Saturday, June 01, 2002

Last Words

Just before breathing his last, bullet-riddled Francisco "Pancho" Villa told a comrade, "Don't let it end this way. Tell them I said something."

One has to admire the single-mindedness of purpose in the last words of French grammarian Dominique Bouhours: "I am about to — or I am going to — die; either expression is used."

Asked by the firing squad commander if he had a last request, James Roges said, "Why yes. A bullet-proof vest!" And you've got to love a condemned murderer who can continue to cut up from the electric chair. "How about this for a headline in tomorrow's paper," James French said. "French Fries!"

Karl Marx, in answer to his housekeeper's request for any last words, replied: "Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said enough!"

And, finally, trust the great Voltaire for the best lines – his response to a request that he foreswear Satan: "This is no time to make new enemies."