With all the Schiavo angst in the air we're scrunched a tad closer on the lumpy sofa of life to our own mortality, and I think that's what raises the hairs on the backs of our necks. That and a good tongue in the ear. So of course we think about these dilemmas in personal terms. Speaking for myself, and going over the laminated 'Rules' card I keep in my wallet, that's the only person I'm technically capable of speaking for, I'm sure I'm only a half dozen Burger King Black Angus' away from lying flat on my back with a feeding tube down my throat as well. Poetic justice that. And being the ornery, sarcastic twit my family has learned to love and loathe over the years, I know it will come as no surprise to them that I am publicly now stating that they should never pull the plug on me. Spare no expense. What is home refinancing for, anyway, you selfish louts? Like we really need another college education in the family. Where has that gotten any of us? And lest I forget to pile on the guilt, remember that very expensive trip to Wisconsin Dells I shelled out for? It was go-kart rides and Polish buffets for weeks, as I recall...As long as there is a fly speck on the ceiling of a second-rate nursing home worth contemplating for months on end, I would consider myself in Zen-like rapture. Even listening to Bow-Flex infomercials on the hospital bed TV will be a vacuous vacation from the PC-talk crap I have to deal with daily in academia. Augment my tube food with peanut butter and Absolut Citron. I already live on that now. For these simple pleasures I promise you can come to my bedside and reproach me for days on end and not get my typical acid-tongued retorts-- view my unresponsive state as long-term catharsis for the emotional wounds I've inflicted on you over the years. A sort of free-fire bitch zone. And you are encouraged to make faces at me. I'll even allow you put those phony-nose and mustache Groucho glasses on me. But I draw the line at Camen Miranda headgear. I'll take your confessions, too, without word or judgment, just a head loll and lung hack now and then. About what you get now, right? As far as I'm concerned, that's quality of life in a nutshell. And Sherri, I already know about that one-night-stand with the Mass Pike toll-booth dude, so when it's time, cut to the chase about what you did with the tuition money I fronted you in '94...in the meantime, when the inevitable occurs, I expect each and every one of you to honor my wishes: Skippy Super Chunk. And I don't give a damn if you have to force it down the tube with pipe cleaners each and every night.