Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wishes of the Dead

I don't know about you, but I love my extended family.

At the heart of gatherings with my parents, siblings, their spouses and kids, my aunt and uncle is a shit ton of laughter.

Since the time I was little and vying for a spot at the head table with the big people, I have learned the art of humor from the masters in my family.  Their stories and punch line deliveries will make you pee yourself to the point that you won't even care because you can't remember when you've laughed that hard for that long.

So, after an amazing 10-mile gorgeous run this morning, I took a fast shower and jetted to spend time with my peeps.  We were gathering to celebrate my baby sister's 26th birthday and everyone seemed to be in rare form.

For reasons that still allude me, we started talking about our dying, do you want to be buried or cremated?  In a cemetery or a mausoleum?  Do you want an open casket or your ashes scattered?  Is a funeral for the living or for the dead?

And in true to form style, before the dialogue could get too serious, my uncle throws out there:

"Well, I'm telling you what.  I'm gonna be cremated with my ashes scattered at the God damn Hy-Vee store down the street...that way, I have a fighting chance of seeing my wife at least once a week."

To which my aunt retorts, "You know...every state has rules about whether it's legal to scatter your ashes.  So, for example, in can't just throw your soot out there."

And then, my mom says, "Well, ya know, when your grandparents passed away, we spent a small fortune on their funerals.  Making sure that they had a nice ceremony, beautiful caskets, a family meal following.  I feel badly for my friend, Michelle.  When her mom up and bit it from cancer, she didn't have a lot of money and didn't know what to do.  The funeral home told her that her only option was to donate her body to science.  Good Lord, isn't that a pisser.  I mean.  I'm still half and half on the open casket deal...can you imagine being a cadaver in a classroom...naked in front of all of those people you don't know?"

At that point, I peed myself.

I told her to shape up and increase my portion of the will, or she'd find herself at Creighton in front of those medical student schmoes.

To which my uncle chimed in with, "Well, I get why they've got rules and regulations on where you can scatter yourself.  Remember Auntie Mac?  Yah, you know the one who explosively shit all over herself and the bathroom the Thanksgiving before she passed?  Well, she came back from the grave to fuck those people who scattered her ashes.  Literally.  A nice head wind rolled up right when they opened up the urn and then and there Auntie Mac blinded those fuckers in the face with her ashes.  Crazy shit.  That's why Hy-Vee's a safe know by the salad bar.  It's all contained."

And at that point, I had to hobble my way to the bathroom and ask to borrow a pull-up from one of the parents of the little kids...because someone else belted out a story they heard about a waitress who couldn't remember where the napkins were because she'd had her brains fucked out the night before.

The only way the conversation eventually ends is when the host kicks us out.  My stomach still hurts and my mascara has officially slid down my face.  The beauty of family laughter.

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