Better off dead


This week is not going so hot.

But on to a much more cheerful topic than workaday doings: death!

On Monday I went to a wake for someone I didn’t even know (extended extended family of Mr. H). I had to fake Catholic or risk looking like some kind of disrespectful jerk. I come from a family that never even attempted any religious affiliation. I was never baptized, and Christmas was distilled to the purest form of commerce. Presents were half-heartedly wrapped in non-Christmas paper, stacked on the couch, and marked with a note that read “from ‘Santa.'” Luckily I went to an Episcopal high school, so at least I know most of the words to all the top 5 prayers.

So I crossed to the left, I crossed to the right, I bobbed, weaved, mouthed a Hail Mary here and there. I got blessed by Officer Nightstick, er, Father Buzz Cut. This guy was right out of a Tom of Finland illo, verrrry studly. When in Rome, right?

The most awkward part was the kneeler at the casket. I’d made it through the grieving receiving line, trying to be as supportive as could be given that I’d never met the ol’ gal. So there I was, next to Mr. H, with an actual dead person right at eye level. I am not particularly upset by death, but I did note that if I am ever to be displayed in death, I would like to make sure my nails are painted. Preferably She-dragon red. It’s just like women and sunscreen: they always forget to do the hands.

“What are you supposed to do up there?” I asked him later.

“Oh, I usually just say an Our Father to get the timing right.” So there you have it.

I have decided that my own coffin will be lined with white fun fur and equipped with a sun lamp in the roof, and I will be sporting a bikini. Lambchop said, “I want an open-toe casket!” So even in final repose, we mustn’t neglect our pedicure. Tropical drinks will be served. Nothing like a little Harry Belafonte to lighten the mood. Coconut shrimp on skewers, bacon wrapped scallops. Mm-mm. Everyone must compliment their neighbor’s attire and say one nice thing about me.

“She always flossed.”

“She could rip out checks without tearing them.”

“She really liked cheese.”

Thus shall be my legacy, thus it is written.


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