Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Only Two People Could Live, I Chose the Comedian

My dad and I are standing in a fancy room, waiting for the elevator, when disaster strikes. Terrorists are there, rounding everyone up on the floor. After they herd everyone together, I’m shocked to see the results. There are over 100 people, but they’re some of the most important legends of our time: physicists, philosophers, mathematicians, engineers, chemists, theologians...and Christopher Walken.

The terrorists start screaming and shooting the ceiling so that sheetrock falls, and the noise of gunshots echo in my ears. Then the terrorists tell us only two people in the room will live. Each of us must take a number, but only the people who draw numbers “one” and “two” will live. So all of us draw a number: I’m shocked to draw number one—but my dad gets...59.

I tell my dad he has to take my number. 

“I’ve lived a good life,” he says.

“So have I, but I have terminal cancer! You have a lot longer to live than I do!”

But he REFUSES to listen and soon I can’t find him anywhere. Leave it to my dad to sneak away from terrorists. (I knew he left just hoping I’d use my number.)

So I’m stuck in a flippin’ nightmare with a bunch of legends. And by this time people realize I have a “winning number.” People become frothing frantic, trying to take my number. (Meanwhile the person who drew number two stays quiet, not wanting to get bombarded like I am—probably a psychologist!) And I hear about how certain people are on the verge of a new scientific discovery that will benefit mankind or how someone needs to finish a life-changing book about philosophy. But Christopher Walken is just quiet in the corner. And it hits me that it’s not always who discovers things, but who discovers them first. 

“Someone else will discover it,” I tell the group. “Someone else will share that same philosophy. Someone else...” And I decide to give my number to Christopher Walken.

The actor is much older and more somber in “real” life. I tell him everyone is freaking out. “I see that,” he says. “But death will do that to some people.”

“I want you to have my number,” I say.

“Why me?”

“Because even though a lot of people have forgotten the comedians of the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s...and definitely the people long before them, THOSE people mattered the most at the time...”

“And why is that?”

“Because they made people smile. And sometimes giving someone joy is the best gift you could ever give. You’ve given a lot of people joy.”

“You have children?” he asks. “Young children?”

I nod.

“Well I don’t. Coincidentally, I don’t even have children! Use the number and leave.”

“But I have terminal cancer.”

“Who in the hell cares? Use the number for your kids. Go spend what time you have with them and to hell with the rest.”

“Look at the people in this room. Someone else should have this. Not me.”

“I saw you trying to give the number to your dad instead of someone else here. Why did you choose him earlier?”

“That’s because he’s amazing. He’s my dad. He means so much to me.”

“And you’re like your own children. Leave.”

But I want to find my dad and I’m still terrified, not of the terrorists, but that I’ll never see my dad again.

And that’s when I woke up.


  1. Wow this was gripping from start to finished.

  2. Your emotions turn into amazing stories. Like this one. Are you putting these stories in a place other than this blog so one day your children and grandchildren can read them? So they can see what a brave fabulous person/writer you are?