As I've already mentioned, last weekend I was up in deepest, darkest West F'in' Virginia with a whole houseful of my dad's relatives, remembering my granddad, who passed away this past May. At my dad's suggestion, we all stood around in the main room of their big ol' house up on top of the mountain and each gave one particular memory we had of him; my dad remembered his dad teaching him how to sail, I remembered the time Granddad showed up at our house in Tennessee, well into his 60s by then, driving the new purple Toyota Celica he'd just bought. I guess I shouldn't be surprised at how varied our memories were -- if not a jack of all trades, Granddad was certainly a jack of most of them, and I know we're all grateful for the knowledge about a host of different things that he was able to pass down to us before he died.
Then we toasted him with champagne and English shortbread (his favorite) and headed out back to the rose garden to spread his ashes there. It got me to thinking where I'd like to have mine spread when I finally shuffle off this mortal coil. (After I donate all the relevant organs to needy people and/or science, of course. You probably aren't going to want anything to do with my liver or kidneys by that point, but my heart, lungs, corneas, and possibly prostate may still be worth having. Claim your preferred organ now before someone else gets it!) There are probably too many important places in my life to just dump the entire bag in one spot, though, so we're gonna take my remains on a world tour of sorts. Herewith are the Five Places I Want My Ashes Spread When I Finally Kick The Bucket:
Midfield at Sanford Stadium
This one's a no-brainer. I can think of no higher honor for my pulverized bone fragments then to have them re-pulverized by the cleats of the Bulldogs. I don't even mind if Uga XVIII or whatever we're up to by then takes a leak on me; there's a sort of high honor to that, too.
Glacier National Park
The summer after my freshman year of high school, my mom, aunt, sister, cousin and I went on a nearly month-long camping trip out West, starting at my aunt's house in Caroline County, Virginia, and ending up on the U.S.-Canada border in Glacier National Park up in Montana before turning around and heading back. Glacier might be the most beautiful spot on earth, and I wouldn't mind having a bit of me sprinkled on top of a mountain or in St. Mary Lake or something.
Nag's Head, North Carolina
My parents had their honeymoon here in August of 1972, and every year when I was a little kid we'd go back out there around that time of year and stay for a week. We'd always stay at the home of the Hansons, a retired couple who rented out the lower floor of their beach house; from what I hear, that house was irreparably damaged by Hurricane Hugo back in 1989, and I'm sure there's some condo building or pastel-colored monstrosity sitting there now. But I'd still like to have some of my ashes left behind at a beach that was always one of the places I most looked forward to going to each year when I was a kid.
Zemianske Sady, Slovakia
We went out here 10 years ago on yet another family trip, our month-long marathon tour across Europe. We started out in Vienna, spent a few days there, then headed over the border into Slovakia, which is where my mom's family comes from; we even got to see the little town where her ancestors were from, the graves of her great-grandmother and great-grandfather, and the church (above) that the townspeople were in the process of building at the time. Might be nice to have a little bit of me brought back to the Old Country, even if that kind of full-circle journey does have sort of a cheesy-novel ring to it.
Dick Cheney's coffee
This, of course, is contingent upon Dick Cheney outliving me, but I've got a hunch that's going to happen. Whether due to a deal with Satan or incredibly advanced machines whose development and creation were funded by a top-secret government slush fund he directed from the vice president's office, he's going to outlive us all, and you know it.
Now the Ten:
1. Prince, "I Would Die 4 U"
2. Astrud Gilberto, "Who Needs Forever?" (Thievery Corporation remix)
3. Pet Shop Boys, "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk" (The T-Total mix)
4. Pet Shop Boys, "Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You0" (Extended mix)
5. Moby, "Everloving"
6. Groove Armada, "Inside My Mind (Blue Skies)"
7. The Beastie Boys, "Bodhisattva Vow"
8. Pet Shop Boys, "Confidential" (Demo for Tina Turner)
9. The London Suede, "Rent" (live)
10. RUN-D.M.C. and Aerosmith, "Walk This Way"
Please welcome the triumphant return of the Random Ten+5 by listing your own Random Tens, as well as the places you'd like to be buried, ash-spread, or otherwise disposed of, in the comments.