BURNING AMBITION

We complain about growing old, but do we really want to stop growing old ?

A friend told me he’d just turned 80 and it made him feel old and feeble.  “Oh yes,” I agreed. “Eighty is terribly old, a really awful age. I’m so glad I’m not 80 anymore.”

Although I feel hale and hardy I might be getting close to the final bell.  I thought I heard the warning buzzer the other day, but it was probably just the wax building up in my ears again.  Anyway, I’m making some hereafter and here-under plans. For instance, I’m opting for cremation.  The old graveside prayer, based on Genesis, reminds us of our “ashes to ashes” fate.  But what to do with the ashes?  I wouldn’t want to be stuck on someone’s closet shelf next to the mothballs box until Gabriel finally blows his horn.

I wrote a feature once  about a fellow named Pete who’d left instructions for his ashes to be dropped from a plane into Giants Stadium, an imaginative idea, but the stadium back then had AstroTurf and he wouldn’t have been able to settle in and fertilize the gridiron grass. A lot of his remains were sure to be picked up by the cleats of visiting teams and eventually Pete would be scattered around all the NFL stadiums.   Maybe that’s what he had in mind.  He’s probably had a bugs-eye view of some great Superbowl games, the lucky stiff!

I have a more personal destination for my ashes.  I’ve lived beside beautiful Lake Parsippany for over half a century and I’d like most of my ashes sprinkled into its blue waters. Since the lake has a catch-and-release rule I won’t end up as part of a fisherman’s dinner.

Taking a cue from Pete, I’d like a very small part of my grainy remains, just a teaspoonful, eventually deposited in Citi Field. I have a feeling that the New York Mets are about due for a great season and I’d like to be there when it happens, if possible in the on-deck circle.

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