Bill's Will 

Protecting myself from the Culture of Life cult

Sorry, but I have nothing to say about the Schiavo situation. You know ... about whether they should let Terri die or not. I didn't know her back when she could talk and think and laugh and stuff like that, and I'm confident both her husband and her parents are only trying to do what they think is best. I feel bad for all of them and would hope there might be some resolution satisfactory to all of them. But there's nothing I can add that would help. Certainly, I have an opinion on the matter, but I'll keep it to myself. It's none of my business, and I've decided that if a position must be taken, I would rather err on the side of staying the hell out of other people's business.

But, as has been widely recommended since Terri's tragedy became a national obsession, I intend to get a living will down on paper should such a thing ever befall me. And this is it. Right here, in your hands. This is Bill Cope's living will you're holding, and if that creeps you out, I apologize. But hey, if a fella can kill two writing assignments in one composition, why not? And what's wrong with me getting paid to write my own living will, huh? You should be so lucky.

First, let me make clear this document isn't meant to instruct my wife what to do should I ever turn up brain dead. She wouldn't need written instruction, my wife. She's been around me long enough to know that even if I only get to the point where I no longer think The Simpsons is funny, I would prefer to have my plug pulled.

Nor is there anyone else in my family whom I wouldn't trust to let nature take its course. They're all enough like me in the "What Makes Life Worth Living" department to understand that without the capacity to experience a little joy, contribute a little joy, or even to hold out hope for a little joy somewhere down the road, then it's time to clear out.

No, this living will of mine isn't for the elucidation of anyone I give a damn about, or who gives a damn about me. This is merely a guide for any opportunistic bastards who might look to reap some political, financial, publicity or spiritual gain by keeping my bedsore-ridden flesh in a $500-a-day hospital bed, having some semi-nutritional slush pumped through a tube directly into my belly just so I can produce enough solid waste to keep the nurse trainees on their toes.

So here it is. This is what I want done should I ever relocate to the State of Vegetative. And if it isn't, I will arrange to have your homes haunted by every dead lawyer I can dig up.

ITEM ONE: I, William E. Cope, being of sound enough mind to know a political stunt when I see one, declare herein that I do not want to be kept alive by any artificial means whatsoever should my brain stop functioning on a level high enough to appreciate the difference between an authentic need for Congressional intervention and meddlesome pandering by sanctimonious huff and puffers out to impress their hillbilly base constituency. This does not mean that first thing in the morning, when I generally exhibit an unresponsive condition which I freely admit could be mistaken for some sort of cerebral flatlinery, that I would turn down a cup of coffee.

But, if by the time I have been out of bed for ... say ... half an hour, and you hear me saying something like, "That Tom DeLay feller has a good point," throw a pillow on my face and sit on it. And don't get to feeling guilty later, because the minute I start sympathizing with an ethically-dead goon like DeLay on anything, I'm too far-gone for regrets.

ITEM TWO: I hereby absolve my pillow pal of any responsibility in my passing should I ever become mentally incapacitated enough to start believing conservative politicians actually care about what happens to anyone who can't score them points with the fundamentalist retards who put them in office. I mean, c'mon, for anyone so eager to execute criminals, bomb Muslims, under-fund health care, condemn science and exalt guns to claim they are promoting a "Culture of Life" like sewer rats leading the fight for a germ-free subway system.

ITEM THREE: Whatever "death with dignity" is, I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve teevee cameras. If I want my twitching remnants on film, I'll get a contract with Tarrantino ahead of time and maybe end up in a cult classic instead of a media circus.

ITEM FOUR: This is important: In the event I should ever become mentally incapacitated (as described in Item Two) and some arrogant pimp like Tom DeLay declares I should be kept alive on the evidence that I responded in some minimal way to some sort of stimulus (say ... I blinked when a camera flashed or reflexively gagged upon glimpsing DeLay on the hospice overhead Sony), and furthermore, DeLay (or whichever glory-sucking leech shows up next as a Right-to-a-Totally-Useless-Life champion) manages to prolong my purgatory with some sort of legal voodoo, then I demand I be granted a restraining order issued by the appropriate authorities to keep Brandi Swindell or anyone like her far from the proximity of my withering body-that Ms. Swindell and every other crusading nitwit not be allowed to come within... say... two states of whatever sad little room they have me wasting away in.

Truly, my last wish would be that I spend my final days surrounded by people who are smarter than me, and obviously, that precludes having the likes of Swindell parading around outside with placards in their paws, even if I'm I brain deader than a doornail.

Keep in mind this is my living will. I don't recommend it for everyone. If you don't mind catheter tubes, being dressed forever in pajamas, and having to be turned 10 times a day, this path is not for you.

But if you do choose to stay minimally alive for no other reason than the attention your atrophying residue might receive, I fear you're in for a disappointment. There simply are not enough teevee cameras, Congressional pimps and crusading nitwits to go to every hospice in the country and make a spectacle of themselves. It's even safe to say the Schiavo case was a one-time event, blown out of all proportion by people who would stoop to just about anything to get themselves another wave of financial contributions.

But then, it's possible poor Terri has gone through all this for a purpose, after all­­-that being, her experience has enabled thoughtful Americans to finally realize what a bunch of fanatical Black Shirts these pious clowns truly are.

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