We all know we're going to die, but there's no way to tell what our last words will be. Here are some last words of famous people that you will definitely not want to be inspired by. Write them down. Try not to say them. If you do, some tasteless person like me might write up a listacle mocking those last words (Gia, is the worst!).
But then again, maybe it doesn't truly matter what out last words are? Maybe it only matters about the time leading up to that, despite our joy and sorrows, and despite the bizarre and unexplainable things that happen in our lives?
Let's hope our stories are half as interesting as these folk's.
1. Marie Antoinette
"Pardon me, Sir. I did not do it on purpose." ~Marie Antoinette to the executioner sending her to her death on October 16, 1793. Why did she say this? Because she inadvertently stepped on his toes while walking up to the chopping block. There are plenty of reasons to feel sorry for the queen, not least of which is the fact that it took seven years to consummate her marriage. Or perhaps you'd like to know if she truly said, "Let them eat cake"? No, she did not. It was simply a sensationalized way to prove how ghastly different the royals were from their subjects, showing that they could never possibly understand the plight of the common people.
Voltaire died in his sleep on May 30, 1778. But before doing so, a priest approached his bed and asked him to denounce Satan. "Now is not the time to make new enemies," Voltaire argued. Maybe Voltaire truly meant it, considering he'd made plenty of enemies in real life. Voltaire spent a year imprisoned in the Bastille and had most of his published works banned by the French government. He was also chased out of countries by bayonet point due to his controversial thoughts and ideas and inappropriate writings. He was a millionaire by the age 40 (and money makes multitudes of enemies). Ben Franklin was his best friend and one of Voltaire's many mistresses was his niece. It's no wonder ole' Voltaire wasn't about to mess around with Satan. I hope, though, for his sake, he made peace with God. Sounds like he needed it.
3. Tallulah Bankhead
Tallulah Bankhead was a much quoted Hollywood actress of yesteryear. She was known for often claiming that cocaine wasn't habit forming because she'd been using it for years, so she should know. On her death bed, she mumbled, "Cocaine...bourbon." Maybe it was a request? She was best known for her signature "Dah-ling" with she purred in her deep, sultry voice. Actor Emlyn Williams said that her voice was steeped as deep in sex as the human voice can go without drowning. She was quoted as saying, "If I had my life to live over, I would make the same mistakes, but sooner." So would that mean Tallulah would be doing cocaine in diapers? I suppose it's easy to expect such outlandish behavior from a young starlet, but Tallulah's daddy was a congressman in Alabama and later Speaker of The House from 1936-1940. Bet that made Thanksgiving dinner awkward. "Pass the bourbon and coke, daddy?"
4. Leonardo Da Vinvi
Leonardo Da Vinci said, "I've offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have." One can assume he was still miffed that he didn't get Mona's smile quite right. Perhaps it would interest you to know that Da Vinci was known to wear a good deal of the color pink in order to make his complexion look fresh. And maybe this was more than a vain necessity considering his ghoulish pastimes? If Leo was going to feel remorse for something on his death bed, it should have been for sneaking into graveyards and digging up dead folks so he could cut them open in a vain attempt to figure out where the soul is? He never found it, or at least he never left that note in his sketchbooks of human anatomy.
5. Joan Crawford
"Dammit! Don't you dare ask God to help me," Joan Crawford reportedly declared in 1977 when she collapsed from a heart attack. She was speaking to her housekeeper who had begun to pray for her. But maybe you'd rather know the mystery behind Crawford's hatred of wire hangers? Turns out it was a bizarre emotional trigger from her childhood because her mother worked for a dry cleaners. Crazy, I know. Yet, this isn't important. What you need to know is that each time Joan Crawford remarried, she changed the name of her estate and had all new toilets installed throughout the entire house. Not a single trace of that man was to remain in her home. This might be because Joan had an obsession with cleanliness, as most of us have bore witness to while watching "Mommy, Dearest." Joan washed her hands every ten minutes and followed guests around her home, ferociously wiping down everything they touched, most especially door knobs...and toilet seats.
6. Winston Churchill
After Winston Churchill suffered a stroke in 1965, he muttered the words, "Oh, I'm so bored with it all!" He slipped into a coma and died 9 days later. Oh, that Winnie and his cheeky wit! It should surprise you that Churchill died an old man from a stroke. He was extremely accident prone and lived through being hit by a car, nearly drowning, a plane crash, constantly falling off horses, a concussion, ruptured kidney and dislocated shoulder. Of course a stroke was boring! Yet, here's the real kicker. The first use of "OMG" involved ole' Winnie himself. In a letter from his friend, Lord Fisher, one can read the lines, "I hear that a new order of knighthood is on the tapis--O.M.G!" To which, Fisher explains means: Oh, my god!
7. Charlie Chaplain
In 1977, a priest approached Charlie Chaplain's deathbed to give last rites. After he said, "May the Lord have mercy on his soul," Chaplain quipped, "Why not? After all, it belongs to him." This is pretty remarkable, but what's more shocking is the fact that Chaplain once came in third place in a Charlie Chaplain look-a-like contest. Charlie also once claimed to have had sexual relations with over 2,000 women. Whatever the case, he married four times and had 11 children. Dude got around.
8. Bing Crosby
"That was a great game of golf, fellers!" Bing Crosby died 20 minutes after that game of golf of a massive heart attack. If his parents had their way, we would be reading about Columbo Crosby's last words. Yep, that's what they wanted to name the famous crooner. Instead, they got the idea for his name from the comic strip "The Bingville Bugle" which was a parody of redneck newspapers. Today, most of us remember Bing for his smooth, deep singing voice, his role in White Christmas, his uncanny way to stand by and sing with David Bowie (resulting in pure magic) and for knocking his kids around. The last past was not too cool, Columbo Crosby. I mean, Bing.
9. Henry David Thoreau
"Moose...Indian." These were the last words of Henry David Thoreau who was suffering from dementia just before his death. When he was asked to make peace with God, he quipped, "I did not know that we had ever quarreled." In his earlier years, Thoreau was drawn to nature and took long walks, causing his neighbor's to gossip about how he hiked through nature instead of working 12 hours a day like a proper man. He is best known for his literary master piece "Walden" and for his civil disobedience writings that inspired Martin Luther King Jr and Mohandas Ghandi. Today, Henry David Thoreau is thought of as the father of environmentalism.
10. Louis B. Mayer
"It wasn't worth it." This was said by Louis B. Mayer, American film producer during the Golden Age of Hollywood. I don't know why he said it, but it certainly inspires me to live a life in which these are not even remotely close to my last words. Well, there is the slight possibility he was speaking in reference to a strange and bizarre ransom note he once received...for his own life. "Mr. Mayer, is your life worth $250,000 to you," it read. "Because, if it isn't, you will be a very dead man inside of two weeks." Sent with the ransom note was a newspaper article of a recent murder. Scrawled next to it, were the words: THIS MAN THOUGHT WE WERE KIDDING. Two weeks later, two men were arrested trying to pick up the package left at the demanded drop off location. One of the men was a 39 year-old former boxer, and the other was a 29 year-old son of a former MGM writer. Both men were acquitted despite substantial evidence against them. So...was "It wasn't worth it" talking about that moment in time? Did Mayer decide his life wasn't worth $250,000? I sure hope he thought it was worth more.