PRINCETON, NJ—According to a survey of hospice patients released Thursday by the Princeton Medical Institute, the most common regret of the dying is never having sprayed a fire extinguisher. “In their final moments, what people lamented most about the lives they had lived was that they never grabbed a fire extinguisher off a wall, pulled out the safety pin, and just unloaded the whole thing all over the place,” researcher Diane Karp said of her interviews with hundreds of patients, noting that the next most prevalent deathbed regrets she encountered were never having used one’s elbow to break a fire extinguisher’s protective glass case, never tossing an empty fire extinguisher canister through a large plate-glass window, and never throwing a heavy fire extinguisher into the arms of an intruder so that it would catch him off-guard and knock him over backwards. “The sense of lost opportunity was particularly acute among those whose mobility was severely limited in their dying days, which caused them to dwell on the uncomfortable reality that they would never get the opportunity to spin quickly around in a swivel chair while spraying a fire extinguisher in every direction, coating everything and everyone around them in a layer of foam. It’s difficult to see someone die feeling like their life was incomplete.” Karp expressed her hope that the survey’s findings would motivate people to devote a little time each day to using a fire extinguisher, before it’s too late.
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