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Sunday, May 17, 2015

PUTTING THE ‘FUN’ IN FUNERAL


How I learned to mind my own business: I was walking past Bellevue Mental Hospital the other day, and I could hear all the patients shouting, "13! 13! 13!" Now if you read this blogue regularly, then you should be familiar with Bellevue. Anyway, the fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks, so I looked through to see what was going on. Someone poked me in the eye with a stick! Then they all started shouting, "14! 14! 14!"

Every once in a while, an old tradition dies and dies hard.

Many years ago when someone passed away, a wake was held and it lasted about 5 days! Yes for 5 days we sat and looked at each other, making the deceased look better and healthier than the mourners as the days wore on. The women wore black for the occasion, except for Italian widows, who wore black for the rest of their lives. The men wore black ties: it was an odd black tie affair!

Then when about the late 60’s appeared, things changed. You could now get to Heaven or Hell in 2 short days, with a layover at the coroner. You were kind of in and out or out and down, or yes even: down and out!

That seems to be the norm to this day, that is until recently when I was asked to visit a website that TLW (The Little Woman) told me about. Excited, she said the site makes me look like a man of the future, cutting edge so to speak. Now this site is from a location in Marin Puerto Rico, and like salsa has an interesting flavor to it.

As I was perusing the site TLW kept asking me what I saw. I saw a man standing in a corner with his family, he was a boxer, I saw an old lady sitting in a chair by herself, and I saw a guy on a motorcycle and another guy standing wearing a NY Yankee baseball cap. Then it hit me! THEY WERE ALL DEAD! The good people of Puerto Rico put life into their funerals! Yes, bring them back as they were. This does not bode well for anybody who is reneging on a payment. You die owing your mortgage, why they just drag you back until you pay off the debt!

Now why did TLW think I was such a wonder, you wonder? Well, for starters I have already planned my own funeral, yes, I want things done a certain way, and like my Puerto Rican friends, I want something lively!

First of all, all the rows of chairs are out. After all, this is a wake, a viewing as they now say, so the people in the back won’t be able to swear at me in fine style from the back if they can’t see me comfortably.

Second, the chairs have to be arranged in a circle, around the casket on a revolving platform. I want to wear my old jeans and a shirt with a stain on it, and in my shirt pocket is to be a business card that says: “I hate when this happens!”

Third, when someone mounts the platform and knells at the casket to call me names, when they knell, I automatically sit up, and when they are done and stand again, I lay down!

And fourth, in the casket, I want a mechanical arm that waves bye-bye as the platform slowly turns.

Now is that too much to ask?

 


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