Also, I have to tell you that I couldn't (read: did not want to) find any interesting pictures relating to funerals, so instead I have included a number of photos which depict animals who appear to be smiling.
And with that...Funerals!
A lot of times at a funeral, they'll set the body out so everyone can have a look at it. Depending on how well you knew the dead person, your reaction to seeing their corpse will range from "I'm sad" to "How long do I have to stand here looking at this thing?"
Here are do's and don'ts for viewing the dead body:
- DON’T clap or yelp in the deceased’s face. The family probably won’t appreciate it, even after you explain that you were “just trying to see if it was really dead.”
- DON’T attempt to open the casket at a closed-casket funeral. It is closed for a reason (and this reason is usually that the deceased's face looks like hamburger because they ratted-out the mob subsequently took a couple point-blank shotgun blasts to the face). You have been warned.
- DON’T loudly shush other mourners around you and then say in an obviously annoyed tone, “Would you people PLEASE keep it down, I’m trying to view the corpse!” Also: put down that popcorn.
- DO peer inside the coffin and then exclaim, “Dear god, she's dead!", dial 911, report that you've found a dead body. People may not find it amusing at the time, but then again, it's the thought that counts.
- DO understand that while it might be borderline acceptable to comment on how comfortable the coffin looks, climbing in to see for yourself is definitely crossing the line.
Most of the time you'll have to sit and listen to a lot of preaching at a funeral. It's obnoxious, but it can't really be helped. Try to find something to bite down on. Uncle Merle died peacefully, and they try to make you feel better that he’s dead by telling you he’s running through rolling green fields even though in the 30+ years you knew him you never once saw the angry old shithead out of his filth-chair, but whatever.
Interestingly enough, at funerals nearly everyone is posthumously awarded "Good Christian" status, even if they weren't even slightly religious. Obviously this is disingenuous, but I suppose it makes sense. Most families would probably get upset if the priest started talking about how Satan's minions are gleefully feeding Merle's testicles into a the gears of an early 19th-century milling machine and eternally shoving white-hot railroad spikes up his ass because he had sex with a Dutch woman during World War 2.
ADDITIONAL TIPS & TRICKS
When it comes to funerals, there are far too many unwritten rules for me to relate here, but here are a few of the most important:
- Even if you didn’t like the person who died, you probably shouldn't shout "Hooray!" when the priest announces they've gone to a better place.
- If you have problems with road rage, one thing you could
try is replacing your car's stock horn with one that plays "La
Cucaracha". That way, when another motorist cuts you off in traffic and
you instinctively slam on the horn, you'll no longer release a sharp
blast of distressing noise (causing further agitation to both yourself
and the offending party). Instead, you and those around you will be
treated to the sprightly toots of a whimsical Mexican jingle.
No longer will anger beget anger on the highways and byways of America The Beautiful. Torrent of curses and middle fingers will be replaced by broad, apologetic smiles and an enthusiastic "thumbs up!" in recognition of a job well done.
It's like the song says: "Ya murió la cucaracha, ya la llevan a enterrar. Entre cuatro zopilotes, y un ratón de sacristán." (The cockroach just died, now they take her to be buried. Among four buzzards, and a mouse as the sexton.")
A mouse as the sexton indeed! Truer words have never been spoken.
- Remember that episode of Full House where D.J. and
Stephanie accidentally bash a big hole in the wall of Danny's closet
with a coat rack? He comes into the room, but before he can see what
they've done, the girls freestyle a song about him as a distraction so
he won't see what they've done.
This always bothered me because as far as I know, they never repaired the hole and Danny never finds out about it. I just think that particular episode sent the wrong message to kids.
- I've always wondered: Can only humans be ghosts, or do
other species become ghosts as well? Where's the cutoff? I've heard of
ghost pets (cats and dogs), but what about monkeys? It seems like there
should be more ghosts of them since they're our closest
- And even if only humans become ghosts, at what stage of
evolution did this begin? Does the brain have to reach a certain level
of cognitive ability for ghostery to begin? Did early hominids qualify?
Were there Neanderthal ghosts? Australopithecus ghosts? Inquiring minds
want to know.
- In fact, how do ghosts even work within the confines of
modern human development? There are plenty of stories about crying baby
ghosts, and giggling child ghosts, so obviously they qualify, but what
about earlier than that?
- Like for religious fundamentalists who
believe life (and thus the creation of a "soul") begins at
conception, then surely there must also be ghost fetuses and
ghost zygotes. Perhaps it begins even earlier. Maybe there are even
sperm ghosts and egg ghosts.
After the funeral is over, go ahead and eat some food. For some reason it's always just snack food like Cheez-Its and pretzels (and maybe a lunchmeat plate). But why not serve a full meal? Funerals are a draining, unpleasant slog and it wouldn't hurt to reward the attendees with pizza and burgers or something.
Anyway, just a thought.