You know there’s something wrong when a person dies and no one notices they’ve been missing for a year.
That’s the sad but true story of former B-movie actress and Playboy Playmate Yvette Vickers. Her neighbor discovered her decomposing remains in her home and the coroner believes she had been dead for about a year before her discovery.
What amazes me is the story of the neighbor, who was alerted to trouble when she saw letters in the mailbox turning yellow with age and covered in cobwebs.
According to this report, the neighbor pushed open a barricaded front gate, scaled a hillside, entered through a broken window and found Vicker’s body after maneuvering through the house where clothes, junk mail and letters formed barriers.
This brings the whole “I don’t want to die surrounded by cats”-phobia to a new level.
While I could spend time talking about the fact that our bodies are unimportant after death or how fleeting fame can be… basically the mature and thoughtful takes on this story that would make you feel smarter in the end, instead I’m going to give three tips for not ending up the person who is decomposed before they are missed.
#1. Allow easy access to your home. In most locales, visiting a friend does not require the physical aptitude of a special operations force member. In Vicker’s case, I think the neighbor should win an award for the sheer effort it took to get into the house.
Seriously, how many people would break through a gate, climb a hillside, crawl through a window and execute a search mission just for the fun of it? My goodness, I can hardly complete the effort it takes to open my freezer door to get ice cream – no way I’d manage to make it through the gauntlet described by this story!
#2. Procreate. Not only is it a God-given mandate, but having children is a fairly certain way to know someone will notice you’re missing. Lizard and I have this well-covered. Though not yet a true litter, our children are definitely capable of making sure we’re alive.
In fact, I don’t need an alarm clock anymore because Dos wakes me up each morning by getting approximately 1/4 inch from my face and stage whispering, “MOMMY??? Are you awake?”
Another great benefit of having a plentitude of offspring is the lack of need for a retirement plan. We’re just going to visit our children’s homes for weeks at a time in our retirement. It’ll be awesome and I know they’ll just love it.
#3. Go Join a Club or Something. Get involved in one of those organizations where the planners hunt you down and require you to pay dues.
Or better yet, become a school volunteer! Just this week I got a letter asking me to make sure Uno wore a red shirt, contributed pocket candies, and composed a four stanza poem in honor of her teacher. She’s going to do all those things and I’m going to work with her on a dramatic interpretation of Friends are Friends Forever just so the homeroom mom doesn’t hunt me down and shoot me with a BB gun.
I’m scared of the PTA ladies. No way you could get away with disappearing for long periods of time when you’ve got a mom with a checklist in front of her and a desire to affect the common good.
Simple solutions for making sure someone notices when you’re dead. Easy-peasy.
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