Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dream Funerals by Sara Paretsky

Sunday's Chicago Tribune had a story about us Boomers and our last rites; it seems the Woodstock generation wants happenings even in death. The Tribune said that Chicagoans were behind the curve, that it was in California and New York that more avant-garde obsequies take place. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Does no one remember Flukey Stokes? The south side drug dealer buried his son, "Willie the Wimp" Stokes in a cadillac-shaped coffin, his body propped at the steering wheel, $1000 bills clutched in the Wimpster's fingers--and that was after Flukey allegedly offed his own son. Seven thousand turned out to see Flukey go to his great reward two years later. He didn't get a cadillac-coffin, but he was perhaps the first person to be buried with a portable phone at is side.

Since I come from Kansas, I follow events there with a certain morbid pride. That includes the Phelps family, who in the name of Jesus have been disrupting funerals of slain servicemen for reasons I can't quite follow, but have to do with the Phelps's hatred of Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered and Bisexual Americans, whom he believes make up most of the armed forces. Yesterday, at Jerry Falwell's funeral, the Phelps family turned out in force, all thirteen of them, to denounce Jerry Falwell as a lover of GLBT's. Go figure.

For my funeral, I want to be pulled into Lake Michigan on a barge drawn by twenty matched Golden Retrievers. My friends would follow on another barge, listening to fifty horns playing Mozart, and drinking champagne. At a signal from the horns, the dogs would swim away from my barge to join my friends and my barge would go up in flames.

Now I'm wondering who should picket the event? Perhaps Joe Scheidler, who's picketed me in life, could chant slogans at me in death (in life he's yelled, "Christ killer, baby killer," at me; who knows what my elegy might be.) Of course, other things being equal, which they never are, he'll likely predecease me, since he's about 20 years older than me, so maybe we could work out a reciprocal picketing arrangement.

Who would picket your own funeral, and why?


Sarah said...

Well, I'm a private citizen, not famous for anything at all, so I'm guessing the happiest people at my funeral will be former in-laws. Of course, in my opinion, the whole thing would be happier by far if I get to go to their funerals, not vice versa.

Maryann Mercer said...

Since my chosen resting place is in a Chicago 'burb, and I want a piper at the gravesite piping Amazing Grace and Scotland the Brave as my urn goes into the ground, I assume we'll be picketed for noise pollution( I love bagpipes but not everyone does)...if we're picketed at all.

Marcus Sakey said...

I have a friend who has told everyone he knows that after his death, his sincerest wish is to be butchered, cooked and eaten by his friends and family.

He's not kidding.

To each their own, I guess. The problem is that you just know he's going to end up burned. Nobody knows how to grill meat rare anymore.

Dr. Lecter said...

May I have the liver?

joe cook said...

Sara you are full of shit! Flukie did not "off" his own son and those were$1000 dollar bills only
$100 dollar bills. So please shut up if you don"t know what you are talking about.