“David Bowie was off his rocker,
His voice, I found, that of a cocker.
Davy Jones was his name.
When he died, all the same,
He didn’t end up in that locker.”
“De mortuis nil nisi bonum” (“Speak nothing but good of the dead”) notwithstanding, I wonder what epitaph will be put on his tombstone. No doubt a line from one of his hits. Other celebrities assured their posthumous fame by composing their own. Even non-celebrities sometimes do . . .
Oscar Levant, the famously hypochondriac American pianist and friend of George Gershwin, is reputed to have written his own epitaph : “I TOLD you I was ill !”
Here’s a . . . pot-pourri of some other tombstone gems :
— “That’s all, folks !” (Mel Blanc, the voice of Porky Pig in the Looney Tunes cartoons)
— “I was a writer but then nobody’s perfect.” (Billy Wilder)
— “JACK LEMMON in . . .”
— “Well this sucks !” (Mitchell)
— “This ain’t bad – once you get used to it.”
— “I will NOT be back right after this message.” (Merv Griffin)
— “I knew this would happen.”
— “The good die young.” (Ezeckiel Aikle, age 102)
— “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether He is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” (Winston Churchill)
— “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.” (Humphrey Bogart)
“Finis coronat opus” (“The end crowns the work”) – my old school motto – is a ready-made epitaph for people who think their life accomplished something or served some purpose. Here are a few others I’ve invented :
— “I am my wife’s perfect crime.”
— “Life was just a stage. I fell off it.”
— “The butler did it.”
— “I had hoped God would make an exception in my case” (with thanks to Woody Allen, alive and well, in 2016, at 80 – a year older than I)
— “I am not resting in peace but in pieces.”
— “I wanted this to be a tongue-in-cheek epitaph but now I have neither.”
— “Read my Blog (blindfaithblindfolly.wordpress.com). “Scripta manent” (“What’s written remains”); bloggers, like generals, fade away.”
— “Here lies Frank O’Meara. WHO ?”
I don’t know what they put on the tomb of Saint Paul of Tarsus. It could have been his . .
“Death, where is thy sting ?”