• T. Mark Mangum

Real-Life Struggles

Dad humor from a father of six, on death



Don’t Challenge Death to a pillow fight. Unless you’re prepared for the Reaper Cushions.

I must tell a joke here, because, I just don’t have any funny real-life stories about death.

Our family has experienced its share of loss. I come by four of my six children because they lost their father and later, I married their mother. I have lost all my grandparents, and my mother has passed. My wife has lost her father.

A railroad engineer is working on the city’s light rail system when he is electrocuted. His coworkers and the witnesses are amazed he is alive, they ask, “How do you suppose you survived?” The engineer responds, “Simple, I am not the Conductor.”

Death though seems a more prevalent extension of our lives lately. COVID19 has claimed too many over the last 18 months. Too often for my liking in the news. Our family did not experience a loss due to COVID, but we lost a favorite Uncle to a Heart Attack during the pandemic. It was a difficult thing. A part of the process was missing. The family was unable to have the normal reception, viewing, and burial service due to restrictions on the size of gatherings. Last week, we had a celebration of life for him. It had been a full year since his passing. Several times throughout that year, I remember thinking about him and saying to myself and others, “I can’t believe he is gone.” He was a young man, my age. His death a bit of a thought-provoker about my own health. Being 55, I am forced to acknowledge that there are fewer days ahead than memories of days already passed.

My friend’s father was on his deathbed, my friend asked him, “At 93 do you have any words of wisdom that will help the next generation live better lives?” His father looked at him, thought for a moment, and said, “Don’t be a Dumb Ass.” We laugh at this memory all the time.

As we start 2021, I encourage us all to slow it down a bit, breathe deep, and think about how we can get closer to better days. Look out for each other, help those in need, and don’t take tomorrow for granted.

When we are fearful of Hippos because they are reported as being responsible for hundreds of human deaths per year, we are being hippocritical. After all more people die in car accidents each year than that.

As we start 2021, I encourage us all to imagine a better world a take a few steps to cause that world to come to fruition each day. Share when you can, love always, let little things slide, and smile whenever possible because death hates it when we are happy.

What monster plays the most April Fools’ jokes? Prankenstein!

Excuse me, sir. Do you think they named April Fool’s day in your honor?

Annoying asses love April Mules’ Day!

Love you all, thanks for reading.


Copyright: T. Mark Mangum, April 1, 2021.

T. Mark Mangum, a product of the unimaginable worlds of Star Wars, Star Trek, Conan, and the Lord of the Rings. Lover and writer of fiction tales. He is a Veteran and a father of six, and a game enthusiast.

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