Friday, April 11, 2014

And when I die

I was driving down Shepherd the other day, when I saw a great black cube, built of plywood, and stenciled with Before I die…

Next to the box was a bucket of chalk, so passersby could add their own statements.

Most of the statements were personal goals:

Some were pipe dreams:

And some people had been reading Hunter S Thompson:

I originally thought the cube was someone’s attempt at participatory art but in fact, it was a clever way of introducing a new business to the area: a funeral parlor.

It must be difficult to advertise funereal services. Everyone will need them someday, but the solemnity involved means you can’t run a two for one sale. Can you imagine someone like Mattress Mack yelling “SOLID OAK coffins & No backorder slips!” on television at two o’clock in the morning? It just wouldn't work. 

Anyway, back to the thought-provoking box. What do I want to do before I die? And what can I do to make it happen?

5 things I want to do before I die
  • Travel to Vietnam and Cambodia
  • Speak a second language, fluently
  • Create something of lasting value
  • Have a closet where absolutely everything in it fits
  • Make a positive impact on the world
What do you want to do Before you die?


  1. I read this on your blog and thought it was truly thought provoking--and a clever ad campaign. And then, just this past weekend, I was on the Johns Hopkins campus and saw it there in the student commons. Clearly, it wasn't serving any sort of advertising purposes. Odd?

  2. Maybe somebody thought it was a good idea and ran with it? Or it could just be a case of clever location - being in the parking lot of the funeral home seems to indicate they are related, but not necessarily; that was an assumption on my part.