If you got a terminal disease what would you do?

I got to know who phrases these questions. Ok, I guess people do “get” diseases, although the verb sounds to me like driving in your station-wagon over to Diseases R Us and picking out the one you saw in the paper, or alternatively, opening the mailbox and finding a letter containing oh, scurvy or ugh, the black death.
Really, the main sub-questions are:
1) Do the xanga-overlords realize the ‘duh?’ phrasing of most of their Chosen Fragen?
2) What percent of those who chose to answer them mention the odd wording, (I shall shortly check on this point, as I often do) and
3) Yes, what would I do?
Since Life itself is a condition from which no one exits alive, the question really resolves to an issue of timing. i.e. “How much time I got, Doc?”
I remember when I was 6 or so, hearing on the radio, during my modest little birthday party, that Albert Einstein had died. I’m sure I knew by then that cats and cows and crows like, ‘got dead’, but this announcement might have been the first I thought deeply about human mortality. If you think about it, none of us is born knowing that we won’t live forever, it takes a while till a child realizes the truth.
So I’d kinda like to see a Featured Question: “When did you first realize you were gonna get dead?
Oh, and the Shpiel-check approved version of my answer?
“Keep farming till the money’s all gone.”


I just answered this Featured Question; you can answer it too!


15 thoughts on “If you got a terminal disease what would you do?

  1. tjordanm

    Well, which disease would you get from Diseases R Us? This is probably one of the more messed up FQ’s ever (if you pronounce “FQ” as if it were a word, would it be “fuk”?)

  2. somewittyhandle

    I have problems with “get” in this context too.
    It has been disturbing me for a year or two now that it is becoming ever rarer to hear in the UK: “Can I have a coffee/sandwich/fish&chips? “. The expression is being progressively usurped by the Friends/Frazier/Will&Grace edition: “Can I get a coffee/etc ?” . For me, the verb To Get requires action from the subject. When the customer asks if he can get a sandwich, I am expecting him to leap over the counter, don an apron and start buttering bread. At the very least he would have to open a cupboard to “get” the sandwich.
    Apparently not so. Now, the act of holding his hand out to receive the carrier bag is sufficient to claim action.
    Our new generation of go-getters are really just go-havers. If indeed they go.

  3. jsolberg

    @somewittyhandle -a perfectly disection. All I really knew was that it sounded ..um..dumb. Your explanation told me why. (I do sometimes feel a bit derivative addressing the style of these questions at the expense of substance, but hey, if the first five ex-xangans I meet in Heaven be sayin’ “Can I get a room with a better view?” I’ll wish I had corrected them while there was still time.   


    I go with my generally humorless paternal grandfather.  He was in his 80s and attending a funeral, when someone asked him “How are you, Mr. Eienberg?”  His answer: “Meanwhile, I’m still walking to funerals.”  Life expectancy is a guess and even the best statistical guesses are wrong.  !! years ago, I was told that, statistically, I had a relatively short time to live.  Meanwhile, I’m still walking to funerals.   – The Geezer

  5. chromepoet

    It wasn’t the get that got me. Had I realized, I’d have answered “put”.To me, the question reeked nonsense. We all have a terminal disease. It’s called life. So if I had a terminal disease I’d do what I’m doing.

  6. say_anything52

    I love that question, ‘when did you first realize you were gonna get dead?’ The answer, like yours, is always so interesting. I was silently panicking at my desk while everyone else in my third grade class was absorbed in Mr. Popper’s Penguins. I don’t remember what triggered the realization, though.

  7. Ipoplikewhitey

    Yeah, usually I’m ambivalent towards the xangroid writing prompt of the featured question (if it gets people thinking AND writing at the same time then its theoretically accomplishing more than the public school system), but I think you’re dead right about this one– your version is way better, both in the “okie from muskokie” diction and the actual blogging it might produce. I cast my vote to solberg.-g.

  8. splitmind

    Personally, a good friend of mine and I plan on not dying… at least not until we get bored.  As he said, when oldGrim shows up, chessboard in hand, we plan on simply giving him a firm shake and saying “Respectfully, we decline.”
    That said, if I ever contracted a terminal disease, I would probably take a cue from Stephenson and spend the last year of my life cleaning up street crime. 
    Or kayaking…  I like kayaks.

  9. hellnohateyou

    I think most people answering this question don’t understand that being diagnosed with a terminal illness in medical terms means that you have a 50% or greater chance of dying within six months. It doesn’t mean that you will die within six months.
    And there are extremely few conditions with onset past puberty where greater than 98% of people die within a year of diagnosis, particularly not diagnoses made while patients are conscious and in good enough condition to know about the diagnosis. In real life, there are a lot of wild cards. I would never assume that I was going to die within a year, no matter what doctors said.


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