If I Die, Please Finish This SandwichCommentary • Opinion • death • food • health • ISSUE 43•44 • Oct 31, 2007 By Gary Stapleton It's never pleasant to think about, but the fact is, someday I will die. It's true that I am in relatively good health and should have many more wonderful years ahead of me. But it would be irresponsible of me not to be prepared for the worst. It's a dangerous world we're living in, and who knows what tomorrow will bring? Therefore, with a heavy heart, I must make my last wishes known.If I do pass on before my time, I beg of you, finish eating this sandwich. This may be difficult, but it's something that has to be done. As my friends and family—the people closest to me in the world—you've been with me through thick and thin, and I love each and every one of you. But I also love this sandwich, and if something happens to me before I am able to finish it, I want you to pick up where I left off: halfway through a delicious corned beef on rye.I realize this is a lot to ask. Many of you are busy with your own sandwiches or deli wraps, and it might seem impossible to leave your lunches behind and take care of my abandoned corned beef. Believe me, I plan to swallow every last bite of this piled-high wonder myself and maybe even move on to a brownie. But life doesn't care about plans. That's why I need you to promise me. Promise me you won't let a single ounce of this spicy brown mustard go to waste.Finish it while it's still warm and toasty, and I can rest in peace.I won't dwell on the awkward details about how the sandwich should be divided up among you. I just trust that, when the time comes, you'll know what to do. And it gives me comfort to think that I'll be watching over you from heaven, giving a little smile when you realize those chips are the nice Kettle ones. Such is my legacy to you.Sometimes I wonder how we got to this point. At 43, I shouldn't be thinking about what's going to happen to the remainder of this sandwich. I should be enjoying my home, my two beautiful daughters, and the delectable crunch of caraway seed meeting corned beef. But that's the reality of life in an unpredictable world. My father died of a heart attack at 68, and it was a terrible shock to all of us. And there was no will. He died right in the middle of a bowl of chili. I don't want to leave you with that kind of burden. I can't bear to think of you all standing around the kitchen, trying to figure out how to honor my memory. So I'm telling you right now, so there's no confusion:Eat this sandwich. All of it. Plus the pickle spear.There are a few specifics I need to go over pertaining to my last wishes, so there is a public record of them. While it may be hard to hear, it's even harder to say, but I think you'll all agree it is for the best. If I die from a sudden fatal stroke or a massive brain aneurysm while in mid-bite, there's a chance that I will still be clutching the sandwich. If this happens, you'll need to pry it out of my lifeless hands in order to finish eating it. Try to keep my mother out of the room when you do this, because it will be very hard for her to see. She's quite frail now that Dad's gone, and I'm worried about her heart.If, however, there is no apparent cause for my untimely death, it is imperative that you make sure to rule out "poisoned sandwich" before carrying out my last wishes.Look, there is absolutely no need to worry about me. I'm going to sit here and enjoy this perfectly stacked sandwich, eat these chips, and wash it all down with a cold beverage just like I do every Thursday at lunch. However, if—God forbid—something does happen and I'm unable to give this sandwich the proper eating it deserves, I need to know that someone will have the presence of mind to step over my corpse, consume the rest of this widowed sandwich, and wash it down with what's left of my Dr. Pepper before the ice melts and it gets all watery.Do this, and I shall be eternally indebted to you, as will my parents, my wife, and Mike at the Pump 'N Pay sandwich counter.