Pretty Good Will Hunting

I had the occasion to thumb past my will in the filing cabinet the other day. Though completely unconnected, seeing it there reminded me of the hilarious fail I had to sit through right before I deployed my Rantastic-ness to Afghanistan. Essentially, the Army will send you over there, but force you to update virtually every single significant document on record, in quadruplicate, before thinking about putting your war-bound ass on an aircraft off to somewhere you might possibly die.

Needless to say, I had to re-draft my will. The single saving grace to the Army approach to a will is that it is completely free of charge. I can change it monthly if I want to – for free. Anyway, the process is pretty routine, and before any actual typing happened, I had to detail out all the basic information in a packet first, then make an appointment to sit down with “a specialist” for the particulars. In my case, the ‘specialist’ was a Captain (not a Specialist, as you may have guessed)(confused yet?) in the Judge Advocate General Corps. In English, an Army Lawyer.

Some context: Like Army Doctors, these are a rarified subgroup of Soldier not completely wise to mainstream Army routines such as shooting weapons, acting military, or living in conditions that make a Port-o-Let feel cozy by comparison. I call them “Leaf Eaters.” This implies that they are herbivores in a system that also has carnivores. I would be a “Meat Eater” having been trained in Actual Killing and other military destruction techniques. In other words, a carnivore. Where the two species meet, hilarity ensues. Admittedly, however, some of my personal views were quite unlike anything this poor young lady had encountered. The Meat Eater existence definitely shaped those views somewhat.

My mission that day was to attack, subdue, and conquer the will. The Captain’s mission was to completely address every conceivable minor point possible to ensure her electronic checklist was fully complete. A lot of routine discussion passed, and then we got into the area where the person drawing the will attempts to exert postmortem influence through legalistic constructs. I find this fuckery amusing. The Captain was dead-set on ensuring postmortem fuckery ensued. My up-front question to her was, “Does my will legally trump anything contained in my two divorce decrees?” To which she answered, “Yes.” I was set, because that was about all I needed to know to properly address said fuckery.

To the best of my recollection, these are some of the more amusing snippets of the dialogue that followed:

  • CPT: “Ok, we have all your assets recorded. How do you want them disbursed?”
  • ME: “Leave all of it to my wife.”
  • CPT: “Uhm, everything?”
  • ME: “All of it. I won’t need it. I’ll be dead. She will be in better shape to hand out stuff to the kids because of that fact.”
  • CPT: “Do you trust your wife?”
  • ME: “Ok, look, I can understand why my marital record would give you cause to ask that, but yes I do, and far more than the two exes.”
  • ——————- ( later )
  • CPT: “Any particular bequeaths? Jewelry, heirlooms?”
  • ME: “Nope. Di has a list.”
  • CPT: “But do you tru–“
  • ME: [Glaring pointedly] “You’re kinda young. Would it help if I did a quick interpretive dance in a Pokemon outfit to illustrate my point?”
  • ——————- (later)
  • CPT: “Do you want to establish a trust to ensure your kids …”
  • ME: “Wife. I trust her. Implicitly.”
  • CPT: “Sir, is she comfortable with the burden of tracking all that in the way you imply?”
  • ME: “She’s more than comfortable, as opposed to having to set up the trust, pay the fees, maintain it, do the paperwork, file it, deal with lawyers…yadda yadda.”
  • ——————– (later)
  • CPT: “Do you want to specify disposition of your remains?”
  • ME: “I want to be put in a boat on a lake and set on fire with flaming arrows after a drunken, epic, bacchanalian party the likes of which the Western World has never seen.”
  • CPT: [Typing, then pauses] “Sir, are you serious?”
  • ME: “No. Look, I’d prefer cremation.”
  • CPT: “And… any other specifications?”
  • ME: “Captain, look, I don’t mean to be a scary asshole, but just what about being dead don’t you understand? Di can put me on the mantel, scatter me under a nice shrub, or work me into the kitty litter, and there’s not a lot I’m gonna be able to do about it. You know why?”
  • CPT: “Because… you’ll be dead.”
  • ME: “I think we’re finally getting somewhere.”

In the end, I walked out with the will I wanted, fully notarized, and as stated, for free. It was better than Burger King, where I can have it my way but I have to give them money (that sounded dirty). Even Di is unsure as to whether or not she likes the idea, but I try to reassure her that anyone would be crazy to take her to court. Anyone married to me for this long would make a formidable adversary, and then there’s Di… I even included a stipulation that anyone challenging the will automatically forfeits any claim based on other documents. How’s that for fuckery?

23 Responses to “Pretty Good Will Hunting”

  1. truelibertarian Says:

    I’m glad the Army maintains quality control when it comes to their lawyers. It’d be a real shame to stick our Armed Forces with some straight-outta-law-school-and-by-law-school-I-mean-night-law-school idjit.

  2. “I want to be put in a boat on a lake and set on fire with flaming arrows after a drunken, epic, bacchanalian party the likes of which the Western World has never seen.” Yeah, me too…totally there.

  3. You, good sir, are a joy to read. (Um, do you actually have a Pokemon outfit?)

  4. Instead of “Leaf Eaters” for the lawyerly section of the Army, might I suggest “JAG-offs”?

  5. savorthefolly Says:

    Good will hunting eh? So did you finally get fedup, grab her by the neck, slam her against a wall, and spit shout into her face, “IF YOU DISRESPECT MY WIFE AGAIN I WILL END YOU!”

  6. My son’s deploying to Afghanistan in January. I’m forwarding this to him.

    It’d be funny if I didn’t suspect so much truth in it.

  7. “I find this fuckery amusing. The Captain was dead-set on ensuring postmortem fuckery ensued.” LOL. I now have a new favorite vocab word. And it’s not postmortem.

  8. John Erickson Says:

    Let me know what lake or ocean, and I’ll take care of the rest of the funeral. In exchange, I’ll trust you to take care of my remains. Cremate me, and spread my ashes over the O’Hare Airport control tower. Payback.

  9. […] Office – This will be a rehash of my will experience, which means some poor lawyer’s gonna have hurt feelings. Also, I get a briefing on the Law […]

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