Tuesday, December 14

In ironic twist, man dies in living room.

Bexley, Ohio — For Franklin J. Showalter, death is what happens when you are making other plans.

The 66 year-old Bexley man passed away on December 11 after a long bout with Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Fatal flaw: no toilet.
The terminal diagnosis Showalter received in 2002 allowed him to construct the Franklin J. Showalter Memorial Death Chamber in his Bexley home.

Inspired by the tales of Egyptian pharaohs and their lavish tombs, Showalter built the room with his own two ever-weakening hands.

This 10 x 10 addition — accessible through thick, black velvet curtains — features a custom-made elevated throne. The walls are adorned with vivid depictions of Showalter’s life; from birth, through early adulthood, and finally to death in the aforementioned cathedra. In most of the paintings, Showalter is naked and horrifically well-endowed.

This is where Showalter arranged to die. Life, however, is full of surprises.

A routine trip to the bathroom, located adjacent to the home’s living room, derailed his best-laid plans.

Neighbor Saul Klosterman found Showalter’s lifeless body on the living room carpet.

“Boy, he planned everything. You know, most people had day planner. This guy? He had a minute planner. Every second of his life was accounted for. Isn’t it ironic?” Klosterman lamented, shaking his head. “Alanis Morrisette was right. That Canadian bitch.”

Others familiar with Showalter’s fastidious plotting were equally surprised at the details of his passing.

“He hated curveballs. We once threw a surprise birthday party for him. I ended up in the ER with a broken nose and two black eyes. He did visit and apologize. He told me he could appreciate how much planning went into the party. It was cold comfort.” Remembered Zelda Yates, Showalter’s associate on the New Fellowship Church Events Planning Committee.

Upon entering the Showalter’s self-designed tomb, she marveled at the paintings. “Wow. I should’ve planned on getting to know him better.”