This one may creep some of you out, but I’m dead serious. I have been giving some thought to my funeral, even though I hope it will be quite some time before anyone has to go to it.
No, I’m not sitting hear morbidly thinking about dying, but it does occur to me that as we don’t get to go to our own funeral, it might be kind of fun to at least plan it. Maybe people would not look upon death with such despair if they thought there was going to be a really good party going on in their name, and they could feel like they were a part of it.
There might also be a marketing concept here. Just maybe if some funeral home got the guts to let people advertise for a fun (but dignified) funeral party, they would make a lot of money. It could be called a funnyral© instead of a funeral. Once it gets popular, it will spawn an industry of funral planners and even canned funnyrals which you can buy all prepared. Just add pictures and play.
I may put this in my will to make it official, but as there is always a possibility that no one will know where my will is until long after I am dust, or I just plain forget to do it, it is a better idea to let everyone in on my plans ahead of time.
Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Aren’t the best funerals the ones where everybody is having good memories. It is for me. Just supposing I get to look down on this affair, I guess I wouldn’t mind if some people got a little misty-eyed, but no real bawling. I always find that intimidating at a funeral and never know what to say in response. And please don’t do this at a funeral home, church or synagogue. That would just ruin everything.
1. No line to greet the family. A big fear of mine has always been that I’d be on a long line of people saying “sorry” to the deceased’s family, and when it gets to be my turn the bereaved looks at me with disgust and says “ ‘Sorry’. That’s all you have to say – ‘sorry’. Thanks for nothing”.
Every time I tell that little nightmare to someone they nod and say that they hate the line too. So let’s just skip it.
2. It might be a little hard to get the fun started, so once everyone is there, I propose that my daughter, Nicole, read some of my favorite jokes. She loved these when she was little. Once people see her laughing they will feel more comfortable. However, because she always had trouble getting through a joke without laughing so hard the rest of us couldn’t understand her, she can have other members of my family each read one, if that’s easier.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln . . . how’d you like the play?
Why did the monkey fall out of the tree? . . . It was dead
What’s green, bumpy and flies? . . . Super pickle.
What’s the difference between a grape and an elephant? . . . The color.
What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephant coming down the path? . . . "Here come the grapes”. He was color blind.
Hmm. Never realized so many of my favorite jokes had death themes. Don’t worry that you already know the punch lines. You’ll forget them by the time you have to hear it again. I’ll try and think of some more and leave a list, but these will have to do for now.
3. Naturally, there has to be music, and if I can pick the tunes out at a wedding, why not a funeral? Like with the jokes, I will try and leave a list somewhere, presuming I get a little warning, but, just in case my last words are something like “look out for the . . .”, the following are must plays. I need them performed by the following artists as well. No substitutes or I will haunt all of you.
When the saints come marching in by Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye. Its hard to find, but I managed online.
Into the West by Annie Lennox, which you can find on The Return of the King soundtrack. This one is a little melancholy, and I may actually weave it into my goodbye video. But if not, I suggest playing . . .
Just a Gigolo by Louis Prima right after it to get the party back on
And when I die by Blood, Sweat and Tears (written by Laura Nyro incidentally, in case anyone cares).
I’m leaving on a jet plane by Peter, Paul and Mary. This was always
one of my favorites, and I understand written by a young John Denver. Since he left us in a plane crash, its perfect for a funnyral song, even if that’s not what it’s really about.
Goodbye to You by Scandal.
Time to say goodbye by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.
My way. This was a tough one, but I think I am going with the Frank Sinatra version.
Thanks for the memories. Bob Hope. Who else?
Only the good die young by Billy Joel. This is really for or my late sister-in-law who was a big Joel fan. If many of you are right and I’m wrong, then I just might be with her when its played (hopefully, they have a party planned up there too), so that would be kind of cool.
4. My goodbye-its-been-nice-to-know-you video. I don’t see why in the twenty-first century I can’t be at my own funeral, at least virtually. I’ll be cremated, so you won’t have to deal with the casket thing, just my scary face on a screen. By the way, note to whoever is in charge of this -- I would like either a nice Chinese black lacquer urn with a yin-yang thingee on it, or a Grecian urn, red on black, not black on red, with traditional Greek god figures. Whichever it is, it will be the best dressed anyone ever saw me.
Back to the video -- I’ll likely mix some favorite movie clips in with it too, ask a few friends to tell a story or so, throw in some hard-to-believe-that-was-me -at-eighteen pictures -- whatever I can think of. There may be few wistful moments here and there mixed in with the laughs. Sort of like M*A*S*H and that was good, wasn’t it?
Wouldn’t you rather remember me having a good time in a video than the last time you saw me falling apart in the hospital. Don’t worry. I will not sing. This will be memorable and fun. If not, well, it’s the last time anyone will have to put up with me.
I guess there is no end to the myriad of ways you can make yourself a really good funnyral. I know its going to sound weird, but in a strange and spooky way, I’m kind of looking forward to it.
See. It works.
- I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .