now precisely because I owned them and wrote in them – like Petrarch’s, or Milton’s, or Johnson’s. I would be doing the future a disservice by having them burnt.
Everything else, though, should just be consigned to the flames.