Tag Archives: Funeral

Hmm…Good Friends, They’re All Edible

I have a reoccurring character that just happens to be an animal. alligatorNot the type of animal you would normally think of, if you were thinking of animals. This particular critter is roughly the size of a wolverine. It has two unusual characteristics.

Number one: Its yellow eyes curve from the front around to the side of its head.

Number two: It talks.

Animals bring about a wealth of emotions. These emotions are different for each individual, just as finger prints.

Allow me to tell you of some of my early experiences with our four-footed friends.

I’ve always had a special place in my being for animals of the reptilian variety. My first exposure to these scaly creatures came in the form of an alligator named Wilbur. In actually Wilbur was probably a caiman, but when it comes to a twelve-inch long mouth with needles for teeth, does it really matter?

When my buddy Wilbur joined the household, he wasn’t exactly the warmest of pets a seven-year old could possess, but then again in my circle of friends I had reached a pentacle that could not be topped.

Wilbur’s living arrangements consisted of a white plastic tub covered in rat wire to prevent escape. Wilbur would float in his custom accommodations happily munching on raw hamburger.

When the lacerations on our hands had healed sufficiently, we could pull Wilbur out of his cage and the bloodletting play time would begin.

One day we walked into the bathroom and Wilbur didn’t look quite right. Instead of his jovial self, he was acting as though he had ingested LSD.

Shortly after the drug like episode, Wilbur left our family for good. I found out later that the constant turning on and off of the light, fried poor little Wilbur‘s pea size brain. He never had a chance. With a hole in my heart and numerous holes in my fingers I set about planning his funeral.

I made a cross, a piece of wood with his name carved into it and a shoe box wrapped in a plastic parachute. I dug a hole in preparation to accept the body of my lost friend. I erected a cross and head stone. With a tear in my eye I personally selected the mourners (my sister) for the ceremony.

The funeral procession consisted of myself and one reluctant mourner. We marched to the grave site, where I solemnly placed the shoe box. Covering the hole with dirt I began my eulogy.

“Wilbur was a good alligator.” It was then I sensed (due to barely audible giggles) one of the people in attendance were not as sad as I thought they should be.

In order to help put her in the mood, my fist found the large target, that was her back, and then, we all properly grieved for our deceased pet.

I don’t want you to think that I was a demon child growing up. I had my share of dogs and the like (what most people would deem normal pets) up until just a few years ago when our last dog died.

I have my wife and kids for companionship and don’t want to fuss with anything that can’t feed or water itself.

I still consider myself an animal lover, but of the type that slide on to grills, into ovens and swim in gravy.

I think of my good friend, Wilbur the alligator, from time to time. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on who’s tooth is doing the biting)  I have acquired a taste for blackened alligator tail.

Hmm, I wonder why that is?

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Ashes or Dust, I Don’t Care…It Costs too Much

English: Entrance to Boot Hill Cemetary in Tom...

English: Entrance to Boot Hill Cemetary in Tombstone, Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peeves, in the form of adoring pets (i.e., pet peeves), we all seem to have. Some tend to bother us more than others. As we age they tend to bother us even more. One of mine I would like to share and I am sure you would love to hear concerns the funeral system in this country.

Caretakers of the deceased provide a necessary service but I was always taught that I should get dinner or at least a kiss before being treated in that manner. According to television, the average funeral costs around eight thousand dollars. Now, my first question: Why do we need anything more than a pine box (or if that’s not your style, poplar is always a nice alternative)? Personally, I would opt for cardboard.  It’s easy on the pall-bearers and decays quickly plus your average tree hugger won’t proclaim tree abuse due to my final resting box being constructed of wood …Wait a minute…Cardboard does come from trees!  Oh well, can’t please everybody…

I want to reiterate that I am all for the respectful approach to the way we bid farewell to our loved ones, whether sitting up with the dead in our homes, a funeral home wake, or memorial service after someone has been cremated. However, what jerks a knot in my rear end is the price we are expected to pay for this service.

Before I take a second mortgage out on my home to pay for this, let’s examine our final farewell amenities including options that I’m sure are not complementary. (On a side note: a casket and a coffin are not the same thing. A casket is the rectangular-shaped receptacle we use today, while a coffin is tapered at the top and bottom–what you’d see in your average Western.) You can select your basic model casket for that thrifty bon voyage or your more ornate, exotic, carved wooden model that just screams, “I’m styling now, baby!”

We can also have the double-walled, galvanized box with a waterproof seal to prevent that soggy feeling. There are also drawers to store memorabilia, I can only suppose, so that the corpse does not get bored during those long, drawn out days of eternity.

If you’re predisposed to enjoying a hot, dry climate, then cremation may be the very thing for you. And of course, you will want to select an appropriate urn to inter the dusty gray pile of YOU. I would think something on the order of an oatmeal box or a coffee can would prove to be a suitable container for my benefit–I love the smell of coffee.

As I step down from my bully pulpit, I contemplate all that I have said in this post.  I pause, shrug my shoulders and think one last thought, if you’re a writer, then get to writing, ‘cause after you’re dead, your fingers don’t work as well.

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