Six Feet Under
Can I Come Up Now?

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The Real Slim Shady

Because the dramatic effect of any pre-death sequence pivots entirely on how like a Snoopy-penned short story said sequence is, "it was a dark and stormy night" in an empty parking lot where, I'm sure, were we to keep reading, we would discover that the Red Baron was up to absolutely no good at all. The rain teems down and eerie foreshadowing crashes through the night sky, and in short order a lone car pulls into the lot, passes by the designated "Employee Of The Month" spot on account of being really stupidly effing late for work, and the driver kills (herself? Her entire family? Those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers?) the car's headlights (BO-ring). The figure, who we must ascertain from the back is a female on account of the looks-like-a-pump-feels-like-a-sneaker clackity-clack of her sensible work shoes scampering across the pavement, cracks open an umbrella and makes for the front of 2400 Generic Corporate Plaza.

Through the front door, the woman -- let's call her "Death's Placebo," on account of her being merely the decoy for death this week -- enters the building and tosses her Burberry Umbrella...OF DEATH into a holder near the elevator. She hits the elevator button and fails to stand back a reasonable amount from the doors, rendering it entirely her fault when the doors open and a creepy older gentleman wearing a trench coat and a scowl -- let's call him The Lead Singer Of Midnight Oil -- walks right into her. I'm just glad that seeing him here means he's vacated his former residence of "under my bed for the first seven years of my life." She gasps in horror and offers a quick "My fault," but The Lead Singer Of Midnight Oil fixes her with a sad-eyed how-can-we- dance-when-the- earth-is-turning stare and responds in a growl, "Nothing is anybody's fault." Until you can prove to me in a court of good writing that that line wasn't entirely Alan Ball's fault, I'm going to have to beg to differ. The woman tries to force a smile, even in the face of only statistically-even odds on survival -- there are two people here and only 50% of them are going to make it out of this scene alive, so you can't love those odds if you're the damsel and this is your ever-encroaching distress -- and steps into the elevator. The Lead Singer Of Midnight Oil stares at her for a moment too long, waiting until the doors close to tell her, "You're beautiful." She recoils from the situationally-inappropriate pick-up line, looking tired of it all, as her look of weariness undoubtedly derives more from forgetting to hand in those TPS Reports and having to come back to the office at midnight than, say, running through his head all day.

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Six Feet Under

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