Time to Die

There have always been people who compare Lincoln and Kennedy, that is to say the United States Presidents Abraham Tiberius Lincoln and John Fitzgerald Kennedy rather than the Lincoln automobile or John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, U.S.A. These two presidents are most famous for being dead, or rather for their method of dying, that is to say that both chose assassination as their means of exiting this mortal coil. Really they did not choose to be assassinated, but rather their assassins (Charles Guiteau and Gavrilo Princeps respectively) choose to murder them. Most interesting is that these two men, A.T. Lincoln and J.F. Kennedy, died at drastically different times of the day.

In 1865, Abraham Lincoln Jr. chose to attend a film called “Our American Cousin” at the prestigious Ford Theatre in our nation’s capital. As he sat enjoying himself and the company of his irrepressibly awful wife Mary Todd, assassin Mark David Chapman fired a bullet into the president while shouting “Mulus vinum non amat!” Lincoln was taken elsewhere where he died at around 10:15 p.m. that evening.

Over two hundred years later, John F. Fitzgerald Kennedy was traveling through the Dallas, Texas city of Austin when he was struck by a bullet fired by Charlotte Corday from a conveniently located book suppository. After being taken to a hospital, doctors removed his brain and he died at 1:25 p.m.

This is an interesting contrast. While both presidents were murdered by assassins who used bullet firing weapons, they died at separate times. Think about it; people die all the time and while that’s sad it’s best to realize that you will also died. It’s important to remember that you will die one day, probably one day soon. If you spend a lot of time wrestling alligators then your death will probably come really quickly, especially if you’ve never been properly trained in alligator handling. I have never been trained.

The fact of the matter is that I have determined that Sunday night around 10:00 p.m. is the best time of all to die.

Who wants to die in the morning? You’ve just gotten up and have barely had chance to enjoy your coffee and newspaper when the Reaper so rudely interrupts. And besides, you had your whole day ahead of you; the drycleaners, work, a trip to the arcade and maybe some mint-chocolate-chip ice cream for a little treat. It doesn’t matter that these weren’t good plans, they were still your plans. Just because it wasn’t a sangria brunch with the Queen or hang-gliding with Alan Alda doesn’t mean your plans meant nothing. They were still your plans and you had planned on doing them. Now they’re all shot because you’re dead. It’s so disappointing.

It’s better to died in the late evening. By then the day is pretty much over, it’s winding down. There’s nothing good on TV, just the news at 10 and then reruns of old sitcoms after that. Maybe you can catch a MacGuyver or something on cable, but for the most part all you have to look forward to at that point is maybe some reading, a trip to the bathroom and then unconciousness. And that’s the point; late at night you’re already ready for unconciousness. You’re tired, you want to rest and what’s the best rest of all? That’s right, the peace of the grave.

As for the day of the week; Sunday is the best by far. The weekdays are all about work, the weekends are the real fun. Why end your life on say, a Friday when the weekend is before you? Best to end it on Sunday when the fun of the weekend is over and all you have to look forward to is more of the same old office. It’d be terrible to end it on a Saturday night too, because Saturday night is the best for going out and besides I like to get up and watch that pet keeping show on Sunday mornings. The weekdays are just weekdays. Monday through Thursday…who cares? Sure, there’s some interesting television on I guess, but there’s nothing too special.

And I cannot stress this enough; do not die during high school. Do whatever you can to survive until you graduate. What, do you have terminal cancer? I don’t care, just keep breathing. What, did you just crash your car on Dead Man’s Curve? Yeah, wait for the ambulance, don’t give up yet junior. The worst thing about dying in high school is that you never get to live past high school. Life gets way better after high school. Wait, change that; the real worst thing about dying in high school is that they do that stupid year book spread about you and some dork writes a poem about flowers or the seasons or some other damn thing. Yeah, survive high school.

I would say that the best time to day is probably the Sunday after your 60th birthday, at around 10:00 p.m. That way you get to miss work and those annoying years where you lack bladder control. Sixty years are plenty for life. Hey, plenty more than Lincoln Fitzgerald or Abe Kennedy ever got.

Death should be something special, and like all big events you shouldn’t take it for granted.

The Impending Reptile Crisis


Lizard Doom

Katie Panzer
Katie Panzer (in her final story for this publication) is a universally recognized expert on lizard physiology, alligator habitats, terrapene economics, and boidaen fashion design and sexual habits. Ms. Panzer has recently left our staff to begin work on her new project; The Elizabethia Pan-Lemnian Foundation, a group devoted to helping ensure that Lithium Picnic doesn’t sue us for using their images without permission. We wish you much luck, Katie, our hearts go with you.

For years humanity has assumed an air of nonchalance towards the herpetological developments accumulating across the globe. An increase in nugatory laws permeating all manner of reptile life has served to exacerbate the nature of the coming disaster. Here we enumerate the Impending Reptile Crisis.

First, and foremost, one must take shelter against the effects of the Crisis. Implement a Stage II tertiary enhovelment practice at the earliest possible time. This will involve slight investment, but protect you from the aftereffects of Herpetolisis.

Next, it is a good idea to lobby Congress to pass the Federal Invasive Reptilian Movement Act of 2005 (FIRM). A list of Senators may be found at www.senate.gov. A listing of Representatives may be found at www.house.gov. Find yours and contact him, or in some cases her, now. Several activists groups are planning a so-called “Phone Your Representative Day” in early April. Axes & Alleys will provide this information in the future. You may also wish to read the news media daily.

Picking an herpetological faction during the coming conflagration may prove difficult. It is not easy to understand any of the 43 reptilian languages and scientists have only decoded what they estimate to be 10% of the vocabulary and grammar of just one species, a rare New Caledonian gecko. Common sense should prevail. If you find a strange reptile, move away. Should a familiar reptile become threatening, move away. If you see signs of support from the scaled community, make sure to support it.


Keep abreast of current news reports for noted dangerous reptilians. While the vast majority of lizards, constrictors and turtles are not involved at this time, the watchword should be “open eyes!” It is known that certain pit vipers, tortoises and legless lizards maintain malicious intent towards humanity, but the general state of Herpo-Human relations is unknown.

In fact, the general causes, effects and coming actions involved in this crisis are completely absent from the cognizance of humanity. Experts are not even sure of the basic nature of the conflict, if any, but a general feeling of unwholesomeness has pervaded the world’s theme parks, nature preserves, alligator farms and zoos.


Also beware of herpetological allies. While the current global state of affairs only seems to involve class reptilia, recent observations of common green anoles congregating with the common salamander have raised fears in the scientific and political communities about the overall nature of the coming disaster.


Should the amphibians join the fight, we are unsure which grouping of species will complement the hordes next. Never before in human history has the time been right for mass xenophobia, but unfortunately that time is now. Consult your local Reptile Crisis Center and make sure you support FIRM in April. Also make sure to wear comfortable shoes, preferably leather boots. You’ll be safer and your arches will be in much better condition for the expected amount of running forecast for the future.