Tuesday, March 26, 2013


The Kicked-Over-Bucket List: Things I Want to Do After I Die

1. Become fireworks. (This is on you, loved ones.)

2. Get on the Google News Alert for "ghost."

3. Ride Disney's Haunted Mansion (I had to be escorted out when I was twelve because it was "too scary," but I think I could handle it if I was already dead).

4. Possess the body of a famous person while they're doing a talk show. Maybe Ellen, maybe just for the dancing portion.

5. Spy on my ex-boyfriends' great-grandchildren, speculate about how much better looking our great-grandchildren would have been.

6. Window shop. 

7. As part of an iron-clad will, make all my grandchildren change their names to "[Their name]edith."

8. Use a medium to convince my family that I had a hidden treasure, but leave said medium's body without revealing a location.

9. Switch the hair dyes in a Dallas-area salon for Manic Panics.

10. Stare out from the eyes of the Statue of Liberty.

11. Ask Mary Toft how those rabbits felt and what she thinks of the modern celebrity industrial complex.

12. Get a day dedicated to me in a town I've never been to, possibly through ballot-stuffing.

13. Read Infinite Jest.

14. Go to Denver, figure out what to do there.

15. Uphold tradition: moan, wail, rattle chains.

16. Show up in the mirror when a little girl says "Bloody Mary" three times at her first sleepover.

17. Have my picture taken in the form of a glowing orb or hard-to-discern swipe.

18. Inspire a horror film.

19. Live on in the hearts and minds of the people.

20. Skydive.

Meredith Haggerty works in publishing, internets here, and never, ever regrets setting up that Google News Alert for "ghost."

69 Comments / Post A Comment


21. Hang out with ghost and Eleanor Roosevelt in someone's Samsung.


@Louise C. Moore
Life is fleeting, Louise. Think about what you really want to share with the world.

Edit: Whoops, HP magically cleaned up the spam I was snarkily replying to.


can't believe i never heard this, it's so beautiful.@t

RK Fire

22. Animate a white blanket, hover around eerily.
23. Haunt an iPad, discreetly sabotage enemies' games of whatever comes to replace Angry Birds.
24. Oversalt enemies' food.
25. Attach self to kites, allow small children to suspect me in the air.

Is it weird/morbid that I really like the fireworks thing? Also, I don't have any enemies, but if I did...


Damn, I really thought I was the first one to think of post-cremation fireworks display. That's been my plan for years!

pissy elliott

No pottery?

Pariah Carey

@pissy elliott Hey, nice name.

pissy elliott

@Pariah Carey I feel like we should hang out, but I'm repelled by your presence and ashamed to be seen speaking with you. Why don't you go back to your SHUN SHACK?


@pissy elliott My entire kick-the-bucket list is Whoopi Goldberg-related


Speaking of post-cremation plans, I remember reading awhile ago that, for a ridiculous fee, you can have ashes somehow (I'm not good at science) turned into pretty crystalized gems! Who wants to mount me on a ring and wear me on their finger?

RK Fire

@cosmia The ultimate mourning ring!


@cosmia Or you could be turned into a tree. For the record, I'd like to be a tulip tree.

RK Fire

@SuperGogo That's also a great idea. I.. I don't know if I'd want to be a tree or fireworks now. Maybe a Fireworks Tree?


@RK Fire
... And the fireworks debris rains down a beautiful gem stone.

Sella Turcica

@NeverOddOrEven Yes! Cremation Diamonds!
My intended has already paid for the fireworks for himself. I think I need to save up for one 'a' these for my leavings.


@Martha Sowerby So, not to burst anyone's bubble, but I looked at that cremation diamond website, and also the tree website, and neither of them really make any sense. Cremated remains are actually ground-up bone, not ashes (I learned this by "scattering" a relative's "ashes" recently), so they're composed mostly of calcium phosphates, which is not what synthetic diamonds are made out of (that's carbon) and not, as far as I know, very useful to growing trees. Someone correct me if I'm wrong though.


@DianaPrince So I did more research (some other companies explain the diamond-making process better) and it turns out cremation diamonds are made from whatever carbon is left in the cremated remains... which is not a lot, but they add "lab carbon" as needed.

Sorry everyone, obviously I am weirdly obsessed with knowing how these cremation diamonds work.

RK Fire

@DianaPrince Thank you for doing the research we were all wondering about but didn't do!


I had to be escorted out of the Haunted Mansion, too! It was the stretching room monologue that did it for me. I was a bit younger, but I just went back a year ago and emerged triumphant!


@GEEKitty Same for me, except at Ripley's Haunted House. The guy working there walked me, and my sister through the employee exit, and gave us Oreos to make us feel better.


@GEEKitty Dude, that monologue is still scary. You see him hanging at the end!


@GEEKitty It's really fun later at night when everyone going on the ride has been on it a bunch of times and we all do the monologue along with the voice and scream really loud at the end. Pretty much the only scary thing I enjoy, due to familiarity/innumerable Disneyland visits.


Also, is it weird that I read that fireworks cremation page and only started to get misty eyed when I saw that they offer the service for pets too?


@cosmia I have all my dead dogs' ashes in urns (handmade sake bottles sealed with wax and champagne corks). Now I know what to declare as my funeral arrangements. We're all going to be fireworks together, dammit.


@laurel CRYING


@laurel I'm late replying, but just wanted to say thanks for bringing up dog cremation (that's a weird thing to say, isn't it?) because I'd never heard of doing that for pets, and I like the option. Unfortunately, I just went to a website about it and am now bawling at my desk.


This is excellent. I'd like to live in/haunt a tree for a few hundred years. You know, really take the time to understand chlorophyll.
(Also, did anyone else think of that Simpsons episode with Grandpa's girlfriend Bea? "Oh Abraham, calm down. I'm not here to scare you. They've got me haunting a family in Texas.")


13. Read Infinite Jest.

Hahahah yeah right, that's never going to happen. (I've started that book at least five times)

Banana Stand Money

@TheRisottoRacket Probably best to just not try anymore. It's not worth it, no matter how much others try to convince you.


@Banana Stand Money Pish and tosh. The first hundred pages or so are the sloggiest part. Given that they take place after the last chapter, I suggest, to those who want to read it but won't otherwise persevere, skip the first section and read it after the end.


@TheRisottoRacket My #13 is The Corrections.

Banana Stand Money

@laurel I literally just finished reading it and it felt like the first 100 pgs the whole way through to me. So, I say that if you are having trouble getting started, cut your losses. It doesn't mean anything that you couldn't get through it.


@Banana Stand Money You are right, it doesn't mean anything! Except that maybe you like different kinds of books. Of which there are many, yay.

I loved it and have read it several times, sometimes starting at the beginning immediately after finishing it. I get a lot out of it, I love Don Gately sincerely, and I think it's so, so funny. And so, so sad.


@TheRisottoRacket I always thought this was a case of judging a book by the cover. Or title anyway. Infinite indeed. It seems to last. It would last the whole war without being rationed.


@Amphora My #13 is Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.


@TheRisottoRacket I'm almost finished reading it! Some parts are definitely hard to get through and I gave up on my first attempt. The second time around I just decided not to care when I had no idea what was going on. Overall though, really great. Some real gems in it.


If space tourism doesn't become widely available in my lifetime, I am putting aside money for my kid/grandkid/whoever to take my ashes into orbit.

Banana Stand Money

Re: Infinite Jest, I can't imagine that will be a good idea even in death.

I speak as one who had their soul stolen by it slowly and only just finished it 3 weeks ago after a solid 9 months of slog through that unholy tome.


16. Show up in the mirror when a little girl says "Bloody Mary" three times at her first sleepover... and share with her some valuable life lessons. Armed with what I've learned over my entire lifetime, that little girl will go on to become President, abolish nuclear weapons, and end child hunger.


Go to the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys and inhabit the scary vintage dolls!

Trixie Firecracker

7. My name is also Meredith, and in high school I went on a weeklong trip to Ottawa with a bunch of other kids from across Canada. There was another girl there from Quebec named Marie Edith, and it look us a good 3 days to figure out what was going on and whose name was actually being called during attendance.

Trinette Magoon

Infinite Jest even has a ghost character! Ghosts: represented in Infinite Jest.


Steal food off people's plates.

Shark in a Funny Hat

I'm just happy to know that I am not the only person who was terrified of The Haunted Mansion at an embarrassing age.


The Haunted Mansion is the best! I used to get done with the ride and then get right back in line.


I love this. As someone who's spent a lot of time considering and coming to terms with her own death, I firmly believe that more humor and whimsy about the whole thing is sorely needed.
But Real Talk? Donate your body to science! I am, and I couldn't be more excited. Weird word to use, excited, but it always seemed like such a novel idea, and discovering how to and then doing it was awesome!
My organs will be donated, the University of Minnesota will have their way with me, then I will be cremated and returned to my family. And it's perfect. And cheap!

fondue with cheddar

@NeverOddOrEven I want to do this! My body is of no use to me once I'm dead, but if it can further the pursuit of science or help a medical student to learn it would be a waste to put it in the ground. How does one go about donating their body?


@fondue with cheddar
If you google "Anatomy Bequest Program" and your state or a particular college you'd like to go through that should point you in the right direction.
It always seemed to mysterious and almost like an urban legend, but a few years back I read Stiff by Mary Roach (all her shit is great) and there was a guide on how to donate in the back. And the whole time it was as simple as going to the University's website and getting an application or whatever. Now I have a wallet card! And an advanced directive, to be damn sure.

fondue with cheddar

@NeverOddOrEven Stiff was what made me want to do it! My favorite part was the bodies decaying in the field for forensic research. So gross, yet so cool. I totally forgot about the guide in the back. I'll give it another look, thanks!

fondue with cheddar

@NeverOddOrEven Oh, and as for organ donation, I've wanted to do that ever since I was little and my dad told me his mom (who died young) donated her corneas to someone to help them see. I thought that was so amazing. I still do!


@NeverOddOrEven Forgive me if this is beating a dead horse (ha!), but I just want to second the living fuck out of organ donation. It'll be fifteen years this June since I had my kidney transplant (thanks Mom!), and I can't describe what a difference it's made to my life. And I was lucky that I only needed a kidney. For many of the people awaiting other organ transplants, it can literally be the difference between living and dying.
Thank you to all you organ donors. You're letting people like me go to work and yell at the TV when our favorite sports team loses and write stupid shit on the Internet. I could spend the rest of my life trying to say how much that means and I'd never even get close. Thank you.

Nicole Cliffe

ORGAN DONATION. Any politician who wants to develop an opt-out organ donor system has my vote. AND, my God, if you are pro-life and do not support an opt-out organ donor system, DIAF.

RK Fire

Mental note: donate organs to science, have rest of body cremated and memorialized in a tree/firework extravaganza that somehow rains gems upon the earth.

fondue with cheddar

@area@twitter You're welcome! I would love it if one or more of my organs could improve or extend another person's life.

I wish I could remember enough about it to supply a link, but I saw this video where six people who received organs from a man set up a meeting with his widow where they all thanked her. It was one of the most moving things I've ever seen. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

fondue with cheddar

@RK Fire Did you say gems? (I love the fireworks idea, though.)


Beat away! I'm so happy that you were able to get the transplant you needed. I have a friend who recently donated a kidney and it is No. Joke.
Being in a position to potentially need a transplant one day (hence the death ruminations) I can't thank donors enough either! Or imagine not being one myself, even if skin is about all I'll have to offer that's worth anything.


@all Oh hey, look what just popped up in my Twitter feed- an excellent article about cadaver donation! I Donated My Body to Medicine


I have a feeling I'd just become a lost sock hoarder.


@Cawendaw would you ask your future colleagues to return my nice hand-knit one, please?


Find Meredith Kercher and ask her once and for all what the fuck happened. (Sorry guys, it's back in the news and I'm fascinated with Amanda Knox for some reason).


@Brunhilde I wanna find out what happened to that girl they found in that hotel water tank. I'll do that on the way to Disney World.


@Megasus What if they don't even know? I mean, what if Meredith just rolls her ghost eyes at ghost me and sighs because she's so sick of every ghost asking her and says "I don't know, all right, some random sicko."

Or she'll just say "My roommate and her twisted boyfriend, duh."


@Brunhilde Well I'll already be dead so it won't really be a waste of time.


I remember thinking everyone was coming down super unfairly on her because she wasn't emotional enough over the dead roommate. Which, sheesh, roommates can vary on a scale from Best Friend Forever to Stranger Who Better Not be Doing Anything Weird to My Toothbrush, so.



That said, I think I'd like to haunt Disney World when I die.


@Megasus I am SO UPSET they got rid of that and replaced it with a similar but not terrifying Stitch ride. I went on that Alien thing when I was in fifth grade and it was the scariest thing that ever happened to me and I want to experience it again, dammit!



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