(Note: if you have read my blog in the past, you know that I occasionally like to write about random childhood memories that pop into my head, often after lying dormant for years or even decades. These posts are, of course, pointless and self-indulgent. Then again, it's a blog. A blog about things and me. So screw it; here's a memory that recently worked its way to the surface of my consciousness.)
I must have been eight or nine years old. For some reason (or, more likely, some unreason) I became convinced that I was going to die in the fairly near future. Let's just say I had a "premonition." I may have envisioned this premature death as occurring in some sort of car accident, or possibly drowning or falling; I don't specifically recall. What's important is that I was convinced enough to make plans.
I knew from watching television that when people died they left behind an official document called the "Last Will & Testament." This mostly consisted of statements regarding who would inherit what part of their vast fortunes; amounts of money, houses, cars, businesses would change hands in an orderly fashion. Without documentation, there would be contention and disagreement, and the impersonal, unfeeling court of law would divvy things up, often to people that the dear departed actually hated. It could get messy.
And I didn't want that when I died. No, it was important that my wishes be carried out faithfully, and that the person I most cared about would benefit from my passing. With that in mind, I carefully prepared a document that looked more or less like this (I don't have the original, this is a reproduction):
Of course, to make it all nice and legal, I wrote it on college-ruled notebook paper.
Yes, I left everything in my vast estate, which as I recall included Matchbox cars and a book about dinosaurs, to my best friend, Jerry. He was my dearest buddy, had been for like, over a year, and he deserved something to help console him in the grief he was surely going to feel. And I damn sure didn't want people arguing at my funeral. At least not over Matchbox cars. That would certainly ruin the solemnity of the occasion.
So I wrote the note, my Last Will & Testament, and left it in my room.
But now, over 40 years later, I realize that I don't know where that document is. It may have been thrown away; then again, it may have been left somewhere in the house when we moved out in 1977. Someone may still have my Last Will & Testament. Some random guy named Jerry may be laying in wait to claim all of my stuff when I do finally die. I realize now that I must prevent this. I'm not ready right now to write a new will, but I can make the following pronouncement:
The Last Will & Testament that I wrote out in 1968 is no longer valid; I hereby declare it null and void. Oh wait--let's make it official:
Sorry, Jerry. I hope you weren't counting on my estate to provide you with a comfortable retirement income or anything. I know you'll be disappointed.
Tell you what--when I write the new will, I'll make sure you get the Matchbox cars. Assuming I remember your last name at some point.
Other Childhood Memories:
Yes, I'm The Kid Who Plugged In The Tweezers
Busted By Bobby Sherman
My Brief Career In Microbiology