Being born is, both literally and figuratively, a fairly messy, hodge-podge affair. We are wrenched from the cosy bowl of the womb without so much as a ‘by-your-leave’. Covered in blood, faeces and other miscellaneous gunk that I’m too terrified of to look up in Wikipedia, we emerge screaming (and if not, the doctor makes certain by giving you a good smack). Then, if you’re unlucky, you’re baptised.
My point is that at the beginning of life, we have very little say over the whole sordid matter. To counteract this lack of control, I feel that it is every thinking person’s duty to make their wishes concerning their funeral known, as a final demonstration of personality imprinted upon this most personal of services.
Therefore, I present:
Tom Nash’s Ideal Funeral
1. It’s well-known that the Ancient Greeks got a lot of things right – geometry, philosophy, astronomy, etc. - and their triumphs extended to mourning rituals, where at a funeral, professional mourners were hired. I want to get in on this. I envisage perhaps ten to twenty people dressed in black silk, wearing running mascara and, for six pounds an hour, crying out ‘WOE! Woe! Insert name here is gone! Gone beyond!’
2. Flowers are pretty rubbish, and I don’t want them at my funeral. The only good thing about flowers is that they provide food for bees; otherwise, they’re just pointless bits of dead plants. Instead, I want little fairy cakes with memorable triumphs from my life iced onto the top. Perhaps some could be me vanquishing various foes with bulging muscles and a toothpaste advert grin.* I leave the details up to you.
3. It should be open casket, and my body should be surrounded by marbles. My will should stipulate that there is a competition to guess the exact number of marbles, and whoever gets the closest number wins my keyboard.
4. Two words: Hawaiian. Themed.
5. I don’t want a miserable affair, so any eulogies are to stick strictly to amusing and/or embarrassing stories. It’s okay, I’ll be too dead to blush.
6. At some unexpected point in the proceedings, somebody dressed as the Mad Hatter is to yell ‘CHANGE PLACES!’, which everybody must then do.
7. A burp machine should be hidden in the coffin, and just before I’m about to be carried off to the grave, someone should activate it. At this point, I want a qualified doctor to rush up, look anxiously over the body and then loudly proclaim ‘it’s okay! It was just air escaping from the body.’
8. If at all possible, I want Paul or Karl from Neighbours dressed as a vicar to perform the service. Not Tom, even though he was playing a vicar. He was a jerk.
9. Everybody has to take a shot of tequila or whiskey whenever somebody says ‘Tom’. Ideally this would apply not just during the funeral, but for the rest of your lives.
10. My coffin is to be borne by midgets. It’s not degrading, it’s just bloody wicked.
11. I’d quite like a champagne reception, and perhaps the vicar could jump out of a cake. If not the vicar, a stripper is a good substitute.
12. The service will end with everybody singing the Monty Python version of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’. Those failing to do so with a cheery, knowing smile will have to sing it again solo.
13. My tombstone should read:
‘Now I’m dead and set to rot
You might think I’ll forget you
But if you don’t respect this plot
I’ll come back out to get you.’
I don’t want any stinkin’ kids messing up my grave, see.
14. A massive picture of my face should watch over the proceedings sternly, like a firm but fair father. When looking at it, people should feel slightly chastised, but somehow more comfortable for it. The picture should then be hung over an ice cream truck and driven around the neighbourhood.
I’ve tried to keep out any of the more impractical elements, such as a tramp vs. bear fight. I think this pruned list is both within the boundaries of finance and good taste. Make it so.
* I would have the bulging muscles and toothpaste advert grin, obviously, not my foes. They would be best illustrated with grey, manky skin and wayward, rotting teeth. You could use the black iced gems to properly demonstrate those, and the tears of regret could be represented by those edible silver balls that you never knew whether or not you should eat as a kid. I should be a baker.