My final requests, for those who care to listen to me

Not to beat a dead horse.

Okay, I will. This being dead, though not really being dead thing has got me thinking about actually being dead. Not so much actually being dead, but the ceremony that undoubtedly would be held in my honor if I were to die anytime soon.

By the by, I have no plans on dying anytime soon. But, should I be squashed by a falling building or something, here are a few things I think you should know about my farewell tribute.

I will require a farewell tribute. That is the first thing. I don't fancy myself a saint or martyr, but I've hosted my share of dinner parties and I feel that is deserving of at least a one night only collection of friends and colleagues to give it up for me. Ego, my brutal hubris, friends.

At said affair I feel it is only fitting for the men to wear bow ties and the women to wear skirts or dresses. I don't care if the weather is hot fellas, bow ties it is. You can undo your collars when you go home, but if I die, you wear a tie. And please, no short sleeve shirts. That's just too trailer park for words. Ladies, I have no great reason for you having to wear skirts or dresses other than the fact that I think you dolls look nice all fancied up. Also, I imagine if I'm looking down on you from above, it will be easier to look down your cleavage. Hey, I may end up being dead, but that doesn't mean I can't still be a little randy.

At this mournful gathering any tributes from anyone remotely engaged in the production of live theatre will be strictly prohibited. I've attended these kind of tributes, and I can't suffer through another "audition" spectacle where my theatre friends are working on their new material, shooting from the "honest" part of their heart. Yuck. I won't sit through another one of those if I can help it, especially my own. Besides, actor that I am I know I would just be listening to everyone's passionate tributes thinking, "I could do that better if only I had been given the chance!"

Since I enjoy food as I live and breath, I suggest that a fine selection of edibles be on hand. I will let my wife Paula choose the menu since I know that her taste is impeccable and that she will undoubtedly outlive us all. One tip to my bride, however--there is no such thing as too much bacon at my memorial service.

In terms of drinks, there will be two options. Option number one for the drinkers in the crowd will be Plymouth Gin martinis straight up with a twist. Plymouth Gin Martinis were my favorite before I gave up booze some five years ago. They seem to fit right in at my death party. For the teetotalers, I want cases of liter bottles of Canfield's seltzer on hand. These should be cold and guests may drink them directly from the bottle. I imagine there will be lots of belching because of that, but I'm totally fine with a little gas.

For entertainment, I want someone to hire Nellie McKay to sing a song or two, and then I would like the entire party to split up into eight person rounds of Quiddler. If you don't know what Quiddler is, find out (because in this life, I will kick your Quiddling ass if you don't).

If a speaker must speak, I choose either my brother, Christopher West, or Barack Obama. My brother doesn't have the oratorical skills of Barack, but he's a witty cuss when he's put into a corner.

That's essentially it. I kind of would love it if a fight broke out at my farewell soiree, but it isn't mandatory. I'm just encouraging a little dissension.

But, I repeat, I'm not planning on having this event any time soon. I've too many things to do, and there are so, so many mistakes I haven't even gotten near to making yet.