At My Funeral I Want Wild Dancing, Outrageous Stories and Big Macs


Really, the only times you can justify being the absolute center of attention is at your wedding and at your funeral. And if you’re a man, you really only get the funeral. When’s the last time you drove home from a wedding and talked about how beautiful the groom looked?

I’ve already gotten to experience the wedding part, and let me tell you — it was fantastic. I kind of wish every time I walked into a room everyone had to stand up and look my way. I realize the only way to accomplish this is to be Queen Elizabeth or to burst in gesturing wildly with a sharp knife, so I guess this is why I’ve planned my funeral down to the letter.

Maybe this is morbid, but I’m pretty morbid anyway, and you never know when your time is coming. You don’t. And do you want your last hurrah to be thrown together by your sister with the terrible taste? She’ll get you a Holly Hobbie casket, for all you know. Or an all-Celine-Dion-all-the-time theme. I mean, it could get awful up in there (or more accurately, down in there).

So here’s what I’ve planned. If you know me in real life, please pay attention and DO NOT let my cousin Katie wrap me in hemp and play “Dust in the Wind” the way she will totally try to do. She’ll tell you all I would have wanted it that way, along with the patchouli-soaked pussy willows in place of girly flowers and I am here to tell you DON’T LISTEN TO HER.

When it comes to flowers, I want you to go all out. I want the worst, most over-the-top, ridiculous flower arrangements you can find. Listen, don’t break the bank. If you all chip in for one huge arrangement that looks like a big broken heart using white and red carnations, I’m down with that. I also once saw a flower arrangement shaped like a telephone with a big banner that read “Jesus Called.” If you can scrounge that up for me, I’ll be forever grateful.

Image: bnorwood

Really, anything that screams, “Karen was ridiculous and we all knew it.” That’s all I want. Nothing tasteful or sedate, because really? When’s the last time I was tasteful and/or remotely sedate?

Also, when everyone’s walking in and waiting to get this show on the road, I want you to play some kind of Musak version of “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead.” I want it to take people awhile to catch on. I would also like, if you can sneak it in, whoopee cushions placed here and there on the seats. Thank you. I will be getting a big kick out of that, I assure you.

And then at some point, after whatever ceremonial, totally phony, oh-won’t-we-miss-her crap you’ll do, I want you all to push the chairs back and dance. Dance to something great, like “Age of Consent” by New Order or “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure. You cannot be sad when you hear those songs. Dance the way I would have: stupidly and with zero inhibitions.

And if you hate dancing? Don’t stress. Just sit in the pushed-back chairs and watch.

At my Uncle Jim’s funeral, people stood up and told stories about him. But because my Uncle Jim was my Uncle Jim, there were many, many tales we could not tell in mixed company. At my funeral? If you’re going to be easily offended, you can leave after the dance portion. I want every terrible, embarrassing, untoward story told, no holds barred.

And because I have never remotely been what you’d call a cook, I hope everyone gets into hearses and limos and cars with funeral flags and you all head through a McDonald’s drive-thru. I’d get the Big Mac, and it IS my funeral, after all. So it’s not a command, but merely a request from the great beyond that you get one, too.

I am really hoping everyone gets together somewhere where drinks will flow, and music will be played, and everyone will get to know everyone else (“Oh! You’re THAT friend! I’ve heard about you for years!”) and maybe, if my funeral goes really, really well, there will be inappropriate canoodling between my sets of pals. I hope for at least one walk of shame the morning after my funeral.

So everyone mark your calendars. I hope to be having this shindig in about 100 years.

Originally published on Get Smart: A Savvy Approach to Eating

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