Dear Mr. Phelps and the Congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church,
I hope this letter finds you well, or as well as your and your congregation can be. My name is Kyle Graham. I am writing to invite you to protest at my funeral. I haven’t set a date yet, but I’d be happy to have you there.
Why the invitation? Well, it’s not because of your ideology, that’s for sure. Instead, I recently perused the list of people whose funerals you either protested, or thought about protesting: Matthew Shepard, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, Matthew Snyder, Gordon Hinckley, Elizabeth Edwards, and, most recently, Roger Ebert. Scanning this list, it struck me that all of these people have something in common.
They’re all incredibly awesome.
I too would like to be perceived as awesome. Hence this invitation. I cannot claim to be as gifted a writer as Roger Ebert was, let alone a war hero like Matthew Snyder. But that’s where you come in. When you come protest at my funeral, people will look at your signs and wonder, “Who’s that Kyle Graham guy? He must have been pretty awesome, to have the Westboro Baptist jerks protest at his funeral.”
That would be terrific, wouldn’t it?
I see it as a win-win. You get to wave your signs — which, I admit, you’d probably be doing in your backyard or cars or wherever anyway — and I get to be posthumously lumped into the same category as a bunch of awesome people, solely because of your perceived hatred of me. Or real hatred; whatever. I’m flexible on that front.
Still not sold? You might be thinking, “We can’t just carve out a block of time for your ceremony, especially when you never know when the next schoolyard massacre will occur that will require us to consider a protest at the victims’ funerals.” Let me tell you why my funeral deserves your earnest attention.
For one thing, I support gay marriage, and back in 2012, I supported a presidential candidate (Gary Johnson) who also supports gay marriage. I tend to dislike earthquakes, regardless of which country they strike. Not enough? Well, my law students are a lot more liberal than I am, and plenty of them will be at the funeral — though, I have to admit, mostly just to make certain that I’m really dead.
I also understand that you may be concerned that my request will start a trend, with others likewise requesting your presence at their funerals as an indication of their awesomeness. Not to worry; I have a quick fix. If you get too pressed for time at some point in the distant future, simply go protest a One Direction concert. That’ll convince everybody that you don’t only protest awesome things and people.
In any event, thank you for your consideration of my request. I will keep you posted as to my health, and hope that we can do business together in the future. And here’s my promise: if you show up at my funeral, and I do indeed go to hell, I’ll put in a good advance word for you with the head honcho down below.