When it comes to funerals, I’d rather be golfing. No, that’s not a quote from President Trump, who got a few holes in while a lot of Americans were mourning both Sen. John McCain and Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin last week. That quote is from me. I really don’t enjoy funerals. Then again, my golf game is a mournful sort of event — especially for people who want to see eagles, birdies and pars instead of various multiples of bogeys.
Unfortunately, I’ve had to go to my share of funerals for family and friends over the years. In fact, in the 17,585 days I’ve been on this Earth, I’ve yet to have the good fortune to be banned from a funeral. There’s still time, though, so if you would like me banned from your funeral, act now. I won’t be offended, and you can never schedule your tee time too early.
Last week’s funerals also got me thinking about my own funeral. I’ve not scheduled it yet, so don’t get too excited, but I do agree with Sen. McCain’s insistence upon having a lot of input in your own funeral. Perhaps if Aretha Franklin had planned her funeral, it wouldn’t have been the disorganized mess it was this past Friday.
I also don’t want a funeral as looooong as Aretha’s. A lot of folks thought the most awkward part of the service was when that bishop fondled Ariana Grande on stage and made a stupid joke about her name, but I thought the most awkward part was six hours into it when Aretha sat up and said, “Can we we get on with it already? I got places to be!”
I’ve written before about my basic funeral plans, and they haven’t really changed. There are no suits or ties allowed. There will be Jimmy Buffett and tropical music with drinks to match. It’ll be fun. If I wasn’t going to be dead and unaware of the whole experience, I might even consider attending the event willingly.
But until last week I never really thought about who I want to attend — or whom I want banned from — my funeral. I guess I’ve never really cared who came or not. It’s not like I’m going to have to talk to anybody at my own funeral.
“Gee, Chris, you sure look natural in that coffin.”
“Yeah, I feel natural. And I’m not wearing underwear, so I’m pretty comfortable.”
I would like to have a president or two speak at my funeral, but I’m running out of time in this life to do anything worthy of having a president of the United States or even the president of a mid-size city’s Rotary Club speaking at my going-away.
I would like to have a lineup of folks to eulogize me. I don’t want just one person up there — especially one who really didn’t know me. Although, I’m sure when the folks on my preferred list of eulogizers are approached, they’ll probably say, “Well, I would love to, but I really didn’t even know the guy.”
“But you’re his wife!”
Just as well because she’d just get up there and say something about how I should’ve listened to her about those diet soft drinks. “Just say nothing if I was right. Uh-huh, that’s what I thought.”
So maybe instead of an official lineup of eulogizers, we just kind of have a town hall type of experience where random folks get up and say things about me.
“Yes, tell us who you are and how you knew Chris,” the moderator could say.
“Chris? Oh, the dead guy. Well, I don’t really know him — I assume it’s that natural-looking fellow lying up there without the underwear. Anyway, somebody said something about free margaritas.”
I could ban a person or two, I guess. I should ban President Trump. It doesn’t really have anything to do with politics, but I don’t plan on dying for at least 30 years, and he’ll be over 100 by then. It’ll just be awkward for him to come rolling in there in his gold-plated wheelchair pushed by wife No. 12, whatever ex-porn star she might be.
If I really want to make a statement on the way out, though, I should ban myself from my own funeral, just to confuse folks.
Besides, I’d rather be golfing.