Alas, I grow old: while I have been old for some time, I now feel the growth of age within me. I fear I shall soon succumb to it. I know that, come my death, my children will fight over my riches unless there is a written instrument designed to prevent such a thing. I draft this will accordingly.
To Philomena —
Ah, my eldest (legitimate) daughter. You bring me great joy, but so too do you bring me great sorrow. It feels as if your life is designed to torment me in ways that sear my soul. Accordingly, my gift to you is conditional. It shall vest if and only if the following three conditions relating to your marriage, career, and choice of domicile are met.
If these conditions are fulfilled, you shall receive the house your mother and I reside in. You shall receive all my stock in the three Taiwanese hotel chains I co-own with your uncle Edgar. You will also be gifted the Bent Spear of Itzamnaaj Bahlam of Ucanal, the Mayan ruler famous for having his city besieged, then spared from total destruction only upon the King’s surrender of his person unto the tribes waging war against him. Itzamnaaj Bahla did this despite him knowing well that this would condemn him to the life of a slave. His decision to live a life of misery & compulsory servitude saved thousands.
(Be careful when handling the spear: It is as sharp as it was the day I pried it from the slave-king’s previously unopened sarcophagus.)
Now, on to the conditions themself. On the topic of your marriage:
- I require that you marry a man of firm morals and earnest character, the kind who’s fairness can be seen in the contours of his face and the structure of his eyebrows. He must be pious, but not too pious. No god-wads! He should also be good at pool, for whatever that’s worth. But again, not too good — once you hit a certain point of billiards-proficiency, it begins to show on your face in the form of crow’s feet and pronounced jowls. That is, of course, unseemly.
- Your future partner may not be a man who drinks, smokes, uses a bicycle, participates in marathons, or gardens. He should have no time for frivolity of this nature: he should be serious. And kind, too. But not of the kind of “kindness” that leads to one frequently watering plants. Or riding a bike.
- Your partner should not have attended any of the following schools: Vassar, Williams, Bucknell, Cornell, Gonzaga, Sciences Po, Brown, The Sorbonne, Wellesley, Liberty University, Georgia, Rutgers, and/or BYU. And especially not Ohio State.
- You partner must, of course, be skilled in the martial arts. As a gentleman, he should be prepared to defend your life, be it through the use of a sword or with nothing more than his knowledge of Judo.
Now, on to your career. I have but one request: you must stop working on your “passion” and focus on getting a real job. One that actually pays the bills. Accordingly, if you have not quit your position as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs by the time of my death, you shall receive nothing.
Lastly, on the topic of your domicile. I ask only that you abide by one wish in order to fulfill this condition. Your house must have no French doors at the time of my death. You already understand why; I shall not waste any space in this will on detailing my troubled history with this sort of architectural feature.
To my Landsperth —
Ah, Landsperth! My most kind, wise, and noble son. I admire you for being as normal as you are in light of your birth (born to my least favorite mistress, had a club foot). If the following conditions related to your physical appearance, hobbies, and artistic pursuits are met, I shall shower you in gifts. You shall receive my collection of paintings by Picasso, Mondrian, and Megan Markle. You will also take ownership of the family insurance company, Parvo-Plus (“The Insurer For Dogs, By Dogs!”). You will have full legal title to the family fleet of RVs, micro-busses, ATVs, and go-karts, as well as any of my sports cars I that have not destroyed by the time of my death via my frequent participation in “demolition derby”-style races. Lastly, you can have my beloved pet snake, Wilbur. Treat him well.
Now, on to my conditions for you. They are simple.
First, the matter of your appearance must be attended to. Shave both your sideburns and mutton-chops, I beg you. And get rid of your “ironic” tonsure. It is unbecoming for a shipping magnate like yourself to resemble Friar Tuck. You shall receive what I detailed above only if this is done.
Secondly, on the matter of your hobbies: play more minigolf, by god. I am not joking. You’re close to being able to go pro, kid. Don’t let your dream be wasted. Do it. In fact, unless you can prove that you are playing at least three rounds of minigolf a week for the year preceding my death, I shall leave you nothing. Zilch! Nada! Now go be the man you are destined to be.
Lastly, on to your artistic pursuits. My final demand is simple: no more NFTs. You get nothing — literally nothing at all — if I find out you’ve made another series of monkeys wearing capes or llamas with cyborg parts. I know it’s good money, sure. But come on, grow up. Knock it off. This wave has come & gone. No more NFTs. The things are practically valueless anyway. And, besides that? They look like shit. Sorry I had to be the one to tell you.
Ah, my simplest son. Only one thing can be given to you: my well wishes. These are offered unconditionally. Best of luck!
Finally, in the event that a child fails to meet the conditions attached to their bequests, give wherever they don’t get to Gary. That’s right — all of it will go to Gary. You heard me: Gary.
To Gary: you are and have been a woefully inadequate son. Let’s not kid around here, buckaroo. I know this and you do too. But hey, in life, you can only play the cards you were dealt. And somehow I was dealt you: Gary. So go ahead, kid. Take whatever the other mongrels are too screwed up to get.
Plus, no matter what, I am giving you the family dairy farms. It is the original source of our family’s wealth. I imagine it’ll also be what we use to fuel our return to dynastic greatness after your bone-headed siblings burn all of my shit to the ground.
And you know why I’m doing this, Gary? Because I trust you. I know you aren’t a fuckhead. Christ, that’s all you are — not a fuckhead. But kid, I’ll give credit where credit is due. You know what you do best (not being a total goddamn buffoon), and you do it well. Do you deviate from it? No. But that’s your strength. You lack the creativity to be an artist, the voice to be a singer (like you always wanted), or the arithmetic stills to rise out of the mediocracy you find yourself mired in at your job as an accountant. But god, at least you know how to not be a fuckhead.
Christ, Gary. I hope you use the dairy farms well. You deserve them, whatever that means.