Dark Whimsy

It’s a beautiful day today……. Well from a weather perspective anyhow. With regards the resplendence of today’s events, as it’s only 9am, it’s too early in the day to comment.

After all, while later enjoying the warm solar rays during my daily stroll to the local store, I may get run over by a bus. Circumstances which’d render my inaugural sentence somewhat wide of the mark…… For yours truly, anyhow.

If that misfortune was to befall me, I’d like to think my passing wouldn’t be in vain. The incident teaching the world that Nivea factor 20 sun cream may afford a degree of protection against ultraviolet rays, however is unable safeguard against being hit by the number 83 bus from Wakefield to Leeds…… Or, indeed, another other omnibus.

After passing in such freak circumstances, I hope my family would place the following on my tombstone ‘ Here lies the body of Gary Strachan. He didn’t see the bus. The bloody slack ‘un!’

That’s if I am buried. The family may choose to cremate me, in which case they better up the sun factor protection level of the Nivea. I don’t envisage spf 20 will prove an adequate buffer to the temperatures of a cremation oven….. Not that I’ll be able to feel it! I might make it as a death bed wish, though, as a final prank to agitate my family.

Being an indecisive fella, I can’t make up my mind whether to choose cremation or burial. The only time I’ve discussed this was with my (now estranged) wife. I mooted being buried, but she advised she didn’t want to watch me being lowered underground. A desire possibly consequential of her grandfather being a miner in the Durham coalfield.

As our dark discussion progressed, we agreed a compromise where my top half would be buried and the lower half cremated. Karen also conceded to a request my left bowling hand would be raised on a plaque above the fireplace; cricket ball lodged in palm.

Now that we are estranged, though, I’m unsure who’ll make the arrangements for my funeral and whether they’ll respect my wishes that my coffin is carried into church to the strains of Elvis Presley’s ‘Return to Sender’.

Apologies if I’ve offended anyone with the dark humour in this piece. However, as the old adage goes ‘If you can’t laugh at yourself, then you just be a right miserable so and so!’……… Or something like that, anyhow.

I know all this is pretty morbid stuff, but sometimes you have to confront the elephant in the room. I can remember it was something we as a family didn’t broach during my father’s cancer fight, which claimed his life in October 2017. Consequently, the funeration arrangements made for him were the family’s choice not necessarily what he’d have selected.

Clearly, my wishes for the darkest of all life events, ie half of me buried, the other half cremated and having ‘Return to Sender’ played at my service, are a joke. Although, as my dear old mum once said to me as a kid “Be careful what you wish for, Gary…… Especially, if it’ll cost me and your dad over 50p!”

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