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When Tom dies, here's what to do

I had to deliver a eulogy at a funeral last week. That's the second time in less than a month I've had to publicly speak in past tense about a guy I liked. So: Guys who I like, please stop dying.

Sitting through the funeral, I had a sudden thought: I might die someday! That would suck. But if I do, I want my funeral to be done right. Therefore, I'm leaving behind these instructions, in case I die soon, like if I get hit by a state legislator who is driving and talking on his cell phone about how nice it is living deep up the rectum of some wireless-industry lobbyist.

Anyway, here we go (in no particular order, which is also pretty much the way I've lived my life):

· There has to be lots of laughing. I know that people say they want that, but then the mourners get all mournful, and the deceased has no way to get the party started. I want people to form a line and get up to the podium and finish this sentence: The time Tom made me laugh the most was _____. If there are any accountants in the audience, I want them to keep track of the number of times the words "idiot," "moron" and "a--hole" are used and write it down in a keepsake book for my wife, Ana.

· Oh yeah, I would like Ana to attend. She probably will, because she's has impeccable manners. It reminds me of that joke they had on Designing Women one time when Julia (Dixie Carter) was making fun of her socialite sister, Suzanne (Delta Burke). Julia asked, "Why doesn't the Junior League hold orgies?" The answer: "All those thank-you notes!"

Ana is mannerly to a fault. She is also the smartest woman I've ever known and drop-dead gorgeous. That's why, whenever we're together, people look at her, then they look at me, then they look at her again, and they think I'm holding her family hostage. But, be it known that I last made her laugh sometime during the first term of the Reagan administration. So, if she isn't laughing at the proceedings, it's not that y'all aren't funny; it's just that she'd probably prefer the humor to be more along the lines of Sense and Sensibility, where she can politely titter behind a lace hankie.

· My old friend Jimmy Kimmel has agreed to serve as master of ceremonies. He and I worked together on KRQ radio for about a week back in the early 1990s. This was before the geniuses who ran the station fired him, claiming that he had no talent or future. So all he did was land a gig on the top rock station in L.A., move on to TV, win an Emmy and become the third name mentioned in sentences that begin with "Jay Leno and David Letterman." (This is why the answer to the question "How do you make a small fortune in radio?" is "Start with a large fortune.")

Mostly, Jimmy and I would golf together (along with our friend and mentor, Mike Elliot) and play horrible pranks on one another. It got truly disgusting. One time, I took my 4-year-old son, Alexander, along. Alexander was holding on to one of the bars on the golf cart that hold the roof in place when Jimmy peeled out to see if he could burn rubber. Somehow, Alexander held on, but to this day, he gets the sweats when he sees a flag flying in a strong wind. Plus, his left arm is longer than his right.

Jimmy has owed me a favor ever since, so I'll use it for this funeral thing. He can bring his foul-mouthed girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, along with him, but don't let her speak. Ana probably wouldn't like the joke about how Silverman says she was raped by a doctor and, as a Jewish woman, she's all conflicted.

· Bring da' funk. I want Earth, Wind and Fire, James Brown, Parliament, Marvin Gaye, Average White Band and Sly and The Family Stone blasting before, during and after the Mass. Just don't let any of the white people dance. And the white people know who I'm talking about. I want people to walk into the church to the strains of "What's Goin' On?" Then, I want my buddies to pretend to drop the coffin and have it break open, at which time they should play "Pick Up the Pieces." And on the way out, I want "Thank You (Falettin' Me Be Mice Elf Again)."

· Oh yeah, if anybody even THINKS about spending thousands of dollars on a box for me, you'd better think again. You should just wait for rigor mortis to set in, point my toes and hammer me into the ground.

· I've always said that I want my tombstone to read "Tom: He Never Wore Sandals," mostly because I never have. But I need to come up with something that'll make Ana laugh at least one more time. As long as I can avoid those state legislators, I have about 50 years to work on that. Knowing Ana, it might take that long.

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