When, in 1923, Doroteo Arango Arámbula, better known as Pancho Villa, was assassinated in Chihuahua by, it is believed, agents of Jesus Salas Barraza of Durango, he breathed some of the best last words ever uttered. "Don't let it end like this," he said. "Tell them I said something." It could be argued that the recipient of those words failed miserably in his or her assigned task, but what artifice could have been more spectacular than the truth? These are, in my estimation, the perfect last words.
Impending death typically leads to a sort of clarity. Even the enigmatic John Lennon, when shot, was uncharacteristically precise. "I'm shot," he said to the doorman of the Dakota. No further words are recorded.
Pancho Villa understood the value of pretense for a public figure but, in the end, his last words were pretentious in motive but direct in execution, punctuating his life with irony.
As for me, I have already planned my last words. They will most certainly be, "Friends, members of the Galactic Council, citizens of the universe, I do not understand what mystery of fate has allowed me to stay alive for these 3,785 years, but I am grateful for every moment of my amazing life. It has been my honor to be your advisor and counselor, to share with the leaders of your many worlds whatever meager wisdom my millennia of life and experience have brought. And now, on this beautiful day here on the Planet Earth Wildlife Preserve, I am honored to accept, based on the unanimous votes of the people of the universe, the office of Supreme Figurehead Without Difficult Duties. I am humbled by... what the hell... ouch... THWUMP." I'm not actually going to say, "THWUMP." That's going to be the sound of my firm, muscular, dead body hitting the stage of the amphitheatre.
Hello, friends. What will your last words be?