Cody W. Pattison: Column by A new perspective on enjoying life and Lawrence County sports

May 4—Do you ever imagine what life would be like when you're dead?

I know what you're saying "Cody, what in the purple hell is wrong with you by starting an introductory sentence for a sports column like that?" But, really...

I had the experience in a roundabout way I guess you could say. I got home from work and was forwarded an email about a schedule change for the Neshannock/Shenango baseball game I was going to cover on April 23.

After strategizing to get up earlier in the day to go vote in the Pennsylvania Primary Election and then cover the game, well, that went off the rails. By 3 p.m. I went flying out of the house and into the voting booth.

I went up to the front door of the formerly known St. Vincent de Paul Parish which is now part of the Holy Spirit Parish and no one was there for voting.

I checked all the locks on the church's doors, got back in my vehicle, did a little internet research and relocated myself to the new polling booth located inside St. Marguerite's. I always thought of voting as the greatest civic duty you can do besides serving your country.

But...They looked at my voter signature and the empty box you sign when coming in to vote, looked quizzically at me, asked someone to call someone, did a collective huddle and...asked if I was dead. I checked my pulse and assured the fine ladies who knew me from the last round of voting they saw me at that I was all well and good.

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I got my "I VOTED" sticker after filling out a brief form saying I didn't change my address. Being placed in a secondary cardboard booth away from the others (probably because they don't want dead people mingling with the living), I cast my ballot and the voting machine slurped it up like a wavering alcoholic slurping up the first beer after a tiresome day. After I reassured the fine ladies working the polling place that I might not see November for the general election, I shot off for Kirkwood Field. When I arrived, I told everyone I knew in earshot that I was late due to the fact I went to vote and they told me I was dead.

I started thinking about what a last day on earth would be like if you were supposedly dead and still flying out of the door for work like some opaque ghost. I'm fine with it being coverage of a baseball game between Shenango and Neshannock (and a good one at that), eating a hot dog with mustard (sans chili — they ran out) and worrying about the April showers in the second inning and then the next second sighing when they die out.

I soaked it all in.

It's a weird perspective coming from a dead man just soaking everything in. But, hey, here I am.

Maybe you should enjoy life a little bit more when you find out you're dead. I did.

"They say 'Of course I know I'll die. Why should you mention it now? Why should I worry about it? It'll happen. It'll happen. Now, I want a good time. Excuse me, it's a beautiful happy June afternoon I want to walk in. Why are you so tragic and gloomy?'" — McDougal Street Blues by Jack Kerouac