On Death

I think about death a lot. And not the good kind like “Metal” or “of the Endless”, either. No, I think a lot about my own demise. Not necessarily about how it’s going to happen (because I already know it’ll be in my sleep, while I’m on top of a pile of money I didn’t have to work for… or spontaneous human combustion), but more what is going to happen at that moment. And it isn’t that I worry about not knowing what will happen or what it’s going to feel like… it’s more that I have a pretty good idea of what will happen when I die, and it kind of scares the shit out of me.

This is what I think happens when people die: You know that very brief moment between when you fall asleep at night and when you wake up the next morning? That split second that sleep seems to take when you have no dreams? That’s death. Only you never wake up, so that split second lasts forever.

And that thought absolutely fucking terrifies me.

I think it’s the fact that the nothingness will never end that scares me. If I knew that something came afterwards… after the moment where life ends and death begins… maybe I wouldn’t pee a little bit every time the notion of eternal sleep pops into my head. And as much as I’d like to believe that there is a heaven or some other place where you go where you can be reunited with all of the loved ones that already passed away (including pets, like my first and second hamsters, both of whom were named Muffin), I just can’t bring myself to think it’s going to happen. It’s such a nice thought, but I am far too cynical to believe that the universe functions in such a way, so as to bring about a perfect outcome when all is said and done. Life is far too messy for everything to work out in the end. Why should death be any different?

Do you know what would be great? Reincarnation. It would take an absolutely terrifying thing like death and turn it into a more nerve-racking experience… like the first day at a new school. But instead of wondering what your classmates will be like or whether your teachers will be any good or whether the pretty girl sitting in the front row will ever acknowledge your existence, you’d wonder about what you are going to come back as. Another human being born in a different part of the world? Or maybe a blood-sucking leech? Either way, it would be interesting to see the world from the prospective of a different creature. And you wouldn’t… you know… completely cease to exist.

Or what about being a ghost? Maybe after I die I can come back as a spectre. I wouldn’t haunt anyone or be cause for alarm. I just want to hang out on Earth and look at stuff. The world is full of things to see, and new things are being made all the time, so it’s not like there’s a risk that I’d get bored and start messing with the living (by, like, hiding their shoes and whatnot). It’d be cool to be able to communicate with other ghosts, but hey, if I just have to bomb around the planet, being invisible and not able to talk to anyone else, that’s okay. I can live with that. Or rather, I can be dead with that. Transitioning from being alive to being ghost doesn’t seem scary to me.

I know that some people will think, look, dummy… you don’t need to worry about death because once it happens you’re not going to care. It’s hard to care about something when you’re brain no longer functions. My response is twofold: First, shut up. And second, while it may be true that I won’t care about death once it happens, I know now that it’s going to happen, and I can’t just not know something I already know… you know? Other people may say that I should just not think about death. It can’t scare me if I put it out of my mind. Well, to that I say, please refer to my first response to the last suggestion.

Here’s another idea. How about instead of dying, we all just live forever? Poppycock, you say? It’s impossible, you say? Well, you know what? If God can create us, then He sure as hell can give us eternal life. Or, if He can’t (because He’s too busy with other important matters, like creating new super viruses that will one day wipe us all out) I’m sure science will find a way to let us live forever. I’ve heard people say that they wouldn’t want to be immortal, because eventually you would be tired of living. I call bullshit. Think of all the shit you could get done if you lived forever. Of course, you would accomplish dick-all if your body turned to mush, but I figure if science can make you live forever, then it can find a way to stop your body from completely falling apart. The moral of this is if you or someone you know is a wizard or deity or some other type of omnipotent being that can grant me everlasting life, please send them my way. Living forever sounds amazing to me.

So, to sum up: Death is nothingness. When it happens, you don’t exist anymore, even though your physical body is still there. This is a concept that scares the shit out of me, and I can’t figure out a way to stop thinking about it. I understand that death ultimately comes for us all, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I just wish it didn’t have to last forever.

Sorry this was such a bummer of a post. I wish I had something else to say so that I can end on a high note. Wait… I think I have…

Nope. I’ve got nothing.

DOWNER-BAMPF!

The End…?

Wasn’t last week’s post interesting?  No, you don’t think so?  Well, you’re right, and here’s why:

Last week, I ran into a bit of a problem.  I suffered from a writer’s most feared malady.  No, not alcoholism.  Writer’s block.  Like Tom Cruise said in Cast Away:  Houston, I have a conundrum.

After staring for what seemed like hours at my Word document, which was completely blank except for the blinking cursor that seemed to be taunting me (loser… loser… loser), I got the idea that maybe I could count on the hardcore fans of Chris Lackie – The Blog to send me emails so I would have something to write about.  Unfortunately, the inbox at chrislackietheblog@gmail.com was completely empty (except for a very credible email claiming to be able to give me “free access to local sluts”).  When there were no emails for me to respond to/make fun of I tried to think of something else to fill up some blog space.  But as you all saw, I failed.  It made me feel very emotional.  So much so, I decided to draw a picture to visualize how I felt.

emotional

I’ve posted to my blog every week since February (sometimes even more than once!), but after a while it’s hard to think of new things to write about.  I mean, I know I’m not writing about anything too deep or meaningful, but c’mon… I’m just one man.

I took some time over the past week to consider the future of Chris Lackie – The Blog.  For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of me deep in thought.

photosnotavailable

Oh, I guess the camera wasn’t working.  Darn.  That’s too bad.  I was looking really good.

Anyway, after so much deep reflection (which I totally did), I realized two things.  First, I need to lose some weight (I was exhausted after all that thinking), and second, my problem last week wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say, it’s that I was trying to say something that I thought would be interesting to the masses.

Basically, I was trying to capture the Funko Fight Club lightning in a bottle again.

But it occurred to me that I got lucky with Funko Fight Club.  I stumbled upon something that both I and numerous others find interesting.  In order to continue with that sort of success, I would need to keep writing about topics that everyone can get engaged in.  And frankly, given my interests, it’s unrealistic to assume that people are always going to get as excited about Batman and the like as I am.  But what is the point of having a blog unless you’re going to write about things that you yourself are interested in?

Chris Lackie – The Blog is going to continue to be about things I want to write about.  And I’m going to write about whatever tickles my fancy that week.  Are you going to like everything I write about?  Probably not, but you should, because everything I write about is awesome.

I know what you’re thinking:  Chris, these last two posts of yours haven’t been about anything.  They’re basically a thousand words of nothing.  Well, Seinfeld was a show about nothing, and look at all the good that came from that (like The Michael Richards Show)!  Anyway, like I said, you’re not going to think every post is a first round pick.

Chris Lackie – The Blog is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re going to get.

Another Tom Cruise reference!  I am crushing it!

TOM CRUISE BAMPF!

***************************************************************************

BONUS:

CHRIS LACKIE – THE BLOG EXCLUSIVE!!!!!

Okay, I know the last two posts haven’t been great, so here is a little bonus to make up for it.

Today, on my way home from work, I went in to EB Games to pre-order the upcoming Batman: Arkham Origins game (so I can play as Deathstroke and get exclusive Black Mask challenge maps!) and I stumbled upon something I didn’t know I wanted until I saw it.  Would you like to see my impulse buy?

joker 1

It’s the Joker from the beginning of The Dark Knight!  Isn’t he adorable?  Yet another Funko Pop Vinyl Figure to add to my collection.  For anyone who is keeping track, that brings the total number of Funko figures in my collection to 22.  Perhaps you think that is too many Funko figures for a grown man to own?  Well, you’re probably right, but after my kid is born, I plan on telling everyone that all the figures belong to him.  Of course, he won’t be allowed to touch them until he’s older (like, 25) but still… they’ll be his.  In theory.

Pre-ordering the new Batman game and getting a sweet new Funko Pop Vinyl Figure?  Best.  Monday.  Ever.

AWESOME MONDAY BAMPF!

Meet the Team!

Whenever I’m out giving boy scouts a hard time for selling apples outside of grocery stores (apples, really?) people are always saying to me:  “Chris, your blog is so incredible and you clearly put a lot of effort into it.  How do you manage all that work by yourself?”

Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  How do I manage to do all the work necessary to make Chris Lackie – The Blog the greatest blog in the history of the internet?

I don’t.

I know it’s hard to believe that I would allow lesser beings to sully my wonderfully beautiful work, but even the greatest among us (namely me) need the occasional helping hand.  That’s why I have assembled a small team to help make my blog the best it can be.

I thought I would use this week’s post to let you peek behind the curtain and get to know the people who help me make the blog that Blog Writers Quarterly once called “The only blog ever written by someone named Chris Lackie that averages fewer than 7 spelling mistakes per post.”  Pretty high praise if you ask me.

And one of the reasons for my excellent spelling is my editor, Ted.  Ted here is a grad student studying English at the University of Ottawa who is working for me for school credit.

Say hello, Ted.

Ted:  Hello everyone!

Settle down.  Ted, please explain to everyone exactly what you do.

Ted:  Well, I’m supposed to be an editor, which means I’m supposed to check your work for punctuation, grammar, and that sort of thing, but I’m also supposed to do fact checking and help you develop your ideas whenever you decide to write a story.  But usually you just make me clean your office and order you pizza.

And you’re really good at it.  And please, try not to talk so much.  But what do you mean you’re “supposed” to help me develop ideas?  I bounce things off you all the time.

Ted:  You bounce super balls off my face.

Yes, and what do I call those balls?

Ted:  *Sigh*… Ideas.

I rest my case.  Anyway, the final member of our little (non-sexual) threesome is Susan.  Susan is my secretary.  She is a recent graduate from the Office Administration program at Algonquin College who I hired through an internship (which means I don’t have to pay her).  As my secretary, she performs a number of important duties like picking up my dry cleaning, getting me coffee and answering my phone.  She’s also very beautiful.  And blonde.  Say hello, Susan.

Susan:  Hello. By the way, I would prefer if you referred to my position as executive assistant rather than secretary.  Secretary is a very old fashioned term.

I beg your pardon, Susan.  I’ll make sure Ted never uses that upsetting term again.

Ted:  I didn’t say anything!

Christ, learn when to shut your mouth, Ted!  Ok, before we go on, how about you guys tell everyone a little something about yourselves?  Ted?

Ted:  Well, I’m 23 years old…

Great!  Susan?

Ted:  Wha…?  I wasn’t…

Shut up, Ted.  Susan?

Susan:  I’m 21 years old, I was born here in Ottawa and I’m a Sagittarius.

Incredible.  You are truly a gifted woman.  Is there anything you would like to add?

Susan:  Oh, my favourite colour is blue.

Wow.  That’s inspiring.

Ted:  I organized a student group that helped raise over $30 thousand dollars for Parkinson’s research.

No one cares, Ted.  Okay guys, I have a question for you:  On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being pretty fantastic and 10 being the most amazing thing in the history of all things amazing, how great is it to work for me?  Please know that there is a right answer to this question.  Ted?

Ted:  Um… I’m going to say….8?

What?  How could you be so hurtful, Ted?  Are you trying to offend me?  Rule number one of employment:  Don’t offend the person who pays you.

Ted:  You don’t pay me.  I’m doing this for the experience.

And what an experience it is.  Susan, do you have a better answer than Ted?

Susan:  I’m going to say 10.

Correct!  Great answer, Susan.  You could learn something from Susan, Ted.  Man, all this interviewing is making me sleepy.  Ted, could you go out and grab me a latte?

Ted:  Um, I think that’s more of a Susan job…

What?!!?  Wow, that’s really sexist, Ted.  I find that very offensive.  You think that just because Susan is a woman, it’s her job to get me coffee?!

Ted:  Um, no I thought that it was her job because she’s the secretary and you just said a minute ago that it was her job…

She’s not a secretary, she’s an executive assistant!  No, you know what?  That’s enough.  You go get me my non-fat extra foam latte, then organize my fan mail by prettiness of handwriting, then clean out my 3 chimneys, and then you get the hell out of here!  But be back early tomorrow morning.  My breakfast isn’t going to make itself.

Ted:  *Sign*… Yes, sir.

Susan, do you want Ted to get you something while he’s out?  Coffee?  Cherry Danish?  Facial scrub?

Susan:  No, thank you.

Not a problem, it’s my pleasure.  Ted, are you still here?  Don’t you have something to do?

TedStupid Chris and his stupid coffee, I’ll show him, I’m gonna hock such a loogie in his stupid drink…

Well, now that Ted is finally done overstaying his welcome, we can help the audience get to know the real Susan.  Now, you’re a blonde, so tell me… Does the carpet match the drapes?

***

And at that point the interview pretty much ended.  I guess Susan had an appointment or something.  I’d like to thank her for taking the time to help the Chris Lackie – The Blog fans learn a little bit more about the blog they love.  And I would also like to thank Ted for getting me a delicious latte.  I don’t know how he did it, but it was the best thing I put in my mouth all day.  Good job, Ted!

Alright, I better go make sure the team is working.  I can’t have any layabouts around here.  You know what?  I’m just going to text them from here on the couch.  No sense in exerting all that energy when I don’t have to.  I didn’t create a blog that Blogging Fancy once called “full of words and sometimes pictures” by wasting my time on trivial things like people.

BAMPF!

So you wanna be a blog superstar?

BAMPF! 

Every year, I leave the expansive landscapes of my palatial Ottawa estate and make my way to the Ernest Hemingway Center in beautiful Moscow (Idaho, not Russia) to attend the SBC (that’s the Successful Bloggers Conference for those of you not in the know) and every year I am bombarded by wannabe bloggers who always say the same thing:

Chris, you’re so handsome (thank you) and you have the world’s most popular blog.  How can I be like you? 

So, you wanna be a blog superstar?  You wanna live large?  A big house?  5 cars?  Well guess what, kids?  I’m going to let you in on my secrets.  I am blog and so can you!

There are a few simple things you must do in order to have something close to the level of success that I have with my blog.

1. Write what you know.

You will be tempted to write about things that you think are popular (reality television, motor vehicles, string cheese), but you will come off as a total dope if you don’t know anything about your topic.  You would be better off writing about something you have a deep knowledge of, like your cats, pictures of your cats, or the measures you’re taking to make sure your cats don’t eat you when you die.

Write what you know, and you can’t fail.  Unless what you know is stupid.  Like Superman.  Don’t write about Superman.

Writing what you know is important, but it only works if you follow my next piece of advice as well. 

2. Have a theme.

Maybe you’re lucky and you know something about more than one thing.  Writing about everything you know will only work if the things go well together (like chocolate and peanut butter).  Your blog will be a train wreck if your topics are unrelated (like the Kardashians and talent). 

I’m fortunate enough to know a thing or two about a thing or two (or let’s be honest, everything), so I can blog about a bunch of stuff.  However, I limit my posts to topics that all fall under the same theme.  So far, I have written about Batman, Kevin Smith, alien abductions, female comedy duos and ninjas.  Clearly the theme of my blog is Eastern European politics. 

3.  Post to your blog on a regular schedule.

Posting to your blog on a regular basis will encourage your fans (your mother and your cousin) to keep reading.  If you post one day and then disappear from the interwebs for an extended period of time, people will forget about you (especially your mother). As they say in academia:  Publish or perish!  And like I say:  Don’t eat my burrito! 

4.  Don’t be afraid to borrow an idea and make it your own.

Coming up with a completely original idea is hard.  Sometimes you may need to take an idea from somewhere else and build on it.  Now, I personally don’t need to do this, because I am a beacon of creativity.  I am full of original thoughts and ideas.  (On a completely unrelated note, aren’t Cypress Hill and Stephen Colbert awesome?)  But don’t worry, it’s okay to take an idea that’s already out there and put your own spin on it.  Unless it’s my idea.  Don’t steal my shit.  Seriously.  I have a crack team of computer nerds and lawyers ready to find you and sue you at the drop of a hat (and defend me against any frivolous lawsuits that may come my way.  What do you mean I can’t park my helicopter on Parliament Hill?) 

5.  If all else fails, quote the Simpsons.

Everyone loves the Simpsons.  If you have nothing interesting to say, just say any one of the following:

“Slow down tubby.  You’re not on the moon yet.” 

“The Nye Mets are my favourite squadron.”

“I was saying Boo-urns.” 

That’s all there is to it!  Follow my 5 simple guidelines and you’ll be on your way to blogging success.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll get so popular they’ll ask you to be the keynote speaker at the next SBC.  Don’t count on it though.  I’ve been the keynote speaker for the last 7 years and I have no intention of giving it up any time soon.  You can do it after I die.  Just kidding.  I’m immortal.  Just kidding.  Or am I?

BAMPF OUT!