"I’m not dead yet"

The title of today’s post is best read in a British accent, a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In that movie, there’s a scene set in the Middle Ages in which men are hauling carts through a village calling, “Bring out your dead. Bring out your dead.” The plague has hit, and the men are hauling away the dead. Now, in case you have been hiding under a rock for the last several decades or irreverent, comedic farce isn’t your preferred movie genre, you need to understand that nothing about Monty Python is serious. So try to imagine the humor of the scene that ensues:

A man is trying to get his elderly relative onto the cart, despite the fact that the elderly man, though frail, is still very much alive. He keeps protesting, “I’m not dead yet.” But the younger man doesn’t want to miss the opportunity of the carts coming through the village and have to wait until the next one.

Well, that phrase, “I’m not dead yet” has been running through my head all morning, thanks to a visit from an agricultural extension agent to check out some dead and ailing trees at our place in the mountains.  Continue reading