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I wonder if it was a surprise party…


I walked to my doctor’s appointment this morning and I was plenty early, so I swung by the local cemetery for a little cheer-me-up along the way. I like cemeteries, and I hadn’t visited our local before. It was a nice little boneyard, more remarkable for its many, many bunnies than its burials.

This lady had a bummer of an 80th.

Burial grounds in New England frequently have graves centuries older than those typical of Olde England, going right back to our colonial beginnings. The idea of burying ordinary people in their own private graves with their own personal markers started earlier in America, presumably because there were so few of us and we had so much buryin’ room. The Victorians were the first real funeral fetishists and the typical English churchyard graves are Nineteenth C. Before that, Brits planted people and harvested them later (‘alas poor Yorick’ and all that).

I believe the above paragraph to be true based on stuff I’ve read in the past, but I totally pulled it out of my ass tonight. Because references are for those who lack the courage of their own bullshit.


Comment from Machinist
Time: March 17, 2009, 9:15 pm

Burial BS,
Weasel shows courage, saying,
“Defy the footnotes!”

Comment from Machinist
Time: March 17, 2009, 9:20 pm

“Reference be damned!”
“We need no stinking footnotes!”
Weasel on Boot Hill.

Comment from Machinist
Time: March 17, 2009, 9:23 pm

Weasel and Laura,
chat about fungus and moss.
Some say guys seem strange?

Comment from Machinist
Time: March 17, 2009, 9:27 pm

Mac runs away now.
Weasels can be dangerous.
And old Mac heels slow.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: March 17, 2009, 9:29 pm

Cemeteries were always a great place to run. Rarely would anyone bother you! Warm-ups for indoor track (athletics in GB) were always great at Syracuse Univ. because of the huge cemetery across the street. I had a great run at my grandfather’s house that took me by Jayne Mansfield’s grave.

Comment from blake
Time: March 17, 2009, 10:56 pm

You like the graveyards?
I also like the graveyards!
We should, like, hang out.

Comment from Jill
Time: March 17, 2009, 11:20 pm

I worked across the street from here: http://www.alleghenycemetery.com/home.php
Allegheny is the final resting place of Lillian Russell, Stephen Foster, and Josh Gibson, among others. Stephen Foster also was born about 8 or 10 blocks south of here. The bell tower of Allegheny Cemetery plays his songs on the hour during the week of his birthday, which is called Doo-Dah Days. 🙂

Comment from Jill
Time: March 17, 2009, 11:21 pm

I’ve been placed in the moderation queue.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: March 17, 2009, 11:51 pm

My folks live near a colonial-era church in Maine. Wonderful slate tombstones with pithy, gnomic inscriptions and authentically bad carvings, some of them covered with lichen (*almost* as good as moss). I wish I could remember some of the inscriptions, they were good fire n’ brimstone ones, not this Hallmarkian “gone to a better place, bbl”. One was along the lines of “you look down at me now, but you will be here too one day. Bwahahah.” Okay, I added the last bit.

Comment from Pupster
Time: March 18, 2009, 7:18 am

Hey Jill,
I’m not sure how to put this…but do I look familiar to you? I’m working on the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital Project as a contract Project Manager.

Shoot me an email pupstersez@yahoo.com if you want to get a sammich at Sammy’s or something.

Comment from Jill
Time: March 18, 2009, 7:51 am

Pupster, that was YOU that time? 🙂

I worked in the building with the huge satellite dish at Penn and Edmonds.

Comment from Gnus
Time: March 18, 2009, 8:48 am

And here I thought Stephen Foster was born way down on the Suwannee River.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: March 18, 2009, 9:17 am

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s grave is conveniently located at an on/off ramp of the DC beltway. His epitaph is the last lines of “The Great Gatsby”


Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: March 18, 2009, 1:01 pm

There are some fun headstones out there. A few of my favorites include (courtesy Wikiquote):

“That’s all, folks!” ~ Mel Blanc

“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” ~ Winston Churchill

“There goes the neighborhood.” ~ Rodney Dangerfield

“Steel-true and blade-straight, The great artificer made my mate.” ~ Arthur Conan Doyle

“I am Providence!” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

“Good friend, for Jesus sake forbeare, to dig the dust enclosèd here. Blessed be ye man that spares these stones, and curst be he that moves my bones.” ~ William Shakespeare

“Lúthien” and “Beren” ~ Edith and J.R.R. Tolkien

“I told you so, you damned fools.” ~ H.G. Wells

“Against you I will fling myself unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!” ~ Virginia Woolf

I only hope I can come up with something half as witty and have family alive willing to put it on a stone. Then again, if they’re willing to do that I want a Viking funeral (put me on a boat and set me on fire), so there won’t be anything under the grave. 😉

Comment from Dawn
Time: March 18, 2009, 3:19 pm

I am still afraid to walk across a grave. Zombies!
I like graveyards, but the dead babies make me sad. We have lots of baby graves out here, because of all of the pioneering and Mormoning.

It is fashionable in my family to plan your own funeral. We die young. I am getting cremated and my ashes made into a huge tacky diamond! I will have karaoke performances at my funeral and everyone will sing the same song. Olivia Newton John’s Xanadu.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: March 18, 2009, 3:25 pm

My wife has made me promise to take her to New Orleans for a proper “funeral parade” before bringing her back for burial. She says if I go first, the obit will say “..(wife’s name)” formerly of Central PA, now of Las Vegas NV… (And Dawn, don’t worry, all the Zombies reside inside the Beltway!)

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: March 18, 2009, 6:19 pm

I have to be cremated because of Andrew Marvell and his stupid vegetable love.

(If you know that poem, you’ll know the lines that result in my insisting on either being cremated or being buried in a completely worm-proof casket. *shudder*)

Comment from porknbean
Time: March 18, 2009, 6:44 pm


I want one of them worm-proof boxes. And I want balloons at my funeral and noone is to show up in black.

I did want to be cremated and my ashes put in my favorite doll and then set upon the mantel, but the family are a bunch of sissies.

The husband says he wants me to dig a hole in the back yard and dump him in when he loses his pulse.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 18, 2009, 7:30 pm

I’ve always liked the idea of becoming something gross and horrible after I die. Something to frighten chirrun with. There’s a plot for me in the family cemetery in East Tennessee, and I’ve been photographed sitting on it many times.

Under the circumstances, though, it looks like I’ll probably get cremated and spread over Jollye Olde. I hope they keep a finger or something, though. In case somebody wants to clone me.

And to frighten chirrun with.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: March 18, 2009, 7:44 pm

A finger won’t likely suffice in the Age of “Horror films”. (Unless its in a bucket of Fried Chicken, I guess!)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 18, 2009, 7:48 pm

It’s just, I thought I might get away with asking them to hold onto a finger somewhere. I don’t think, “hey, would you guys mind hacking off my head and, like, tucking it away?”

Really, what I’d like to be is a brain in a jar for a few hundred years. But I don’t think the technology is going to get there fast enough. Plus, I’d probably be de-skulled when I really, really needed a pee and be stuck with that sensation for centuries.

Comment from iamfelix
Time: March 18, 2009, 8:32 pm

Igor, could I speak to you for a moment?

Comment from porknbean
Time: March 18, 2009, 8:59 pm

Perhaps Uncle B could pickle your remains in a large aquarium. Make sure you are making a face when you pass, so that when he charges the chirrens to view your mug, they wet themselves.

Comment from Machinist
Time: March 19, 2009, 12:46 am

Scaring the children.
Hard to do these days. Maybe,
finger spring from tube?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 19, 2009, 7:39 am

Incidentally, Uncle B disputes my assertion that individually-marked graves started in the US. But he can’t explain to me why I’ve never seen a commoner’s grave older than 1800 around here.

We’re going to ask the vicar.

Comment from Former Lurker
Time: March 22, 2009, 8:26 am

I want to be wearing a Groucho Marx disguise during my open casket viewing. Then cremate me.

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