This was my Sunday Times column which ran in the Lifestyle section on the first Sunday in June 2015.
CONCH JUNE 2015
Putting the fun into funerals – By Paige Nick
Much like youth is wasted on the young, and unlimited sex is wasted on the married, I believe that funerals are wasted on the dead. Just wait till you die, then you’ll see what people really think of you.
It’s one of the thoughts that always makes me sad at funerals; besides the observation that the person will never play the piano again, it’s a tragedy that nobody ever gets to hear what it is that the world will really miss the most about them.
There’s also some added death-anxiety for me as a writer. When I’m mid first draft of a new column or a novel, as I am now, I’m always terrified I might die suddenly and never get to finish what I’m working on. Then everyone will think that crap draft is the best I could do. It’s the literary equivalent of that thing your mother told you about always wearing decent knickers, in case you get in an accident. Nobody wants to get caught with a holey plot or threadbare pants.
The Japanese really know how to make you wish you were alive to see your own death. Those guys put the fun in funeral. There it’s common practice to have strippers dancing at funerals. It goes back to the 1980s, when the local mafia had control of the mortuary industry (talk about cornering the market, kill someone, bury someone). The mafia bosses offered strippers from their clubs at cut prices. Dead Uncle Jian was hardly complaining, he was after all dead from the waist down (from the waist up too). The aim of the whole endeavor, besides making sure the deceased really is dead (nothing like a pair of thirty six double D’s to make the undead sit up and take notice), is to entice bigger crowds to the event.
For most, the bigger the funeral, the more popular the dearly departed must have been. The fact that having more mourners brings honour to the deceased and his family is ironic, considering how many of these mourners are attending in crotchless panties, and nipple pasties.
So, next time you’re at a funeral and a ping-pong ball whizzes past your face, you know what you’re in for. Dearly departed, we are gathered here to celebrate the life of our favourite Uncle Frank, and marvel at Brandi’s magnificent new boobs. And just wait till you see what she can do with a banana.
There’s sadly no mention of what they do to draw a crowd at a woman’s funeral. If they put out extra bacon I’d be there in a shot. For the record, I think I’d be alright with a gang of Chippendales at my funeral (the butch one’s please), especially if they do that old It’s Raining Men routine, that never gets old. Added bonus if it distracts everyone from reading an excerpt of the work-in-progress manuscript they find on my computer when I die.