Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fun with Funerals

Mr. Social Zymurgy challenged me to list the songs I would like played at my funeral. I didn't know what to do with the question so I ignored it as any good cyberstalker would do. But after seeing other blog friends like Bubs and Dale rise to the challenge, I decided I am just as good as they are and am therefore entitled to share my funeral music choices with you, my Gentle Readers.

Mindy June and I were discussing this very topic recently after the funeral of her beloved father, may he rest in peace. Participating in funerals inevitably makes you think about your own, so with that in mind Mindy told me some of her last wishes. She wants to be cremated and then for all of her loved ones to take a portion of her ashes and sprinkle them somewhere they know would make her laugh - like over Ronald Reagan's grave and that sort of thing.

Brilliant idea, and I'd expect nothing less from her.

Whether or not I deserve the honor, I will nonetheless take partial credit for Melinda June's creative decisions with respect to her inevitable demise. This is because back when she and I were 20 year old college students, I decided it would be a good idea to make a list of the people who would attend my funeral if I died right then. I shared the list with Mindy, who was puzzled by it.

"What on earth would make you want to do this?" she asked.

"I think it's important to keep tabs on your life, and this is one way to do it," I replied. "If you can keep enough people around who would feel obligated to attend your funeral, you must be doing pretty well."

"So you're judging the happiness of your life by who will show up after you're dead?"


"Ok. Let me see it." Not being one to waste time asking a lot of unnecessary questions, Mindy rose to the challenge and started helping me refine my funeral attendee list.

"Why is Marla on here?"

"She's a friend of Jon's. I figured she'd go with him and his other friends."

"Yeah, but she hates you. She's still mad about that time you laughed at her sweater vest."

"I wasn't laughing at her sweater vest. I was laughing because KC threw up on you when you were wearing a sweater vest. They always make me laugh now."

"I know that, but she still thought you were laughing at her. She's not going." Marla's name was crossed off. "And why isn't Kirsten from down the hall on here?"

"I don't know - she's the type who would probably go to my wedding if she was invited and had a cute date, but I don't know if she'd get it together enough to make it to a funeral on time."

"You're right. So she'll go on the wedding list. Who is Leo?"

And so we spent the next several hours. Back then it felt like a wise time investment - you could never be too prepared, in my book. You know, that whole Boy-Scout-Motto thing.

Eventually I lost track of my funeral attendee list, which I'm sure has changed substantially over the past 20+ years anyway. But Mindy's recent decision about her own funeral did get me to thinking about mine.

I decided that George can plan whatever traditional funeral he wants for me, with all the attendant wailing and sobbing - the more dramatic the better, in my opinion. But I'm taking charge of the after-party. Here's how it will go:

My funeral after-party will be a piano bar sing-along, show tunes only. The kind that they do at Marie's Crisis - you get a bunch of show-tune obsessed queens and their friends to sing the entire book of a musical, one after the other. Drinking heavily all the while, of course.

I've already enlisted the future services of my not-cousin Marnie, a showbiz professional who runs her own theater. Marnie has been charged with renting out the space, hiring a pianist, making copies of the lyrics to all my favorite shows and gathering everyone together. When they get to "Annie" she'll have some pre-teen girls or drag queens or something act out "Hard Knock Life" with metal buckets and brushes and all that jazz. Of course, the rest of you will be welcome to join in at any time.

My funeral after-party is going to kick major ass. Be sure to keep being my friend so that you will receive an invitation.


BeckEye said...

Well, if you want it to be a party you might want to ban any songs from Les Miz, because they're kind of sad.

Bubs said...

Now YOUR post funeral party sounds exciting!

chelene said...

Drunken show-tune singing is an excellent idea for a send-off.

Dale said...

Just tell me when to show up.

Chris said...

I love Mindy June's idea for her ashes. I may have to revise my own grand ash-plan in light of it.

anandamide said...

why has the idea of a fun funeral after-party never caught on? everybody i know wants their funeral after-party to be fun (i have this grandiose idea about a marching dixieland band leading everyone to my favorite pub).

and still, i've never been to a fun funeral after party. has anyone else?

Doc said...

Thank you Coaster. Sounds lika a Hoot!


lulu said...

I'm in.

Coaster Punchman said...

Bon Voyage Lu!!! Just yesterday I bought a pair of shorts that were made by some kids in Bangladesh.

Dino aka Katy said...

sounds like a great party

Grant Miller said...

I'm totally with you on the wailing and crying and dramatic funeral. I want the same for mine.

Poor George said...

Oh dear, I guess I'll have to change what I have already planned. Does anyone have Randy, Paula and Simon's latest telephone numbers?....

Bella Rossa said...

Several years back I read a news bit about a wildlife scientist who stipulated in his will that he did not want a traditional burial, but instead, that his body should be stripped naked and left on the Serengeti to be ripped apart and devoured by wild animals, which is one of the most horrible and awesome things I've ever heard.

Beth said...

After Warren Zevon was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, his biggest concern what whether or not Don Henley (of Eagles fame) would come to his funeral. Henley didn't show ... the bastard.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Hopefully it will spontaneously lead to one of the World's longest Conga lines.

Will there be a "Dean Pinata?" Or "Dean" as a pinata? Because if candy comes out of the latter, I ain't eatin' it.


What was wrong with Henley, it wasn't like he was exactly busy.