A number of people have contacted me this week via email and social media to make sure that I'm not dead.
Spoiler alert: I'm not dead.
It seems that a man named Jeffrey H. Cohen passed away unexpectedly this past week and among other things, requested from beyond the grave that in lieu of donations to charity or flowers that people who wished to honor his memory might avoid voting for Donald Trump.
Since I was not aware that Dr. Cohen (he was a chiropractor) had died, it was something of a surprise when I received an email from a friend that began, "I'm fairly sure this is not your obituary." Then when the story of Dr. Cohen's preference gained some traction in the news media, it was posted on Facebook. While I can't say the response was enormous, there was some concern over my welfare, which I found touching. I also had some concern that there were people who thought I was a 70-year-old chiropractor from Pennsylvania who wore cowboy hats and chewed tobacco. Granted, Dr. Cohen did also have a son named Joshua, as I do, but that and the name (my middle initial is not "H," by the way) were where the similarities ended.
Although I do admit I found the Trump thing pretty amusing.
As I touched upon last week, my name is not at all an uncommon one. I don't know how many people in the U.S. are named Jeffrey Cohen but I can tell you that I'm friends on Facebook with 22 of them and would have gone on to friend many more if Facebook had not sent me a message saying that they knew what I was up to and would not allow me to continue with it, leading me once again to believe that Mark Zuckerberg started the whole thing just to prove what a tremendous killjoy he could be.
Still, the idea that there were those who thought I might have passed on and were upset about it was oddly comforting. None of them were close friends or family, since they knew for a fact that I was alive and not a 70-year-old chiropractor from Pennsylvania, hats and tobacco or no. While the doctor and I do appear to have shared at least a somewhat similar sense of humor, I think I'd go beyond what he'd requested and stipulate that those who wanted to honor my memory should donate to one of Mr. Trump's rivals, preferably one from the other party.
Many of us have that fantasy played out in Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer in which Tom attends his own funeral (everybody thinks he's dead) and hears what other people would say about him at that solemn occasion. I'd personally like to hold such a gathering before I shuffle off, mostly because I don't believe I'll be listening from beyond, but I doubt I will throw the soiree. For one thing, people would tend to be less honest with the guest of honor breathing and listening in the room. Also, it would absolutely reek of ego to do such a thing, and I hate letting anyone know that I have one.
So in case you were concerned, yes, I'm still a DEAD GUY but I am definitely not yet deceased, nor do I plan to be anytime soon. Of course, I doubt Dr. Jeffrey H. Cohen expected what happened to him either. There are no guarantees in life, not even the ones issued by the Sears company when you buy a new appliance. Sure, they say they'll fix your wall oven, but will they?
Anyway, in case you were one of the people who was worried, no. I'm not dead.
Also: Yes, we made it through the blizzard of '16. Most loyal readers will recall that I hate snow unequivocally, so imagine what a great mood I've been in the past two days. But as such things go, we were lucky. No power outages, no water contamination, just lots and lots and lots of what TV weather reporters insist on calling "the white stuff" because apparently they've never heard of whipped cream. So much for El Nino giving us East Coasters a mild winter.
P.S. Pitchers and catchers report in 24 days.