Putting the fun into funerals…

One thing that writers often have in common is a somewhat warped sense of humour. It’s probably part of the job description. We’re bringing brand new people to life, creating entire worlds, and then deliberately torturing and sometimes even killing them in the name of entertainment. We’re essentially gods with crippling emotional problems and drink/drug dependencies (in my case, tea strong enough to make the spoon stand up and chocolate coated flapjacks).

I recently dug up some notes I wrote thirteen years ago on how I want my funeral to go. Time has not changed my mind to any significant degree. I might tweak the plan a little, and I might prefer to go into the furnace to the tune of Black Lace’s “Agadoo” just to confuse everyone, but quite why anyone would want a boring ordinary ceremony is still beyond me.

So here we go!

Funeral Plans

I suppose some may think this a bit morbid, but I thought I’d write this up somewhere as I think it could be a hoot. I’m sketching out my funeral plans. Not my will or anything like that (I don’t have much and my partner will get it all if I kark it first) but the plans for the disposal of the carcass, so to speak.

It won’t be a religious ceremony. I don’t worship any gods now, I don’t intend any worship posthumously. And I’m not sure I want all that mourning and black and so on. So, the plan:

(1) Initial treatment of remains. First, any organs that the medical profession wants, they can have. They might do someone some good and I certainly won’t need them any more. I can’t guarantee the quality, however. If my organs are unable to find a good home I’m happy for them to go to research or (failing that) for them to be minced and given to the local cat shelter.

(2) The rest of me can be padded out with stuffing and tarted up a bit, and then go into the funeral itself. I’d quite like it to be packed with fireworks as it gets cremated, but there’s probably health and safety legislation against that and it might upset people.

The ceremony proceeds as follows:

Opening sequence. Me in the coffin (obviously), set to roll into that nice toasty oven and contribute to global warming. As the mourners file in, muttering about how nice I was while silently hating me for not leaving them anything in the will, I’ll have a nice mournful song playing. Since I’m not keen on anything religious, I’m thinking of Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees”. I love that song and the mood is perfect.

Everyone files in and sits down. Thom sings in the background.

Next, the reading. Again, nothing religious here – I’m thinking of a few speeches from friends and family. I’m also considering a few revelations here about my darker secrets (what better time to tell people about my mysterious past?) and then some piece on death written by a great author. I may even write something myself, which could be interesting, though if I can find a suitable passage by Terry Pratchett I’d be happy.

And finally, everyone rises for the finale. My coffin rolls into the flames – I’m thinking a cardboard coffin, as it’ll burn easier and be both cheaper and less environmentally complicated – and my second song starts up. It may be a bit cliched, but not many people will be expecting it. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, with “Fire”.
“I am the god of hellfire, and I bring you…”

I challenge any mourner to keep a straight face!

(3) Then everyone files out, off to a low-key cheese-and-nibbles affair with music and dancing. Perfect! My ashes can be scattered wherever my executor wishes, or kept in a little pot and used to grit the driveway in winter for all I care. Hey, I’m dead!

My only misgiving about all this is that I won’t be around to see it. If I have some impending warning of my death, such as a terminal illness, I may fake the whole thing and go in disguise. Then the real funeral can be a quiet affair with only very close relatives.

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