Am I Already Dead?
How do I know FOR SHORE????
Are you a better father?
As evidenced by Ghost Dad, Jack Frost, and >>spoileralert<< Family Matters,1 being dead puts the e back in being dad. Everything is 165 bpm, glowsticks and licking faces– but towards the end of ‘getting psyched about raising some kids’ instead of ‘breaking down the ostensibly pro-social constructs of politeness, decency, and propriety; loving and being loved.’ Who’s face will you lick? A: nobody’s face. You are dead and also these are your children. Creep.2
HOWEVER, you still need to make shore you drink plenty of water. Just because you’re a ghost doesn’t mean you can’t get dehydrated. I mean, for cripessakes, kid– that’s ghost 101. What? Nobody taught you? You took an elective on the Portugese empire instead? Ha. ha. ha. You’re all right, kid. Here, why don’t we drop by my sidebar:
SIDEBAR: Dehydrated Ghosts
Dehydration is the scourge of ghost kind. As one of the Five Objects with which ghosts can interact (water, clues, pratfall triggers, books, and skirt hems), water is our only source of sweet death-giving hydrogen. Note: our ghost messages? Generally written in condensation or implied via dropping a nearby book and flipping to an evocative page. Water and Books– Five Objects! Also we loves pussy.
Without water, we ghosts dry up. And that’s how the REAL Real Ghostbusters do it– that’s no proton pack, it’s a desert gun. Dries us right up. And not to spoil the Up with People Ghostbusters dick-sucking contest that is their cartoon show, but that desert gun is how they keep Slimer in line. You think Jerry likes being there? No. But if he tries to leave they’ll find him and sand his ass. Well, that and their liberal use of the dessert gun. Carrots and sticks, folks.
Now when a ghost is dehydrated they turn into a coarse powder that makes for real easy storage. Also, real easy snortage. And this is how PCP is made (Post-Corpse Particles, or “Angel Dust”– real cute, huh?). Our dehydrated doublecorpses are ‘refined’ and sold so folks can let our old dumb lives run a number on their cerebral cortex. The resultant high is the effect of having as many as a dozen ghosts inside your face, just pushing switches and pulling levers and making you relive in flash bursts their most potent memories from their old dumb lives. And now I’m starting to repeat myself. Time to go vert some skirts. – Mark the Ghost
Oh right, parenting. So yeah– if you’ve recently experienced a dramatic increase to your interest in and skill at parenting, you’re probably dead. Try dropping some real crazy sentences on your spouse at odd times, show up at home when they wouldn’t expect you, make making it with them a number one priority– really make sure your verbal interactions with them are not on ghost accident and that you can still touch them For Reals and you haven’t been D.W.’d.3 But chances are, you’re not dead, in which case you can look forward to getting some pretty delightful conversations out of the verification process in addition to some rill incredible Prove We’re Not Ghosts Sex.4
If you want to be cute about it, why not field test this new pick-up line I just made up– “Hey baby, let’s make ghost’s together.” I really dig it, but I bet it is something that would only ever work on me. Tell me how it goes!
ACTIVITY: If you were a ghost, what would your Five Objects be? Assume that at least one is required for sustenance (it does not need to be water) and one should be your all consuming ghost goal (Mark is sort of doing the hard sell on skirt hems here because of it; note that Gerald Slimer’s is food). The rest can be spent on whichever methods you would find most entertaining to interact with the physical plane. Make your picks good because you are going to be dead a lot longer than you were alive! Rowling, rowling– after 12 years and 3 months you evaporate into nothing.
While ostensibly about ensuring the easy, semi-consensual gathering of intelligence by governments-markets, social media has proven itself invaluable as an aliveness-verification tool. Just keep up a steady stream of tweets, pokes, encirclements, posts, squirts, dms, pms, ims, and dick pix and wait for your sweet, life-corroborating feedback…
– If NO REPONSE: you are dead or might as well be. Enjoy your newfound incorporeality and go seep through something. Ahh, yeah. Feels good, right? You can feel like that all the time. Just make sure you stay hydrated, keep on the lookout for clues,5 and start flipping skirts!6
+ If SOME RESPONSE: good news! You’re either not dead or, better yet, EVERYBODY is dead. Why is that such good news? If everybody is dead that means you are dead, right? And that’s exactly what you didn’t want, probably! Well, if you’d just calm down for a second I could explain to you that while yes, you are dead, the fact that everybody else also died means that nobody will ever outlive you!
You, you’re not excited? I mean, that’s the whole worst part– the fact that when you die you die knowing that life will continue on for everyone but not for you. And by dying all at the same time EVERYBODY WINS because nobody is missing out on anything. Unless you’re some kind of tall grass enthusiast. Ugh. Geez… this place is going to be a total snoozefest. I guess this is what the genie meant when he said that in 1,877 years I would regret choosing to be immortal because everyone on Earth would die and I would be all alone and while I might be able to make a go at Home Aloning it for a couple years or so, after a decade shit would start to get seriously depressing. Fucking genie doubletalk.7
Welp, guess I’ll just try to console myself by filling this waterpark with butterscotch and pumping whipped cream and cherries through the tubes to propel myself down into the ice cream swimming pool below. Slash alternatively, G~H~O~S~T ~ P~A~R~T~Y ~ !~!~!
Ghosts can’t pinch. Not only can’t they pinch others (a foregone conclusion, unless ‘dermises’ is the Object of Desire of their Five Objects), but they can’t pinch themselves. They lost those nerves and muscles. Upon becoming ghosts, that whole chunk of stuff in the crook between your thumb and middle finger gets cut right out for use in creating longer flight golf balls. It is their lack of whatever this part of the body is called that creates their trademark mitten-like hands, also explaining why they’re so poor with at tactiles,8 are limited to only five objects.
Hang a sheet. Do you have an irresistible need to fill it up with your essence? You are either a ghost or me at 13. Eyyyyy.
SRSLYtho, sorry mom.
Do you sleep? Ghosts don’t. If you do, you’re not a ghost. But how can you be so sure (that you sleep)? SHORE, you think you’re sleeping, but really all you know for keeps is that while in your bed9 you lose track of yourself for 3-10 hours.10 If you’re a ghost and don’t know that you’re a ghost, you are a prime candidate for tricking yourself into thinking you are sleeping.11 So how do you test if you’ve gone to sleep? Simple: commit suicide.
If you wake up and it was aaaallllll a dream, then bang– you were asleep and you’re not a ghost.
If you wake up and you’re a ghost– you were a ghost all along!
Wait… well, in one form or another, I guess.
1. Though, in the case of Family Matters it is actually the reverse– the last episode revealing that Carl Winslow had been the only survivor of a van crash he caused while driving drunk. The show had traced Carl’s attempt to win the forgiveness of his ghost family by raising and caring for them the way he had previously failed the living Winslows. When a family member forgave Carl, they would disappear forever as if they had never been there at all.
A depressed loner, Carl’ s only allies in this journey were autistic neighbor boy Steve Urkel, whose touched condition allowed him to see and fully interact with the the ghost Winslows, and dimmest-of-wits Waldo Faldo, too dumb to notice that nobody was there and thus able to perceive that which wasn’t. An aside: I’m still pretty sad whenever I think about how Myra died in real life out of nowhere from some heart defect.
2. Don’t be a Gengar. Nobody likes a Gengar.
3. Donnie Wahlberg’d. Sidenote: make sure you don’t ever bring up M Night Shayamalan to a ghost. Oh brother, they will go the fuck on.
4. Seriously, is anyone else not entirely sure they’re not a ghost? Let’s make this happen.
5. All ghosts, if they stumble upon one, are obligated to help solve a murder. That shit just gets under their non-corporeal forms. (Could have gone sheets, but– as you’ll see later– ghosts just really like sheets, they aren’t actually made of them.) if they find a clue they a) need to, if possible, reposition it for maximum findability without sacrificing the integrity of the evidence, and b) need to find as many other clues as they can. It’s no reason they’re called nature’s detectives. No, serious. It is with no reason they’re called that– the nickname predates the term by a couple millennia. Weird, right?
6. I mean, if that’s your Deal
7. i.e. he told me twice just to make sure I really understood what I was getting into.
8. “Wanna make tactiles?” DAMN, call me cinnamon because I am on a roll/going on in five minutes (to strip).
9. or someone else’s bed, or someone else’s couch, or someone else’s floor; a park bench, a hospital, a jail cell, your jail cell; or on some faraway beach, in dark trees, on burning airlines, St. Elmo’s Fire– some real Brian Eno shit
10. a sidebar describing a condition in which, while sleeping, you don’t lose track of yourself — the opposite of dying. You still go to bed tired & still wake refreshed; you gain no additional control over your sleeping self nor can you see anything extra– it’s still dark behind your eyelids, you have no deeper insight into the weird thoughts/images that occur every REM cycle or so. You just know every second of those 8 hours. (Oh, that’s the other thing– you always sleep exactly 8 hours (barring outside interference (alarms count as outside interference– but if you don’t set one! So regular!))
11. how adorable would that be– the YouTube of a ghost tricking itself into thinking it is sleeping. Speaking its dreams to itself. Laying in bed, closing its eyes extra hard, rolling back and forth, making snore sounds. Singing (tiny, adorable) ghost songs about how it is asleep. Just 8 hours of that– making Andy Warhol look like a dumb jerk for having come up with so few sleep gags and here is this no-one-special ghost just coming up with bit after bit. Andy Warhol: good at wigs, shit at gags.