Monday, March 27, 2006

Words, words, words

The morning of my cancer surgery I woke an hour before my son and gathered up the few things I would take to the hospital. My wife had made me a photo album to keep by my bed and this went into a small bag along with my ipod, a portable dvd player, and some toiletries that would never see the light of day. I had to be at the hospital two hours before surgery and my biggest worry was leaving before my son woke up. My second biggest worry was not leaving before my son woke up.

As it turned out, he woke up a few minutes before I had to leave. I hugged him, told him I loved him and that I would see him later. Toddlers have no sense of time and as far as he was concerned, the word "later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

I knew that "later" meant one of two things: either "five days from now when they let me out" or "never."

There are rare times in your life when everything crystallizes and you can for good reason wander around your house saying things like: "this could be the last time I look out this window" or "this could be the last time I take a hot shower." Or, as was the case with me, "this could be the last time I stand out on my fucking lawn waiting for this neurotic dog to poop."

Because we all know that there'll be a last time we do everything and that time and that day may be closer than we think. There's already things we've done for the last time, maybe because we don't do those things anymore, or maybe they don't do us. I won't anchor the 400m relay again, despite the fact that leaning into the curve of a black asphalt track with the baton in my hand, the finish line in front of me and the field behind me is the closest I'll probably come to heaven.

Of course, I've had an asthma attack while losing my virginity for the last time, so maybe things even out.

These are lasts long lost, but they're buried in the shallows and you don't need cancer's sharp edge to dig them up. We all straddle the past and future, and the present's jammed up our ass like Tom Sawyer's fence picket.

When I was young my parents took me to the funeral of a family friend. I'm sure at the time I thought she was old. I now realize she was probably younger than I am. She died of cancer, I don't remember what kind, and who really cares. Dead is dead and no one ever asks the families of shooting victims what kind of bullet it was. What I remember was she had written her own eulogy. I don't remember a single word of it, but I remember hearing her voice in the words. It felt like she had traveled some way to find us, and I was happy she had taken the time to visit. I missed her less, and wasn't nearly as scared of where she had gone. She was real, she was present, and while she was less than alive she was much more than dead.

Back then I knew that words were fun toys and that I was a clever little boy who pleased the grown-ups who watched him play with pen and paper. I could rub two sentences together but did not understand that doing so might create fire. This was the first time I had witnessed a spell being cast.

I wonder sometimes if all these years later her children ever read the eulogy and if it still has the transportational powers it had that day. Just thinking about it works for me, but I admit I draw different lessons from it than they would. I'm a writer first and foremost so I've always loved the magic I discovered that day even though I can't remember the spell.

But I'll let you in on a little secret that only my wife and my therapist know:

I've spent the last twenty-five years composing my own eulogy. I've never written it down, never even started it. But I've written it a thousand times in my head. Ever since I was young I've been obsessed with all aspects of my funeral. Who would speak, Who would be there...What they would say...Where it would be held, what kind of music would I choose...What kind of food would be served at the afterparty...I'm an incredibly arrogant sonuvabitch, and it probably won't surprise you to know my funeral's a pretty tough ticket it's so fucking crowded with mourners.

I've brought myself to tears dozens of times with this masturbatory/fetishistic reimagining of my final words washing out over the assembled masses. Sometimes funny, chiding yet touching, my eulogy at all times insightful and peaceful and reassuring to the thousands who have gathered to mark the passing of one of the great unheard voices of a generation.

Words.

My ultimate words.

At the end of the day, why do we write? We write to remember, we write to be remembered, we write to discover who we are, or determine it for others. Our words will always outlive us, immortalizing us if not always powerful enough to make us immortal. Although if we choose our words well, there will always be a way back to life, a way to and fro through time. Someone will always feel us like it was yesterday, someone will smell our skin again, if we choose our words well.

If we choose our words well there need not always be a last. If we choose our words well there will always be a way to find us.

I have chosen my words. They are:

There are motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane.

144 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. You've articulated the urge to write beautifully. It was a long wait for this last post, but it was definitely worth it.

3/27/2006 8:16 PM  
Blogger coltrane said...

The last line had me in tears. That should be on your tombstone.

3/27/2006 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Karen Baird-Eaton said...

glad to see you're back, Mr. Wizard; magic spells and all.

3/27/2006 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a horrible bastard. I just snorted coffee all over my keyboard. And what's worse, you stole the words from MY tombstone! And they were so original, too...

3/27/2006 8:36 PM  
Blogger Sarah Jayne said...

priceless! I was about to quote the last paragraph on my blog... but then the last line...

Well fuck... you got me - laugh out loud - good. So glad they didn't change the title to "FLIGHT ONE-TWENTY WHO GIVES A FUCK" - because I don't think it would have the same impact on your tombstone.

Welcome back!

3/27/2006 8:45 PM  
Blogger Konrad West said...

So I guess you didn't die, which is cool.

Or did you write this post as your eulogy *before* the surgery...?

3/27/2006 9:10 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

If anyone is within punching distance of Josh, please punch him.

Glad you're alive... You bastard.

3/27/2006 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Greg said...

Since you convinced them to keep the title, this truly is your legacy. Brilliant.

3/27/2006 9:19 PM  
Blogger Scott Derrickson said...

Holy shit, that was the most satisfying twist ending since "The Sixth Sense".

3/27/2006 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Amen brother... glad to see your words again.

3/27/2006 9:25 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I really should have seen that one coming. Fucking brilliant. Truly a man after my own heart.

3/27/2006 9:48 PM  
Blogger Hayofray said...

You're a genius

3/27/2006 9:54 PM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

I just snorted tea all down my front.

Thanks for that.

Glad you're back to weaving spells. :-)

3/27/2006 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Great to read a new post. Been way too long. Really looking forward to the Snakes and the sequels that follow... plus the direct to video spinoffs based on other characters and the animated series. I enjoyed reading your confession. I wonder if it's a Jewish thing - this obsession with death. There's only two ways to have a good funeral - either you surround yourself with family and friends who will lie when the time comes to bury you, or you live a spectacular life with lots of witnesses.

3/28/2006 12:14 AM  
Blogger Jesse Wendel said...

Happy to see you back Josh.

3/28/2006 1:10 AM  
Blogger drewpiece said...

I love your sense of humor, Josh, but it's also good to read a somewhat serious post from you after all you've been going through recently.

3/28/2006 2:03 AM  
Anonymous Reint said...

Thank you, Josh. That was beautiful. Hope we'll see you back here really soon.

3/28/2006 2:11 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/28/2006 3:36 AM  
Blogger AKA said...

"There are motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane"

We cannot ask for a more honest or more heartfelt declaration than that, for none exists in the history of wordsmithery. You, sir, rule.

3/28/2006 3:49 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

you are so bent

You are... writing words, words, more words! Well, you'll make a rope of words and strangle this business!

I'm never flying again.

3/28/2006 4:13 AM  
Blogger RKBentley said...

Glad to see you back was worried there for a bit.

I didn't have coffee or tea when I read the last line but it did make me laugh.

3/28/2006 5:10 AM  
Blogger demented baboon said...

Entertaining but sad. We all gots to croak sometime. Now about Hollywood and dirty celebs...

3/28/2006 6:12 AM  
Blogger thethirdcoast said...

Great to have you back, Josh. Terrific post--words are indeed a potent and peculiar route to immortality.

3/28/2006 6:38 AM  
Blogger Mary Lewys said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/28/2006 6:45 AM  
Blogger Mary Lewys said...

You bastard. Nearly in tears, I end up busting out laughing at the last line.

Bastard. Best ending ever. You win at teh life, as the kids like to say.

3/28/2006 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Juancho said...

Amazing that the zeitgeist here was pretty much the same for everyone reading this...

"Friedman, you sick bastard, we love you!"

I imagine my funeral being packed as well. I used to fantasize about faking my own death and showing up at the funeral in disguise. Of course, I went messy, so it was a "closed" (rather, empty) casket. My mother was weeping. Ex-girlfriends and chicks I knew in high school were there.

Wow. Must be a writer thing.

3/28/2006 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Stephen Benson said...

now, with the inside of my nose all coffee scalded, my lap soaked, i realize i heard the voice of samuel jackson saying that fucking line. perfect.

3/28/2006 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Joshua said...

love ya, man, and not just 'cause you're also blessed with the beautiful moniker "Josh".

3/28/2006 7:41 AM  
Blogger markclemens said...

Ha! Motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane. I get misty, man. Friggin' misty.

3/28/2006 8:25 AM  
Blogger Godsbane said...

I think it's a human thing, to think about one's death and funeral and what comes after. Most of the people I know do...

We are the blessed animal, to not only know that we can die, but that it is unavoidable.

As far as I know, dogs and dolphins and birds and bees aren't aware of the inevitablity of it all... And motherfucking snakes on a motherfucking plane don't seem to have a motherfucking clue!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd buy your book if you wrote one about all this.

3/28/2006 8:28 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

I'm grateful the Greencine Daily directed me over. Clearly, now that you're back, and with death adequately practiced, you are a man to listen to. Congratulations on surving surgery!! And my wishes for many years of health to come.

Are you the fan who created the following?

http://www.subatomicwarp.com/Snakes_On_A_Plane.mp3

3/28/2006 8:43 AM  
Blogger Scott Weinberg said...

Dude, how have you not written a comedy yet? Seriously.

Glad you're recovering. Best wishes on the healing and all.

3/28/2006 8:47 AM  
Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

bladder infection

(nothing worthwhile left to say that hasn't already been said but HAD to write SOMETHING)

3/28/2006 9:26 AM  
Blogger Simon Underwood said...

By some stroke of luck as I was reading and tapping down the page, the very last line was the only thing not in my window, so when I made that last tap and the immortal phrase popped up...nothing short of genius. And I'm not using that word lightly.

I've planned out aspects of my funeral too, after attending one last year where the music of Steps was heard (and if anyone from the UK reads this, they should know the horror I speak of.) Personally, I'm going out to The Who.

Hope you're getting better every day.

3/28/2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger rwellor said...

best last line evar!

Nice essay about life, death and time also..

but what a line...

3/28/2006 9:39 AM  
Blogger JB said...

We missed you so much! Welcome back.

3/28/2006 9:41 AM  
Anonymous el diablo de verde said...

i'm glad you're still around and still posting, dude. your very moving post cracked me up in the end, and once again i'm having to wonder if snakes on a plane is some horrible inside joke, or some viral marketing thing, or some april fool's thing, or some kind of other thing that i'm too dense/square to get. but, life under this administration has taught me to trust in the worst.

3/28/2006 9:43 AM  
Blogger RogerRmjet said...

There are motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane.

Josh, I trust you read in the Hollywood Reporter the other day that Snakes on a Plane has gone back for five days of additional shooting, to add more violence, more gore, and more snakes to kick it up to an R. They are also adding a slight variation of your immortal line above, because the fans wanted it. I think you deserve some type of screen credit at the very least.

3/28/2006 10:32 AM  
Blogger AAwoken said...

Very nice. Very quotable. I think I'll quote you.

And the snakes on the plane bit is brilliant. A new meme is born.

3/28/2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

Okay, I admit it: I don't get the last line, although it did make me do a bit of a spit-take (luckily I was drinking only water). The rest of your post, I absolutely get. I have the luxury of knowing that I will die before too long (although I started a trial drug today that I hope will grant me a bit of an extension on that), and that is enabling me to wrap things up the way I want them. This includes funeral arrangements, and yes, I've given my eulogy considerable thought. I guess I want to leave some kind of imprint, something that encapsulates who I've been, and is maybe a bit instructive. I do think it's a writer thing, and in my case, also a teacher thing.

It was great to read another post from you.

3/28/2006 1:17 PM  
Blogger anthony vieira said...

yes!
goddammit, yes!
i write because i don't want to die.
thank you.

3/28/2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger Jackie Honikman said...

I don't know you, but i love you.

3/28/2006 1:41 PM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

Having worked my way through most of your posts, I find the recent Snakes On A Plane development most ironic. Adding extra footage that the fans wanted... might as well just write a movie by committee. Forget the singular author just ask what some people on the internet want from a movie. I'm sure it will be soft and cuddly but with extra fire power. To steal a line from the Simpsons.

I raise my glass and say "To your health."

3/28/2006 1:47 PM  
Blogger kiwidebra said...

Brilliant, as usual. I personally have decided to be cremated into diamonds and made into jewelry. Then, my family and friends will always have a piece of me hanging around. Ok, that sounds really gross now that I've put it in writing. Eh, who cares? That's their problem. I'll be dead.

3/28/2006 1:47 PM  
Blogger aimee said...

GENIUS!

3/28/2006 2:44 PM  
Anonymous silent thomas said...

You sir, win at the Internet. Fantastic post, and there has never been a final line better than that.

3/28/2006 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Haris Orkin said...

Josh, I was worried about you. Nice to see your back. Excellent essay. Taps into exactly why I write. Nothing like a close encounter with mortality to make you yearn for a little bit of immortality.

3/28/2006 7:43 PM  
Blogger Aidan Hawke said...

I can't believe that trying to find what all this "Snakes on a Plane" business was about would lead me to such an amazing blog. Every post is fantastic, especially this one which prompted me to comment. Well done. =D

3/28/2006 7:59 PM  
Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Funny shit, nice post as usual, and did you guys check out the logo for Snakes/Plane? Beautiful.

3/28/2006 9:18 PM  
Blogger David Press said...

wow, hope everything goes well, and that last line fucking got me. Fantastic. Feel better, man.

3/28/2006 10:52 PM  
Blogger W said...

You, sir, are the wind beneath my wings.

3/28/2006 11:33 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia Burgess said...

true to the end....the 'motherfuckin snakes on a motherfuckin plane' end.


Again, you are the man! Just when I thought you were getting all sappy and morbid on us--Snakes on a Motherfucking plane!

3/28/2006 11:43 PM  
Blogger Robot Porter said...

Great "shaggy dog" post.

We think you've gone all "post cancer" on us, and BLAM! you zing us at the end.

You are a wicked man, Josh. And we need a lot more like you!

3/29/2006 4:05 AM  
Blogger RogerRmjet said...

Ellen, read this previous post and all will be made clear:
http://hucksblog.blogspot.com/2005/08/snakes-on-motherfucking-plane.html

3/29/2006 7:07 AM  
Blogger Unsigned said...

Josh,

You're entire post was beautiful. I felt honestly touched as I read your thoughts and fears. I laughed, I cried, I never saw that ending coming.

You fucking bastard.

Keep up the good work. We hope to see more of you as the days go by.

3/29/2006 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

*dude* that's great :-)

Seriously, go for it - we had a 'hand fast' as well as a wedding, and being able to write your own service and vows to each other is wonderful.

3/29/2006 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally. I love you.

3/29/2006 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That basically made my day.
Thanks.

-Dan

3/29/2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger The Dancing Kids said...

I so <3 you right now.

I am fascinated with your obsession regarding your own funeral. I have never thought about it, though I have been obsessed with "the last this" or "the last that". My family seemed to always be obsessed with "He'll/She'll never..." as in "He'll never walk this hallway again" - which always struck me as maudlin and made me nuts.

*adds 'plan own funeral' to To-Do list*

3/29/2006 11:12 AM  
Blogger Chara said...

Thanks for renewing my obsession with mortality.

3/29/2006 11:22 AM  
Blogger ellen said...

Thank you, rogerrmjet, nowwwwwww I get it!

Freakin brilliant.

3/29/2006 11:58 AM  
Blogger gencinjay said...

The last line aside, brilliantly funny as it was, this post has inspired me to start my own blog. While I have none of your talent, it's something I've felt the itch to do for quite some time. If you value your time at all don't look for it.

Just for the record, I get to blame you for any public humiliation as a result!

3/29/2006 1:24 PM  
Blogger writergurl said...

Damnit, do you KNOW how much Diet Coke snorted the wrong way through your nose fuckin' hurts?

Loved the post. The Diet Coke trick? Not so much.

3/29/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger SteveTP said...

I'm goin' out to Floyd - High Hopes...

Or maybe "Over the Hills and Far Away"...

I'm waving the white flag - thsi Snakes on a Plane stuff is drivign me insane.

3/29/2006 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, so glad you're back! Did you just have a second op? Hope you're okay...

3/29/2006 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using "motherfucking" twice in one sentence is really something...hope you are recovering at this very moment.

3/29/2006 6:20 PM  
Blogger Hamish said...

I just laughed so hard that I woke up the 2 month old baby and her mother who were sleeping right next to me. I've been relegated to the couch for internet browsing. The excuse, "But, but, but it's Josh Friedman," certainly doesn't work for me at 1:30 in the morning.

It'd probably work for you on anyone besides your wife and kids. *shrugs* I'm just not so lucky.

I'm glad everything seems to be going well for you. Your post moved me. \\n/

3/29/2006 10:48 PM  
Blogger Aaron Forsander said...

I just spit Mountain Dew in and around my crotch.

3/29/2006 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you are a God.

3/30/2006 7:35 AM  
Blogger mkc said...

Damn...I'm afraid to step foot outside at this point. What's wrong? I usually walk away from your blog feeling good. Now, I'm left pondering...and yes, I'll admit, laughing. Nice last line!

3/30/2006 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Kari said...

I have missed you. And your motherfucking snakes.

3/30/2006 3:32 PM  
Anonymous the whip said...

Okay, everyone, we get it: your nostrils had liquids in them other than mucus. Hello? Writer-cliche! The first couple are understandable (I've used it too) but, hey, 10th guy, motherfucking writer's cliche on a motherfucking writer's blog.

Sigh.

Great post, Josh. I'm sure tomorrow's post will be even better (said the josh-addict who hates clicking here for a month with nothing to show for it).

3/30/2006 10:28 PM  
Anonymous mandrake said...

Josh, I am a french screenwriter and I caught up with your blog today. I hadn't read it in a long time and I had no idea of this kidney tumor thing. I just love the way you write about it and am so glad you seem to be fine now.
I am with you, as a lot of people are.
May the force be with you.

3/30/2006 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck you, dude. Fuck you and your pious cancer sympathy ploy.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE faces adversity. For some it's cancer or the loss of a loved one...for others, it's having to sit through WAR OF THE WORLDS.

Regardless, your shameless stringing along of Hollywood wannabes is more tragic than any cancer that might invade your tiny, egotistical, self-centered "brain".

You are a hack. No, you are a hack's hack. You are such a lame writer that David "The Fucking Antichrist" Koepp has to be brought in to "save" your script.

I'd rather die by my own hand than ever let Koepp walk all over my work in a published script. If you had an ounce of integrity (or any sack at all) you wwould have taken your name off of WOTW and let Koepp take credit for the shitstorm that it is.

But there's money involved, I understand...and lord knows you have to pay for your "cancer".

Fucking sellout.

3/31/2006 1:01 AM  
Blogger Simon Underwood said...

I'm speechless. Oh, no I'm not. I'm only wishing Mr. Anoynomous here had left some kind of trail to who he/she was.

I initially thought this might be a joke, but I'm leaning towards not. And in the hope that Mr. Anon is still looking in here to see a response (and I'm sure his ego is ensuring that he is), well, I shouldn't rise, but I'm known for that. I'm not going to answer on behalf of Josh (that's his right, though I'm sure he'll rise above it. Me, I'm petty.)

Man, whoever you are, you clearly don't like films. Movies are not your thing are they? No, you like Art. With the capital "A". Your screenplays - if indeed you do write them - are wonderous, astounding pieces of literal brilliance. Your characters discuss meaningful issues and are eloquently spoken. The thought and time you put into your work is immense, and with each script, you answer one of the great quandries that mankind faces. There's just one problem. YOUR. WORK. WILL. NEVER. SELL.

Me, I write movies. I want to make people cry, swoon, laugh and occasionally scare the shit out of them. I'm only just beginning in this - I defer to people more experienced than me. People like Josh and David Koepp who are, oh what's that word, the one you hate? Oh, that's it, successful.

You talk about integrity? If you have any yourself, you'd give up writing now, because you clearly don't love it. No-one with your amount of venom could. You'd "rather die by your own hand" then have a rewritten produced screenplay? That's pretty sad. And what happens if that scenario ever comes to pass - will you and your integrity honour this proclamation you have made? I doubt it. Anyway, all I can say is, I'm glad I'm not you. I'm happy being me.

Josh - sorry for bringing this into tit-for-tat territory. Feel free to delete this if you want.

3/31/2006 1:49 AM  
Blogger Mone said...

Great, just great. My thoughts are with you. Get well soon.

3/31/2006 4:19 AM  
Blogger Vince DC said...

Thanks for making me feel like a complete failure as a writer. No, really, I don't mean that in a negative sense. It's a rave review of your latest post. You see, I just posted some gibberish about my own surgery and it's embarrassing how inarticulate, clumsy and self-aggrandizing I was compared to the beautiful, poignant prose that you shared with us. I am humbled.

One last thing, was this a put-on? If it was, you are one devious motherfucker. I was almost in tears before that last line!

If it wasn't, please don't pull an Andy Kaufman on us and let us know how it all turned out.

3/31/2006 5:30 AM  
Blogger hermit of the hills said...

pjust great. i'll wait a year to read words like that. this post had everything a good six feet under episode needs. and ...although snakes on a plane already seems dead, hyped and self- internet community referentialized to hell, this was a genius ending. thank you for that.

3/31/2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger Humapple said...

We all love ya' Josh, but damn it I wish you could post more often. Again though, as people have cited, quality over quantity.

3/31/2006 4:57 PM  
Anonymous David Mulholland said...

Anonymous has a small penis.

4/01/2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger Georgi Rimsakov said...

There is lots of anger from many people here. "Life is short and there is no time for fussing and fighting, my friends" (Ringo Lennon)

4/01/2006 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Terry said...

That was beautiful, and poignant, and then of course at the end I sat with my head in my hands and laughed my arse off. Thank you.

4/02/2006 5:41 AM  
Blogger snoopy said...

perhaps the best blog entry I have ever read. i laughed; i cried; i pooped my pants.

4/02/2006 9:19 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

Man I wish my name was Ringo Lennon!

4/02/2006 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tour de Motherfucking Force

4/03/2006 8:17 AM  
Blogger Lamkini said...

I'm not sure if you'r alive or not here, but because I can't handle the thought of your having written this before you actually did die, I'm going to just believe it was written after your surgery.

Your blog is great, Josh. Thanks.

Snakes On A Plane,
Lamkini

4/03/2006 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Your pious cancer sympathy ploy"

Seriously brilliant move, Josh. I think this thing is definitely going to catch on around town. Need to rev up your writing career? Need a couple of sympathy gigs? Wanna draw more readers to your blog?

Just announce to the world you have cancer! That's a people magnet doncha know. And then to really maximize the value of your illness, write two whole posts about it in a six-month timeframe.

What kind of sorry troll would say such a vile thing. Insert nasty curse word here.

4/03/2006 4:57 PM  
Blogger GM Doug said...

I thought it was just me who planned his own funeral.

You know there should be more of that. People planning their own funerals. Seriously think about it - just leave a letter with some words and music you want played. Have your funeral be something people don't dread so much as something they will take comfort in.

I'm hearing you Josh on the whole planning thing I've got my Mix tape all worked out. And the letters to be read aloud as well. Of course the only problem is ... if I'm dead I've no way to make sure the music and speaches are performed as demanded.

So Maybe a trial run is necessary. I'll maybe go missing after a boating accident for what 7 years till I'm officially declared dead. Sure my wife would love this plan. Then show up at the funeral and at the end give a review and some direction for the real thing.

I guess I'd only have to wait 30 minutes till that happened after my wife was pulled off my dead corpse blood still on her hands after crushing my neck. No-one would dare try her in court! I'd already be officialy dead anyway - no need to mess up the paper work.

Anyway keep well, keep blogging - even monthly will do (just let us know when we need to check back) and keep moving us to tears and then making us laugh.

I can give no greater praise than to say that last post (and many others) moved me and made me want to make a difference somehow.

4/03/2006 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck my man....fight the pain...

4/03/2006 9:52 PM  
Blogger Grubber said...

From anonymous's comments towards the end here, I am gathering Josh's brother is still upset about that whole "Shrimp Cocktail" scandal that he was outed in previously.

Hope the mending is going well Josh.
cheers
Dave

4/03/2006 10:19 PM  
Blogger mike said...

I have to admit, I didn't fucking see that coming. Post more often, man.

4/04/2006 6:10 AM  
Blogger welcome to wallyworld said...

I haven't read the other comments. They probably say the same thing - "Man you are so far up yourself!".

Just kidding. Really enjoy your writing and the last line of this story was very funny. Hope things with the hospital work out so that I can read more of you. Cheers, Malkie in Paris

4/04/2006 1:31 PM  
Blogger RB Ripley said...

Continued good thoughts to you...

4/04/2006 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN and GLORY TO ALL THOSE IN THE ORDER OF S.O.A.P.

4/04/2006 4:43 PM  
Blogger Xavi Cristóbal said...

Hello Josh. I'm discovering your blog. I think it's very interesting. I like more how you starts your blog: "I find your lack of fatih disturbing". I'm from Star Wars generation. Also I want to say you that I liked very much "World's war" by Spielberg. Your script it's fantastic. I wrote an article about this film at publication "Quèfem" of "La Vanguardia". Now I'm writing a script about superheroes. I think in USA is easy to make a film of superheroes but in Spain is very difficult. I have a blog: http://1936visiones.blogspot.com/
I have some information and pictures about my project: "1936:Sebastián". It's a interesting story and different of another superheroes.
And now I say you "May the FOrce be with you".

4/05/2006 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey man, I just wanted to let you know that I stayed up until 2:30am last night reading every single one of your blog entries. I was hooked, and I couldn't stop until I was done. You are brilliant. Glad the cancer thing seems to have been taken care of (fingers crossed, of course). I'm not gonna be one of those people who says "post more often", because I have a public journal and I hardly ever update that sonofabitch. But I look forward to reading what you have to say for as long as you have anything to say (or until I forget and get over it). Motherfucking Snakes on a Plane.

-Nate

4/07/2006 4:22 PM  
Anonymous laura said...

Josh,

I write to you as a different kind of writer, one who writes for academia,however I was led to you through a delicious friend.

I've been peeking to see if you've returned as per I too am a participant in the game I didn't choose to want to play in having also been tagged by cancer.
"They" say we can call ourselves 'survivors' once we're 5 years after the fact, and I am so not there yet either.

All the well wishes are such great ammunition,however my wish to you is that, now that you are amonst 'us', the "muggles",(my personal definition as defined by Harry #1), you are able to make yourself see that your center is where all your today's and tomorrows will come from.

I define all of us tagged cancer participants as "muggles", because there are so many of us and only we can recognize us having the slightest of differences from the group we now refer to as "them" - the noncancerous.

A "muggle", the ones who wear the cloaks from Harry Potter #1, walk amongst everyone else still foodshopping, still making love, making dinner and making a living,however it is at 2 in the morning that our thoughts are the same, and the black ceiling will become your friend. [If you lye really still, you can hear all the answers swirling around you, 'it' is always correct.:)]

Josh, may you find your center and build yourself from the inside out. Wage war on this thing they call cancer and become fully loaded with your own knowledge as per your numbers and health. Look for signs of health in your vision, your skin texture, your skin color, and in your hair. Sit still and listen to you chat with you. It's all in your center.

With respect and cheering on this side of the world - NYC, I will remain standing, applauding you and giving you a standing ovation! (close your eyes and you'll see me and all the rest of the "Muggles"! :)xoxoLL

4/08/2006 9:56 AM  
Blogger Systemaddict said...

As a great man once said "participate joyfully in the sorrows of life"...
It seems like you've managed to...but hindsight is something in and of itself.

I've fallen in love with this blog...now please sir, "can i have some more"

4/08/2006 5:06 PM  
Blogger G. said...

Thanks for the read.

Glad you're not dead.

4/12/2006 4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

100!!!

4/12/2006 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Kate Hays said...

You know, it kind of pisses me off that I, discovering your blog in my search for SNAKES ONNA PLANE information get all excited, and go "Woah holy crap, this guy is funny and writes screenplays, hey Kira, this is everything we want to be!" only to discover that Kira, my airquotes best friend, has been reading your blog for ages and not told me about it. Clearly I need a new best friend. Or my current best friend needs a lesson in not being lame.

Anyway, I have more of a reason to post a hideously long comment here than just to point out the lamitude of my best friend, because when I was five my father died of a brain tumor, and this is shaping up to be one of those depressing horror stories but it's not, really. The point is that two years ago, my mother found a stack of poems he'd written, and handed them over to me, and I've never read a single thing in my life that affected me on such a personal level. Reading my father's poetry, it felt like I was reading something that I had written in the future, the way I would have written given a few extra years of practice and the right vision. It made me happy and sad and regretful all at once, and finally connected me to the man who provided half my genetic material. I can't begin to say what a powerful feeling it was. When I can, I'll call myself a writer.

But the point is, I know what you mean about the euologies, and writing your own, and words that need to be left behind, because they really are incredibly important, and thanks for saying it, I guess. As last words go, those ones are pretty fucking amazing. I think I fangirl you already.

And, uh, sorry for the postlength. I get long winded at one A.M.

4/13/2006 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Josh hey,

I was chatting with my delicious friend recently and had inquired if he knew what you had looked like. He hadn't, but I can barely keep my pants on, (it's a chronic, but welcomed challenge I have when I'm around my delicious friend), however I'm having the same experience now, because just two minutes ago - I SAW YOU!!

When I turn my computer on and double click onto Internet Explorer, a CNN page comes up. I usually scroll down to "entertainment' just for a quicky - love those :}, and there you were!!!

"Snakes on a plane." It was going on and on about the HUGE anticipation via the blog world, and there you were being interviewed! :)

Loved how you said the real deal, even though they bleeped you out...

"There are motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane." I'm so not able to say that phrase with out making myself crack up each and every time I say it, brilliant!

(Loved your moment.)I was sooo pyched that I had already been clapping for you as one muggle to another!

So not only has this mini-muggle remained standing for you, I will now remain standing on top of a my plaid/Irish seat cushion of one of my stools in my kitchen so my ovation can be louder.

Remember, if you lye still you'll hear us all. Niiice job sir! Hope your spirit is well, healing, strong, focused and ferocious!!

xoxoLL

4/14/2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't crack a smile. I find the last two lines to be simple for death. How about "I prefer organic water."

4/15/2006 5:39 AM  
Anonymous benji said...

HEY JOSH!!!!!MONKEY MONKEY MONKEY!!

if you read one post, please josh let it be mine!

in all your infinite monkey wisdom, i tell you to dance monkey, DANCE.

4/19/2006 1:59 PM  
Blogger Robert Green said...

josh, i have to say--eating with you is not anywhere near as funny or trenchant as reading your blog. whats' up i mean, holy shit, this post is fucking poetry of the highest order. you are a genius of your own misery.

and with that, sir, i say snakes on a motherfucking plane.

and blogroll me, for the love of jesus. you do claim to read the damn thing.

4/19/2006 9:40 PM  
Anonymous triticale said...

Well then, I suggest you stay the fuck off of that matracoital airplane.

4/20/2006 7:33 PM  
Blogger Evo Terra said...

Here I am all tearing up... friend of mine died from cancer two scant months ago... finding true wisdom in "Dead is dead and no one ever asks the families of shooting victims what kind of bullet it was"... wondering if I should show this to my wife, as the friend that past was close to her as well.

And then? Snakes. Snakes on the mother. Fucking. Plane.

Why are there motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane?

Worth of a topic. You cool with me reading this verbatim on a podcast? Of course, props and credit go back to you...

Evo Terra
http://dragonpage.com

4/20/2006 8:12 PM  
Anonymous somuchmore said...

josh, i swear...

4/21/2006 4:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shit, you saying you've planned your funeral, many times. That's exactly what I do. I think of what people would say about me, and how it probably wasnt true. And I cry at the thought of it.

4/21/2006 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Eddie Louise said...

I once had a friend who planned his own funeral. He was one of the brights lights/early victims of the pre-aids sexual frenzy that constituted the early 80s in sunny California.

Jess had a slow and painful death and distracted himself with planning the ultimate funeral.

Firstly, the event was a party, held at Jess's favorite theatre, with plenty of food, drink, dancing girls and clowns.

Secondly, no-one was allowed to cry - Jess asked that if anyone felt the urge to cry they immediately turn it to laughter - hysterical if need be. Basically, the laughter became infectious, and the entire funeral became a tears-streaming laugh-fest! Very theraputic!

But Jess's glory moment came at the end of the party. He had been cremated, a wee smidge of his ashes were placed in a red balloon. scattered throughout the party were thousands of white balloons with white ribbons. His mother took the red balloon, and directing the rest of us to take up white ones, led a procession out into the sunlight. She spoke briefly of her son, his sense of humor, his warm and giving personality and how she would miss him. Then she released her balloon. We all watched it rise for a few seconds, the tears welling up, throats closing, and then releasing our balloons we sighed a collective sigh at the beauty of hundreds of white balloons rising... no spurting...

And it hit us - Jess had shot his wad one last time, as the farther up the balloons rose the more they resembled sperm. The laughter bubbled up again, and crested as the gigantic phallic shape of the 4:20 jet service to Hollywood rose up from the treeline behind the sperm.

It was a picture perfect moment and a fitting end for one of the dirtiest minded most loving cusses I have ever had the honor to know!

Good luck in planning your own exit man!

4/22/2006 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Zatoichi said...

Eddie Louise and Josh, your stories touched me....a lot. Death is such a strange inevitability. Your tales make dying a little easier.

4/24/2006 2:44 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

When will we see The Black Dahlia trailer, Josh?

4/24/2006 9:37 PM  
Blogger KARATE WRANGLER SEX said...

Snakes on a Plane is the new FUBAR. I find myself hoping for situations to occur that will allow me to throw those magic words out into the ether.

4/25/2006 1:46 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

It's been an age in cyberspace since your post. Please let us know how you're doing now.

4/25/2006 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey josh, post

4/26/2006 4:20 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Josh hey;

I'd like to address you, however I am being pulled to address 'Thomas' and 'Robert' first. My apology, however...

Thomas and Robert;

I write to you as 'Laura' - I posted on the 8th & the 14th, if you take a peak, my chatting with you won't seem so alien.

My immediate reaction to your posts on the 24th and 25th was of sheer disgust and dismay in that how could 'them' ask something of a muggle in the midst of that muggle waging war?

A muggles experience and battle is incredibly fucking insane and tiresomely arduous, but I swore that I wouldn't respond until this tiny muggle found her center - I found it today at the gym.

While drenched doing legs at Bally's, I came to the realization that your request wasn't of a needy spoiled nature, but that of the need and want to have Josh pick himself back up and continue on.

I found myself needing & wanting to hear from Josh as well, to read him and see him post again, because part of a muggles journey back is to address 'it'.

'It' being all that we left behind upon having to walk away and enter into the new muggle world of being.

Josh;

I'd like to whisper to you...
"Can we please hear from you, see you post, give us an indication that you are here, it is time..."

My firm arms and petite soft hands will never tire in clapping for you, as well as my chair will not give out, and now I will add some singing - painfully out of tune, but all the more depth in it's poor tonation...

"Where'd ya go, I miss you so, seems like it's been forever since you've been gone, PLEASE COME BACK HOME".

(This is a song by Fort Minor, the song itself is not for you, the chorus alone is so incredibly apropo!)

Determination, focus and ferocity are sent your way from this NYC muggle!

XOXO LL

4/26/2006 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that you helped convince those fools to keep a brillant title rather then "Flight One Twenty Who Gives a Fuck" will always ensure that you will have a great legacy that will continue for generations long after you are dead.

4/28/2006 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Jayjay said...

Hey Josh,

great to read from you. If you promise to post more often, I promise to pray for you to the flying spaghetti monster or to whatever you Americans pray to these days.

4/29/2006 2:53 AM  
Anonymous DJ Tulip said...

Hey keep it real big baby brother, and just maybe we'll see you on the Sanchez trail outside of Salinas, where the rhubarb grows thick, and the rabbits are cute and fluffy.

Just remember, dear Josh, if the central blog committee determines that you have not posted in the next four days, your blog will be decentralized, and relegated to vintage web page people used to go to, and now just attracts weird comment strings amongst loosers with no better things to do.

As I say, mad props to your Joey style.

4/30/2006 1:41 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

What a post to be greeted with on the first visit to your blog. I already, genuinely, want the best for you. LIVE DAMMIT!!! That said, I loved your eulogy. It was genius.

5/01/2006 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hm, Josh, still out there somewhere? Don´t wanna push you, but it would feel better to read ANYTHING from you...

Cheers - a single-serving friend

5/05/2006 11:57 AM  
Anonymous JB said...

Josh, are you okay? We're worried!

It must be a strange feeling to have people you've never met wondering about you. But damn you, you brought it on yourself...!

5/05/2006 12:30 PM  
Blogger Jesse Wendel said...

What cracks me up about Snakes on a Plane is it's now being touted in all the hot magazines as the inevitable sneak breakout success of the summer because... wait for it ... the successful "viral internet marketing" of the movie makers.

*cracks up*

Some of us know the successful "viral internet marketing" of Snakes on a Plane, regardless of what eventually was or wasn't done by its producers, was all started by a certain writer telling a great story about not getting a rewrite gig.

(And like any great story, the damn thing went viral. But we who were there, know both who the doctor (the writer) is, and who the Index Patients (the readers) were. Heh. Successful viral internet marketing my ass... They should send Joss residuals on Gross Points.)

Here's to writers; to life, to death; to love, to children, and family; and to there always being motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane.

5/06/2006 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please post josh.

5/07/2006 10:50 AM  
Anonymous JD III said...

Josh-

Please post something. There seem to be quite a few of us out here who have fallen for the flawed, sweatpants clad Prince who takes on the evil corporate dragons of ilex forest. I need to know your ok. Drop a blog even if it's to tell us you left L.A. to go breed armadillos. Hope your doing great and enjoying time with your family.

5/08/2006 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Glenna said...

Josh, we miss you. Please let us know how you're doing. You don't even have to entertain us. Just check in so we know you're okay.

5/08/2006 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you do have to entertain us. Entertain me, Monkey.

5/09/2006 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best Blog. Ever. And that includes my own. I'm going to hate replacing the current post in my blog--an interview with the President of the WGAwest--with a note about me needing to change my clothes after choking on my own spit after reading your Eulogy, but what can I say: You Moved Me. And boy am I gonna hate it when my sons here someone say at my eulogy "And she wrote "The Writer Got Screwed." Best, Brooke A. Wharton/writingforfilm.com

5/11/2006 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding what angry Anonymous said...
See, there really are motherf****** snakes on the motherf****** plane!

Feel better =)

5/22/2006 7:59 PM  
Anonymous the alleycat said...

Your funeral, the one party you really hope some people will fucking come to!

5/23/2006 4:20 PM  
Blogger MsPsycho said...

Nice blog. You're a better writer than I'll ever be.

6/06/2006 11:22 PM  
Blogger TllGurl said...

"There are motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane."

Yea, verily and I say unto you: It was good.
Be well.

6/12/2006 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, there are motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane. my motherfucking mother also died of motherfucking cancer. boo hoo, and all that. but she did not spend her last months going oh woe is me. give the dying and the survivors a break.

6/25/2006 1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

motherfucking words on a motherfucking plane that is going down. houston, dc, the world...do you read me?

6/25/2006 1:23 AM  
Blogger Jeff Simmermon said...

This is a great post, man -- very funny, but very, very real. Does it ever bother you that so much writing isn't remembered? I know that if I get killed next week my blog will be around for a while, but if MySpace buys Blogspot, I could be rubbed out for real. That hurts me, man.

Anyway, nice work. You're in my heart and RSS reader...

8/18/2006 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life is an illusion. Death is part of life.

11/06/2006 2:47 AM  
Blogger Franz Kraus said...

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11/16/2006 9:13 AM  
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It is useful? maybe!
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3/27/2007 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JOSH...

Thinking about hitting the strike line when I get down to L.A. soon.
Although not a WGA member yet...is it cool to volunteer to walk the lines?

Been a union man most of my life working lotsa construction jobs to put myself through college and UCLA grad film school.

MARK11
MTS1160@HOTMAIL.COM

11/18/2007 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Hotel cesenatico said...

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