The Big Day

10 May

A few days ago, as one does from time to time, I was thinking about my funeral.


Figure 1: Woman listening for hidden clock

It started when heard possibly my favourite song (Little Star by Stina Nordenstam) and thought: “Now that’s what I would like to have at my funeral” This wonderful song, you see, builds up from a tinny whisper to a grand choral chanting, like the explosion of a supernova, and fades away into peace. All my friends gathered would surely be touched by this, and grip each other’s hands in abject misery.

But then I thought – what friends? When I die, I will hopefully be old and then most of my friends will already be dead. And the only people gathered at my funeral will be doddery, bleary-eyed old things, incapable of hearing higher frequencies, who will stare in confusion and try to remember exactly where they were, and where the hell they parked.

The only other option, if I want a funeral where all my friends are guaranteed to come, is of course to die young. And this is probably best avoided.

So what a choice to face: die young, have good funeral; or live long, die old and have funeral populated by immediate family and a confused old person or two, and a buffet consisting of foodstuffs I did not pick and do not like.

So just for the record: when I pop my clogs, I desire the following:

  • A song of my choosing (Little Star at the moment)
  • Loads of booze and salt and vinegar crisps
  • Some nudity (planned or otherwise)
  • A good old-fashioned food fight
  • A guy in a Starfleet uniform who will do the Klingon Death Scream
  • And a few honest eulogies

By honest eulogies, I mean people will stand up and say exactly what they though of me. Not the usual funeral rubbish (“Oh, he was such a good man” – isn’t it odd that everybody turns into a fucking Saint as soon as they pass on?) but an honest discussion of me and my good bits and my bad bits.

“He was a grumpy old bastard who should not be approached before noon. He was opinionated, irritating and some of his opinions bordered on fascism. He was short and his nose was too big for his face. On the plus side, he knew Irish dancing.”

Finally, in order to piss off my kids and give them absolutely nothing to fight about, I will have it announced that all my money was used to pay for the extravagant funeral and that they will get my Star Wars figure collection, to divide in whatever way they see fit.

And in this way, I will make my funeral a day to remember, that every friend and family member still capable of walking will enjoy. Except me, who will be dead.

/ paddy


Posted by on May 10, 2007 in Life, Obscura


13 responses to “The Big Day

  1. Johan Anglemark

    May 10, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    Why not hold the funeral and wake while you’re still young and your friends able to hear the music? That way you can dance too, and show us that the positive part of the eulogy was true.

  2. Stuart

    May 10, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    Saw something on the news the other day about a guy in England who was told two years ago that he had an inoperable tumour and would die within a year. So he gave up his job, sold all his stuff and lived royally, but he didn’t die. It turns out the doctors made a misdiagnosis. He’s fine and is unlikely to die any time soon, but he is now broke, unemployed and soon to be homeless. He is now trying to sue the NHS for his losses.

  3. Jennifer

    May 10, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    I was going to say you should start befriending young nudists (and their children) now, to make sure some were available and still spry by the time you kick off.

    But I like Johan’s idea better.

  4. Martin R

    May 10, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    I sometimes muse about writing a little speech for someone to read to the funeral guests. About never mind my dead meat and above us only sky and shoo, shoo, go back out into the world and have fun now.

  5. Johan Anglemark

    May 10, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Stuart, I saw that commented on in a friend’s LiveJournal: . I have to say I tend to agree with her.

  6. Aphra Behn

    May 13, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Me, I want my ashes to be packed into fireworks, great big purple and pink ones that go WHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


  7. paddyK

    May 14, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Johan: But then what happens when I really die? Nothing!

    Stu: And if the NHS actually makes him terminally ill, then he won’t sue them, right?

    Jennifer: Hmmm…maybe I’m behind the times here, but won’t befriending child nudists get me in just a wee bit of trouble..?

    Martin R: I want somebody to deliver Pizza to the church during the service. “Who wants the mushrooms?!?”

    Aphra:Cool, and everybody should dress up as hobbits!

  8. DrDan

    May 15, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    I think I’d like to be placed on a funeral pyre on my favourite leather chair, with a big glass of good red wine. Oh, and someone remember to stuff my hand down my trousers so I can cup my testicles!

    When they light me up, there’ll be dancing, drinking and, of course, toasting of marshmallows in the flames.

  9. Aphra Behn

    May 18, 2007 at 2:03 am

    >> and everybody should dress up as hobbits!

    Well, there was the day that we went to Stonehenge in fancy dress: a 1920s flapper, a Manky Pirate, a Wizard and a Sunflower. It pissed with rain the entire time, which added to the poignency of the occasion, rather.

    Being full of English people (it was off-season) no-one batted an eyelid. Best moment? The Wizard (with crumpled pointy hat) buying a set of postcards and the student at the till saying “that’ll be £1.50 sir” without missing a beat and with no other comment.

    There are times when I find the English awe-inspring and that moment was one of them.


  10. Aphra Behn

    May 18, 2007 at 2:04 am

    PS – I was gutted. I longed for someone to ask us what we were doing. I was going to say “We are time travellers, and we have researched our costumes very carefully.” No-one asked. Bastards.

  11. Blackout

    May 18, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Mmmm, salt and vinegar crisps, I love!
    No Swedish funeral then, it was years since
    this delicious snacks vanished.

  12. Stuart

    May 18, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    “Stu: And if the NHS actually makes him terminally ill, then he won’t sue them, right?”

    The moral of the story is if you tell someone they are terminally ill and you get it wrong… kill them!

  13. paddyK

    May 20, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Dan: Yes indeed, I will go with the testicle thing also. And I will need someone to pour a litre of drool on my pillow.

    Aphra: Don’t you hate making an effort when nobody notices? Although a wizard at Stonehenge might easily go unnoticed…


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