Complain Episode 2: Fossil

Picture your favorite natural history museum 40,000 years from now. There in the glass display case, among the Trilobite specimens and the bones of ancient Labradoodles, is a perfectly preserved Don Fossil. That’s where I’ve always assumed I’d end up. But recently I learned that getting in that position is much harder than I realized. Like so many new things I learn, this was a crushing disappointment.

 Fossil Case
Let me share the six main reasons becoming a fossil is so difficult.
1. First, you must die.That alone is a pretty disagreeable detail that I’d personally prefer to avoid.
2. When dead, one must avoid being eaten by scavengers, micro-organisms, fungi, etc. And don’t let anyone burn you up.
3. One’s body must immediately come to rest in some obligingly fine, oxygen-free gloop. Fine silt is the preferred choice.
4. For some of us, this next step is relatively easy. Lay still for thousands of years. No wiggling or jiggling while all the molecules in your remains are gradually replaced by sturdy minerals. Don’t rush this process.
5. Get found. Your exquisite fossil now has to be discovered by a competent specialist with connections to the museum. The team has got to come to your site with their tiny tools and detect your amazing specimen before their funding runs out or the fossil poachers get to you.
6. Finally, someone at the museum has got to build the display case, install lights, and make your label. After all that, they’ll probably misspell “Donosaur."
Maybe the fossil strategy isn’t right for me. I’ll have to look into cryogenics or taxidermy. Or how to make a good mummy.
Don—Pittsburgh, July 25, 2023

6 Responses


August 14, 2023

So many factors…ugh
I took taxidermy twice in college btw and humans are still illegal, sorry
I did read that Roy Rogers wanted to be stuffed and displayed on his horse…denied…love your stuff and getting my christmas list together to include the puzzles, and an apron and tote.bag or 2!

Matthew Speakman

August 14, 2023

I know you can’t complain, Don, but I’m glad you do because I thoroughly enjoy these shorts!

Susan Scoggins

July 27, 2023

I’m afraid I’m being thrown in the furnace, no chance of fossilization!


July 27, 2023

does your Maserati do one-eighty-five?

Caroline Sokol

July 27, 2023

I was actually hoping and thinking that this image was already made into a challenge coin or lapel pin. I could so have bought one for each of my sisters and myself. Just saying a pin that said. “I can’t complain… but sometimes I still do” would make a great pin. Perhaps with one of your beloved creatures in art even or the Black Cat as that seems fitting as well. Just hoping this will be a possible art piece to purchase sometime.

Karen Krewer

July 26, 2023

Oh plsssss. I am married to a living fossil. A man right out of 1900, complete with bib overhauls, a collection of pitchforks, a love of shoveling & cutting down trees , and 10% body fat at the age of 70.

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