- Butcher one’s own Hartebeest using only a penknife and pocket-comb
- Hand-roll the perfect cigar; place in a Lucite case to be smoked upon one’s deathbed
- Master the art of single-tear cry
- Master the art of removing a front-clasp bra with one's toes
- Learn to make the deadliest cocktail, the Dank and Steamy
- Serve a Dank and Steamy to Norman Mailer's ghost
- Defend a lady friend’s honor by employing a rear naked choke
- Learn the difference between a fedora and a trilby
- And also a homburg, why not
- Spend at least one year’s salary on a bottle of Scotch
- Put one's faithful dog of twenty-three years down, but only after staring long into its eyes and reaching an understanding
- Write an essay on euthanizing the dog and sell it to the Paris Review
- Learn how to say “humidor” in twelve languages
- Climb every mountain, ford every stream; but you know, in a manly way, not the way that a nun would
- Locate and purchase the car in which you were conceived
- Rebuild transmission of said car and present it to your dying father as a gift upon the anniversary of your mother’s death
- Sit a while in absolute silence in the passenger seat as your father runs his trembling, spotted hands over the walnut burl dashboard before switching on the radio
- Listen to “Reeling in the Years”
- Wait, that might be a little too on the nose, let’s make that “My Old School”
- Upon the death of your father, drink the bottle of Scotch in a single sitting and crash the car into the first tree you successfully climbed as a child
- Fix car and sell on EBay for a profit
- Learn to express one’s feelings by not saying or doing anything
- Also, no writing anything down, that's cheating
- One more? Um, read Moby-Dick?
09 March 2016
08 March 2016
Mary: Deah Mathyew, I hev so enjoyed our supernatural meetings these strange nights, but somehow I feel we must draw the curtain on these séances, as it were. It’s only that yew hev shuffled off this mortal coil some four yeahs ago, and in the meantime I went and married a motorist—I believe his name is Henry or Heathcliff or something of the sort—in any case I hev also had my dalliances with Gilly and Tony—what I’m sayin’, Mathyew, is I hev had a fair amount of tail in your absence, and perhaps the time has come for us both to move on.
Matt: Oh Mary, yew old thing, I know all about it; For hev I not watched over yew these many nights, creepin’ in through the wainscoting and such, peepin’ in as yew—
Mary: Steady on, Mathyew, can’t a widow hev a bit of privacy?
Matt: Mary, old bean, we on this side of the spiritual veil are not full of your hang-ups, man. As for me, I hev been dallyin' with your dear sister Sybbie on the reg—
Mary: Good Golly! [blushes becomingly]
Matt: —and yet there is something to what yew say, for I too feel we hev arrived at an ending, don’t yew know, and after so many Sunday evenings together we shall need to find something else to do.
Mary: I suppose I felt it when Edith [spits] announced her engagement. Suddenly it seems everyone was getting married: our cranky butler and that Scotswoman, the mousey cook and the strapping young footman [pauses to imagine Andrew in his undershirt] and even your unlovable old mater has found connubial bliss, as it were. Why I do believe our little George has proposed an engagement to Sybbie junior, and he cannot yet pronounce his R’s. It seems as though good times hev come to us all, and all is well as ends well, wot? I suppose I shall switch to watching Poldark [pauses to imagine a shirtless Aiden Turner].
Matt: Well then Mary, I must bid yew and your eyebrows adieu! Only one thing left to say, and, well, I hate to mention it—
Mary: What, my phantasmal lover?
Matt: Only now that Edith is a marchioness, she can, in fact, hev yew beheaded.