Nostradamus Can Eat My Shorts

(Originally ran on February 24th, 2003)

While growing up as a wee lad in Bountiful, Utah, my father taught me a number of important things, from how to grill a steak to how to fix the sprinkler heads I'd chopped off with the lawnmower to how to tell the difference between a 62 and a 63 Dodge Dart (Check the taillights). He also taught me to "write my journal in advance."

Now, I know what you must be saying. "Why, Josh, surely one cannot write his own future in advance. In fact, wasn't there a small group of French peasants in the 1950's that tried that very policy until squabbles over marriage conflicts and cheese production resulted in a number of nasty legal battles and at least three public beheadings?"

My answer, of course, is "yes, there was. But I am not French*." Actually, what I think my dad had in mind was the idea that if you plan ahead, you are much more likely to succeed in life. For example, years ago I promised myself that I would never spend money on bottled water or speak the phrase "head cheese" in public. On that note, I have decided to provide you with a preliminary draft of my obituary, in the hopes that it will both inspire me on to greatness and fill some valuable column space. Bon appetite.

MY OBITUARY (tentatively dated April 24th, 2018)

A nation mourned yesterday with the news that local author, musician, and favorite son Joshua Alan Terry had been executed by firing squad in Columbia late last week.

Born October 24th, 1976 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Josh was raised in Bountiful in the midst of suburbia. He is survived by his parents, Alan and Karen, his younger sister and Delaware poet laureate Katie, his dog Otto, and his legions of adoring fans, most of whom are currently residents of the Illinois State Asylum for the Criminally Insane in Joliet, Illinois.

An eclectic enthusiast of music, the arts, and sumo wrestling, Josh also enjoyed the outdoors, placing funny pictures of Al Gore on his Internet website, and associating with fictional alter egos. He was always up for a rousing game of tackle football, and was renowned for his gourmet tacos.

While perhaps best known as the drummer for the proto-punk outfit Gingivitis, Josh also held a number of invigorating jobs throughout his life, including TV Cameraman, indentured bean-picker, bouncer, columnist, and English teacher. He graduated from the University of Utah in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications, and was awarded a Masters of Science from Utah State University following a successful thesis on soul music. He is also noted for several best-selling humor compilations like "I Hate Bob Saget," "Bob Saget is a Communist," and "If I Ever See Bob Saget on a Commuter Rail, I Will Beat Him Soundly With a Ukulele Until He Begs for Mercy Like the Nazi Rat He Is." Persistent rumors of alien abductions have never been confirmed.

A selfless philanthropist, Josh dedicated the last years of his life to children. After living in a school bus on a Hawaiian beach for two years, supported by the income from his books and the albums he'd recorded with Gingivitis, Josh decided to spend the last two years of his life teaching postmodern American fiction to the children of political prisoners in Columbia. His execution followed a long-running dispute with a government official regarding the moral implications of Kurt Vonnegut's "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater."

While certain dreams of wealth, fitness, and Nicole Kidman were never fully realized, Josh did count his Eagle Scout among the proudest of his accomplishments, as well as the 216 consecutive days he wore the same tie while a missionary in south Chicago. His motto for life was the great declaration of Revolutionary War hero Patrick Henry: "If this be treason, then let us make the most of it."

This Saturday Josh's remains will be on public display between 11am and 3pm at his favorite Mexican restaurant, The Red Iguana, located at 8th West and North Temple in Salt Lake City. Afterwards, in a private ceremony, his good friend and weatherman Mark Eubank will toss his coffin into the Great Salt Lake following a 12-gun salute and a vocal solo from Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

"Goodnight, sweet prince! And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!"

*Anyone offended by my mention of the French is free to substitute any of the following options: Dutch, Texans, Libertarians, Submarine Commanders, John Travolta.