Hawk Eating Vole Contest Update
Wednesday June 18th 2008, 8:17 pm
Filed under: Personal
Just to let you know, I haven’t forgotten about the contest – I just haven’t had time to figure out the voting mechanism, nor have I had time to draw the hamster picture. I have been shopping around to buy a better prize, but nothing has really spoken to me yet. I figure that I will be busy until the second week of July.
For the Protection of Public Health
Monday June 09th 2008, 1:07 pm
Filed under: Morbid
Embalming began to seem suspect to me when, as a 19-year-old, a young family friend who had died was displayed in a rather unnatural way. His moustache was trimmed to ruler-straight precision; he smelled sweet and full of chemicals. It made me all the sadder because, instead of seeing my friend one last time, the funeral home presented us with a creepy mannequin.
My feelings were reinforced when I witnessed the opposite a few years ago. My maternal grandmother had had a bath right before passing away. We merely changed her into her funeral wear. She was still herself and, though sad, I was happy at least to say goodbye to the person I knew in life.
In preparation for another upcoming funeral, I am reading the Funeral Service Association of BC’s booklet Helpful Information about Funerals. Here’s the justification for embalming put forth by our province’s funeral directors:
The foremost reason for embalming is the protection of public health….Untreated remains can pose serious health public health concerns. Additionally, embalming restores the body to an acceptable physical appearance. Restoration is not intended to make the deceased look like the person did during life but rather to enhance the appearance of the deceased and allow for viewing. Many experts on bereavement agree that viewing the deceased confirms the reality of death and helps survivors take an important step toward recovering from their loss…..Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported or viewing is to take place after 72 hours from death.
A Broken Marriage
Tuesday June 03rd 2008, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Personal
There’s a family I met recently that rather intrigued me. Let’s call the matriarch Fanny Falcon, the husband will be Frederick Falcon and, though she doesn’t have much to do with this story, the daughter is Fiona Falcon.
When I first met the Falcons, I sat back to listen to the conversation. I kept to myself as I usually do when I first meet people. I was glad I did. Fanny Falcon turned out to be one of those shrill shrewish types, with an icy prettiness and a very sharp tongue. It didn’t take long for her to argue her point and bash down any dissent.
Frederick Falcon, on the other hand, stood by with a sheepish grin as he watched his wife tear down her opponents. Ah, I thought, he is the calm one to balance his wife’s fire. This is why little Fiona Falcon was sweet and shy. I also wondered if Frederick Falcon was not simply laid back but also a henpecked weakling, and if Fanny Falcon ruled the household with an iron fist. I wondered if Frederick Falcon ever got annoyed with his wife.
Perhaps I made too many judgments from this one meeting. People may have off-days, where they play their one-time asshole card to the maximum. Perhaps Fanny Falcon calmed down the next day and became her true self again. (I did ask around – the intrigue thing made me do it – and Fanny Falcon has flared her temper on other occasions.)
Recently the person who introduced me to the Falcons – let’s call him Oswald Octopus – got a text message from Frederick Falcon. “Tell my wife to send money if she wants her car shipped from the Faroe Islands,” the message read. Oswald Octopus duly relayed this message to Fanny Falcon. Fanny Falcon wondered what had happened to her car in the distant Faroe Islands, but went to wire off some money.
Soon after Oswald Octopus got another text message. “By the way, can you also tell my wife that I am never coming back?” said this second message.
Poor Fanny Falcon. Despite her fire, who can’t feel even a little sorry for her? “Plus,” added Octavia Octopus (Oswald’s wife), “Fanny Falcon is now four months pregnant.” Apparently too late along for an abortion. Fanny Falcon has to now raise two children (Fiona, we so far know, is a very lovely child). She has to finish off the house they started building in the middle of nowhere. And her car is on the Faroe Islands.
Now, here’s where I am further intrigued. Was Frederick Falcon’s sheepish grin during that argument on his face because he was the calm one or because he already knew he was leaving and was biding his time? Had he tried arguing with Fanny Falcon earlier in his marriage, then gave up as he hatched a plot to rid himself of her company? Is this indicative of the future of all shrew + mouse marriages? Can these tough women maintain their no-nonsense demeanour and still stay married?
Sunday June 01st 2008, 11:15 am
Filed under: Personal
When I was growing up, I thought being old meant skin getting wrinkles, hair turning white, requiring a cane to walk, and imparting wisdom. I thought that it wasn’t so very bad, which is why everyone wanted to live to a hundred and thought cancer or heart attacks would get in the way of this happy old age.
As of March of this year, I grew up. Old age turns out to be about going plum fucking crazy, hallucinating about awful deaths in meat grinders, becoming incontinent, losing patience with one’s toenails, and losing everything you ever had so that you are only left with the clothes you’re wearing. You’d have to be nuts already to want to live to a ripe old age.
My coworker swears by the Netherlands: “You can get euthanized there, you know.” This coworker swears that, if she starts muttering funny stuff, she’ll ship herself off to Amsterdam.
My nurse friend B. told me how her coworker delved into the world of adult diapers as he prepared a care facility’s budget. He began eating all the French fries he could.
“Why?” I asked.
“He didn’t want to be around for old age now that he knows what it’s all about.”