I attended a funeral recently. Young kid. Leukemia. Absolute tragedy. I don’t do well in settings like this because I empathize with people. Dealing with that massive collection of grief can be absolutely overwhelming for me. But it also inevitably turns my thoughts towards my own impending demise, cause to be determined at a later date.
After sitting through my share of funerals, I’ve made some decisions. First of all, I’ve never understood why funeral is spelled with the word fun preceeding it. But after bawling my eyes out on more than one occasion, I’m making the conscious decision to ensure that my funeral will be fun. In fact, cry on your own time.
Public gatherings of crying will be abolished, unless you can prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you’re crying for other reasons. As such, note cards will be provided for you to scrawl your reasons, bullshit as they may be, for crying at my funeral. They will be preprinted with the words, “I’m crying because…” Acceptable answers include, ‘black licorice sucks’ or ‘Adrian Peterson is a dick’. Think of it as my own version of Cards Against Humanity, but on a totally maccabe scale. I’m thinking that these should be collected at the end and read in front of everyone. The winner gets a free McDonald’s quarter pounder. Or perhaps I should have my funeral sponsored by a local bar that can donate free xeroxed coupons. That would be perfect.
It’s not that I wish to cheapen my life and death, don’t misunderstand me. I just think that collectively mourning should be reserved for much more important events than my simple passing. Just because I may have died, you can’t put your emotions through the spin cycle. Save that for when they cure cancer or perfect the technology of punching people via electronic media.
I passed a booth at the memorial center that had pamphlets on how to prearrange your funeral. Being that I’m the prime age for things to go physically haywire, it’s something I really should put some effort to do. So I guess this post is something of a primer.
People who have known me a while know that Eric Idle’s “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” will be played during my funeral. But it was only recently that I realized this only covers about four minutes. I could ask that it be put on repeat, but that would get annoying. I can’t leave a bunch of time for my friends and family try to maudlinize the service, so I realize now I need to map this out like a Super Bowl halftime show. Ideas are abundant, but I need or organize them somehow.
For instance, I will be enlisting a group of individuals to dress us like monks and reenact the procession the can be seen in The Holy Grail — complete with the smacking of their foreheads with a holy book. (Those who render themselves unconscious should get a free appetizer.) I’ll provide the Latin lyric sheets for authenticity’s sake. If I’m in a casket, when I’m moved to the hearse, the song March of the Swivel Heads by The Beat, a song more familiar to those who’ve seen the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, will be played.
The Ex had a wonderful idea of opening services to the theme from The Muppet Show. That said, I need to find a place with two funeral directors who can sing the part of Stadler and Waldorf. But since Kermit sings of the special guest star, which would obviously be yours truly, I need to have a Muppet made in my image. Tell me this isn’t genius.
I’m also hoping to employ motion sensors around my coffin. I don’t like to be touched, so if you get too close a voice recording will trigger of me saying, “No touchie.” I also thought of one that is triggered when the coffin is picked up that says, “Hey, what are you trying to do, kill me?”
This is all silly, I admit. But this will be the last gathering that I can ever host, posthumously as the case may be. I want it to be as memorable as possible and not because of how sad my guests were, but how hard I can make them laugh at how positively ridiculous I can be. My friends and family should leave, wiping tears of laughter from their eyes and say, “Damn, that was awesome.” There after, live your lives being your own flavor of awesome.
Postscript: Since there is always at least one young kid who refuses to stay quiet throughout the services, I highly encourage you to listen to how bored that kid is and find something better to do. After all, that kid is still alive and dying to make some of their own memorable moments. So go make them.