My funeral, if these instructions are followed, will be awesome; a tale for the ages. Please pay attention.
1. All living things die, so I suspect I will as well. (This is reasonable to assume, right? I’m pretty sure it’s incredibly rare for something to keep going forever. I can’t think of any documented cases off the top of my head. So let’s just stick with the assumption that everything dies. For the sake of argument.) In the case that I do die, which is probable, I want my body roped off for at least twelve hours. If I drop dead on the sidewalk, for example, I would like a team to rush to the scene, and set up a series of ropes around my corpse, at lease six feet away on all sides. Those velvety ropes on brass stands would be perfect for this. The kind that are used to make lines at movie theaters and horrible bars.
With my body crumpled in a heap on the ground, separated from other humans, it will be a nice time to reflect on personal space, and how nice it is when people aren’t all up in your business. Passersby will think “at least in death, he finally had a few hours when he wasn’t being bumped against or squeezed past or forced uncomfortably close to someone.”
2. In the top drawer of the wide dresser in my bedroom, there will a kilt. Find that, and stow it somewhere safe. It will come into play later. Do not dress me in any of the fine clothes or fashionable garments in my home. Whatever I am wearing at the time of departure-from-this-mortal-coil will be acceptable. I should be lain out across a stone slab of some sort, fully clothed. (Hopefully my glasses will still be intact. I would like to keep wearing them throughout the process. Not that I will need them, but I might become an unrecognizable mole person when they are removed, and I would like for the bereaved and grieving to recognize me through their tears.) All those who have ever met me will be in attendance at this point, as I am well-loved and much admired.
After I am on this stone slab, someone should solemnly approach, hold a gong in the air, and ring it once, shouting “THE FUNERAL HAS BEGUN!” This person should be wearing a robe of some kind. Not a cloak. A ROBE. Perhaps a mask. It can be a hired actor. Actually, that’s preferable, as long as auditions don’t go on for too long. The mask should be something unsettling. I want people to be on their toes. At the masked actor’s announcement, the funeral will begin.
3. Not knowing what will eventually “do me in” means that I will have to trust you, dear reader, to exercise some improvisation. For example, if this stone slab is indoors, the bonfire will have to be further away from my corpse, so as not to interfere with fire codes. If it is outside, the fireworks may begin much earlier. Improvisation is fine as long as the spirit of the thing is observed. I trust you. Don’t let me down.
4. At this point, the bagpipes begin. Four men will play DON’T STOP ME NOW by QUEEN. They should be Real Men, with hairy knuckles and smelling like corned beef and football turf. If one of them has too much to drink, this is acceptable. The man beside him will have to help prop up this fellow from time to time, and the bourbon on his breath will be pungent. This is all perfectly acceptable. While they are playing, everyone in attendance will line up, and pay their respects, one by one. The men will leave small tokens around me, such as pocketknives, or vintage American presidential campaign buttons. The women will weep, and their tears will be collected in a silver chalice, carried by a registered nurse. No one should spend too much time admiring my corpse. Courtesy shall be enforced. In the case of a fatal headwound, I will allow a bandana to be lain across the gore, as long as part of my face is still visible. (This is the last chance people will have to admire me; we musn’t deny them that.) As the line comes to a close, my “pall bearers” will gather the items left by men, the chalice of tears, and the aforementioned kilt, and be escorted to the nearest exotic dance club by the bagpipers. Several women of strong arm and backs will carry me on their shoulders to the same strip club, following the men at least six paces behind, as is custom among civilized peoples.
5. At the strip club, a LORD OF THE FLIES scenario will begin, where my “pall bearers” will struggle for dominance among the other male patrons and staff (except the DJ, who may remain safe in his booth). Weapons are allowed. When an Alpha Male is determined, and this could go on for days, all other men must leave. I suspect at this point he will be in a near-feral state, wearing war paint and possibly a makeshift headband. In total silence, and under the strange and likely nauseating neon lights of the gentleman’s establishment, the Alpha Male will arrange my corpse in whatever manner he sees fit. The gifts and tokens will be arranged as well, and the kilt will be lain across everything; a tartan shroud that smells vaguely of old closets. The strippers will have watched this since the very beginning. His testosterone at this point will be so overwhelming, it will no doubt provoke ovulation among these women. In years to come, the babies born of this Alpha Male’s seed (as he will certainly take all the strippers as wives) will be known as “Puffy Funeral People”. They will be a genetic strain unto themselves, eventually settling on a volcanic island and shunning the modern world.
6. With my body prepared, the Alpha Male will nod to the DJ, who will begin playing SEXXX LAWS by Beck. My corpse will be soaked in Jameson Whiskey, and lit aflame. A torch, if available, but anything will do. The kilt is old and the wool is going to make excellent kindling. As my body burns, the strippers will wail and rend their garments (assuming they have any on). It will be strictly Old Testament. Gnashing of teeth and everything. This burning will take many days, until I am nothing left but char. The doors will have to be barred, and I imagine an altercation with a SWAT team might occur before the process is complete.
7. My ashes should be ground into a paste, mixed with the tears of the female mourners, and used by the Alpha Male to paint and decorate the bodies of his new stripper wives. When this is complete, he will collapse, exhausted from days of fighting and impregnating and tending to my remains, fueled only by booze and primal urges. The attendees at the earlier procession will have a vague idea who this was, but will never speak of it. The Alpha Male will fade into obscurity, along with the actor who began the ceremony. (After a few failed auditions, he realized that he wasn’t going anywhere, and the best he could hope for would be infrequent local commercials.) Those who attended my funeral will be given polaroids of the strippers painted in my ashes, taken by the DJ, to remember me by. It is all over, except for one last thing…
8. Everyone goes to Hawaii!