Many people hope for a quick and painless death. Not John Mellencamp.

Vanity Fair got the famously recalcitrant rocker to sit for their ongoing "Proust Questionnaire" feature, which subjects celebrities to the classic series of questions popularized by novelist Marcel Proust — and true to his grumpy public persona, Mellencamp fired off a series of responses that ranged from brutally honest to humorous, with a dash of honest emotion in between.

Mellencamp's dislike of giving interviews is well-known, but to his credit, his answers to the questionnaire are mostly quite funny or thought-provoking, even when they're curt; for example, in response to the question "What do you dislike most about your appearance," he simply said, "My appearance."

But the article isn't just a bunch of quips and one-liners. "It's not our God-given right to be happy. So, if a man can laugh out loud once or twice a day, that would be happiness," Mellencamp said about his idea of perfect happiness, and when asked to name one thing he'd change about his family, he admitted, "I wish my grandmother and grandfather were still alive, because they were able to keep me grounded."

Perhaps because he's stared down death before, Mellencamp offered one of his more flippant answers to the question of how he'd like to die, saying, "I need a long and lingering death to make sure that I have time to have deathbed conversion." But he also made it clear he's in no hurry to shuffle off this mortal coil — and grateful for the life he has.

"I'm doing my favorite occupation," Mellencamp responded to the question of his favorite occupation. "I work for no one, never have worked for anyone. I haven't had a boss since my father, so I've been very fortunate in the fact that I've been able to live for myself and live the way I have chosen to live."

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