October 31st, 2006


(no subject)

First of all, happy Halloween to you all.

May the Great Pumpkin fill your socks with chocolate and may you not find rocks in your Trick-or-Trick bags.

There. It is said.

And speaking of Halloween and all things creepy, I have recently discovered the Bravo series "Six Feet Under" and fell in love with them -- which is rather appropriate, this being Halloween season.

Yes, I know that "Six Feet Under" did not start in Bravo, and that Bravo has just recently acquired the rights to it and started showing re-runs from the beginning, but being as it is that I have the patience of the common house-fly when it comes to sitting in front of a TV, I had never watched a single episode before.

(Strangely, I can sit through an entire "American Idol" installment or History Channel show without any trouble, but I just can't sit through an entire movie. Go figure.)

At any rate, the whole "Six Feet Under" got me thinking about funerals, cremations, wakes and all sorts of fun related stuff. And yes, coming from a country in which our biggest national holiday is the Day of the Dead (not to be confused with Halloween), I can think of death and funerals as fun. Particularly my own.

For many, many years, I have been convinced that cremation would be the thing for me when I died. I remember talking to my lawyer when making my will, and him asking me about putting something in there regarding funeral arrangements which would include "a small, simple gravestone."

"Damn." I told him. "My kids don't even make their beds, do you think that they will take care of my grave when I kick the bucket? Bring out the dustbuster! I'll be dead anyway, so who cares?"

The fact that an acquintance of mine was dressed in the most ridiculous fashion known to man and laid out in an open coffin did nothing to change my mind on the issue. The poor woman has to be the worst dressed dead person I have ever seen. The thought that anyone would dress my corpse in something like that just gave me the willies.

(And did I tell you about the funeral of a friend's mom in which someone decided that the deceased would look much better sitting down so everyone could see her from a distance? Not something that anyone would forget in a hurry, I'd say. Although I must admit the concept was rather original.)

"No," I thought. "Regular burials are not for me. Just cremate me and get it over with."

Nevertheless, I soon realized that the cremation solution is not as simple as it seems.

Take my grandmother, for example, who for years lived (or at least her ashes did) under my mother's bed. She was eventually laid to rest years later when my parents got a family plot.

(I have never seen my mother happier than when she was picking lots and planning her own funeral. She used to call me every week with updates.)

(And no, she ain't dead yet. She just enjoys this sort of thing entirely too much.)

But I digress.

The point I am trying to make is that the amount of ashes produced by a human body is considerable larger than what one is lead to think, judging by the little ornamental urns that one sees in movies and TV shows. It is not uncommon to end up with your loved one residing in a large cardboard box under your bed or in the basement because there is nowhere else to put him.

A cardboard box under the bed is not the most fashionable thing either, and your family and friends may end us stubbing their toes on it every Thursday and Sunday.

So okay, one could say that they will remember you every time they stub their toes, but I am not sure that that's the effect you were looking for.

On the other hand, I will be dead by then and totally oblivious to what they say. Particularly when they stub their toes.

Or maybe I will be laughing at them because they stubbed their toes with my box of ashes.

And maybe I will whisper in their ears: "You know, none of this would have happened if I was pushing daisies instead of living under your bed."


I think I'd enjoy that.