Last night I was talking with my brother about the tsunami. "I've been thinking about this all day," he said, "and I've decided that a tsunami would be a great way to die. If could choose how to go, that would be it."
"What are you talking about?" I said. "What makes that a 'great' way to die?"
"You'd be on a beautiful beach, surrounded by supermodels, and then a big wave comes in, and you're like 'maybe I can ride this one' and then whack you get slammed into a palm tree or something, and that's it."
"Uh, I'm not sure that's exactly how it would be." I said. "It could be much more awful than that . . ."
"No," he said, as if explaining the obvious, "it would definitely be the best way."
"I have a different idea of what would be best," I said. "One day, I walk out of my office building, and then wham, I'm crushed by a falling piano. It's so quick, I never feel a thing."
"What?" said my sister-in-law, "Where did the piano come from?"
"Somebody dropped it from the 15th floor."
"Why would that happen?"
"I don't know, maybe they were trying to move it in through the window and the rope broke. But it strikes my head in such a way that for a split second it plays a perfect C major chord, and that is the last sound I hear."
[Author's note: the recent tsunami was a terrible tragedy, of course. My brother and I happen to be the type of people who deal with such things through black humor. It is almost an involuntary response.]