October has started so let’s talk about something scary.

Fire season has started here in Southern California.  Currently, there are a couple burning nearly 20 miles from my apartment.  While I’m fine and dandy, two people have died and a bunch of houses are no longer with us.  It’s a damn shame.  There is nothing as destructive and ferocious as a raging fire.  Except maybe rushing water.

The point is that being killed in a fire is probably one of the worst ways to go.  Think about it.  It’s not just the flames that get you, it’s the suffocating.  It’s the world around you burning up as you are swallowed whole.  Your last few moments will be in agony and terror.  That’s no good.  I’d much rather go in my sleep.

And that makes me think: what are some worse ways to die? 

Number one for me would be drowning.  Similar to being burned alive, you suffocate.  We’ve all been at the bottom of a pool, the world above us blurry and warped.  You get a rush holding your breath, wondering how long you can go.  But then you boost yourself up and get a mouthful of oxygen.  Now imagine being at the bottom of that pool for, say, five minutes.  Then gasping for air but only getting water.  Then sinking, then reaching and thrashing for help.  Then…yikes, I’m getting faint just thinking about it.

Or what about being stabbed?  What does that feel like?  Someone towering over you, sinking a blade into your skin again and again.  And stabbing can last a long time.  You might not die right away.  You may waste away for hours as you bleed out.  So I’ll pass on that one too.

Oh!  How about dying of disease?  I’ve always had a sick fascination with plagues.  I’ve read The Hot Zone, watched countless specials on the History Channel, and even own a coffee table book simply titled Disease.  It’s an interesting topic.  From a safe distance.  But think about your body turning against you.  Having your insides leak out, suffering from fever dreams, doctors wearing haz-mat suits as they poke you with needles.  That would be a horrible, truly scary way to die. 

Okay, that’s got to be the worst.  Disease takes the cake.  Of course, no option is fun and most are best avoided but in the end we’re all going to bite the bullet.  And most times we have no say over how or when.  But I’m praying to whatever beared, beaming God is watching that I don’t get stabbed while drowning as I suffer from Ebola.  During a fire.  That would blow.

If I had a choice, I’d like to die driving a car out of a plane in mid-flight.  Waving my cowboy hat Slim Pickens-style, cheering all the way down.  Granted, I’d probably kill several people on the ground and in the air but, hey, it would look damn cool.  Yeah, that would be alright in my book.