November 15th, 2005

Happy Tree Friends

Instructions for My Funeral

I recently saw a flier in my building announcing the death of one of the tenants. It was an open invitation for people to gather and “celebrate her life with stories, music, and prayer.” Sickening. When did death become such a hippie fest? When I die, I want my funeral to be a truly terrifying experience. Isn’t that what funerals are about? Where did the horror go? The following is a legal document. In the event of my death, please make sure that everything goes as follows. No laughter. No celebration. Only fear and screams. My instructions:

The funeral should begin at 11PM at an old, rundown funeral home, preferably one that is poorly lit and hard to get to. A good start to a scary night is getting lost in the dark. The funeral home should be cold and dusty, and I would like the only lights to be cobweb-covered candelabras. For the music, I was thinking of a loud pipe organ. You know that dramatic song that sounds like haunted house music? You know the one. That’s what should be played. Again, loud. We’ll need a master of ceremonies to host the evening’s proceedings. Someone old and bony with sunken eyes. He is to wear an antique suit with a black carnation and greet everyone at the door holding a lantern. Here are his lines, to be spoken slowly and with a hollow voice:

“Welcome. Come in to look at the dead body.”

After everyone is seated the host is to shut the creaky doors and limp over to the podium at the front of the room. There will be a thick program placed in everyone’s seat, but the words will be printed in indecipherable calligraphy that looks like it’s from the Middle Ages. Right in front of the podium I would like to have my coffin. I was thinking the coffin should be one of those pine boxes that isn’t a rectangle. It’s shaped kind of like the outline of a person. Behind the podium at the front of the room I would like a framed portrait of me striking a serious, dignified pose. As the master of ceremonies begins to speak, we’ll need some special effects. Thunder and lightning followed by all the lights going out. Then sound effects: a chilling shriek. As the flashes of lightning illuminate the portrait, it should no longer look like me. It now becomes a skeleton with Medusa snakes coming out of my head. When the lightning stops the picture should go back to normal. How cool would that be? At this point, a hearse driver in a top hat enters to announce that it is time to go to the graveyard. Here are his lines: “It is now time to go to the graveyard. Follow me.” Let’s get some ghoulish-looking old guys to be the pallbearers and have them carry my coffin to the hearse, preferably a big black one from the 70s. The song for this part is to be that funeral dirge that they play in cartoons to indicate doom. You know, “dum dum ta dum,” etc. I would like the procession to the cemetery to be slow, and please encourage guests to scare any onlookers by staring at them hauntingly.

The gravesite will be ready with my tombstone. I am thinking of a thin weathered one that is sticking out of the ground at a crooked angle. Let’s put a hunchback gravedigger lurking nearby. The pallbearers will lower the coffin down into the grave with ropes, only to have it drop with such force that the top breaks open. At this point we will all see that the coffin is in fact empty. The master of ceremonies will exclaim, “Where is the body?” Cue sound effect: another terrifying shriek. We will follow this with a ceremonial “releasing of the bats,” in which we open a box to set free 13 bats into the sky.

That will conclude my funeral. This way guests can leave with some questions. “Who was that ghoulish host? Why didn’t anyone get to share any stories or memories of Patrick? What was written in our programs? Where in fact is his body? Who paid for this?”

Thank you in advance for helping me with this.

(I stole this from Vice, but sometimes you have to steal the best ideas from people who are more creative than you)
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    You know that dramatic song that sounds like haunted house music? You know the one.
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