Death and Landfills

Calling this a hearse is like calling your uncle in Florida. Monday is the perfect time to contemplate things I might have buried in the landfill of my mind during the weekend, such as morbidity. Although the theory is that the bulk of my organic self will eventually take a long dirt nap, the fact is I've been doing exactly that for the better part of a lifetime. This brings up two important questions.

1) What's the difference between death and whiskers?

2) Have I spent the best years of my life in a landfill?

Here, I may as well point out that most men have whiskers, and they don't just disappear into thin air after they're shaved off. It's been said that most females don't have whiskers, but there's no law that says whiskers can't grow on legs, or underarms, or pretty much anywhere there's a fertile follicle environment. A whisker by any other name is still a whisker.

Anyway, the point is that my hair has been accumulating in landfills all this time, and so has yours. Since a landfill is essentially a graveyard for whiskers, the idea of a final resting place is absurd. My whiskers have been "resting" since puberty, give or take, hence my DNA has been "resting," and hence, I must now point out, the answer to both questions, above, can only be yes.



  1. In in 1908 LIFE magazine there's this expression of defiance:

    "You'll do it over my dead whiskers."

  2. Maybe LIFE was 100 years ahead of its time (and possibly TIME) in its predictions concerning present-day landfills?

  3. A little poem in response:


    I am a wild one
    (We are wild ones)

    I razed the hairs of our wild face
    and with the telephone book

    mailed them
    each to a different voice

    there is a beard that is of our face
    that is of this city

    a beard like a river of mail
    moving through the streets and porches

    feline as twilight or as ash
    outliving death
    and the smoothfaced stars

  4. Most excellent, Gary! As always -- by which I mean you're one of those rare writers who frequently leaves me open-mouthed -- by which I mean, how did he do that?