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Flogging a dead cause

2010-03-11 11:51

"Do you want to be buried or cremated?" I get asked from time to time.

"I don't know," I usually reply. "Surprise me."

Maybe I should be more precise. I have my living will inked on my arm, but I haven't updated my dying will since I last bought something so big I can actually live in it. So let's do this:

To whom it may concern,

Hello, how are you? I'm dead.

If I actually have any money – it's so hard to tell these days - please give it all to my girlfriend. I think that's only fair, the poor woman.

Please don't pay undertakers to cremate or bury my carbon remains, which hopefully by this time will be augmented with kick-ass cyborg technology. You might want to dig those out with a pen knife.

I want no funeral, and no coffin. If you really need a memento for your mantelpiece, stick some braai ash in a jam jar and tell everyone it's me. Who's going to know?

Feel free to dispose of my remains any way you like – so long as you don't spend any money. Wrap me in an old blanket and bury me in a shallow grave in your back garden, I don't care. You could also cut me up and dump me into the sea, like in Dexter. Or you could drive me out into the mountains and leave me on a hill so the vultures can snack on me. I'm not much to look at, but I'm extremely well marinated, so I should be very tender and tasty. Go on, have a bit yourself. This may be your only chance.

If this all seems like too much of a mission, you could always just donate my corpse to science. They'll cut off what they need and dispose of the rest for you, hassle-free. Maybe they could give my penis to some lucky boy-lady. That would be awesome. At the time of writing, my heart's still pretty strong, but I'd suggest that they stay away from the liver and lungs, which have both cited abuse and threatened me with restraining orders.

In closing, I'd just like to let you know that if there is, in fact, an afterlife, I fully intend to haunt the living shit out of you. Obviously I'm not, so therefore, there isn't.

Hugs and wet kisses



Incidentally, that's also what I plan to do to my parents if they die before me. I don't tell them, of course. They think they're getting buried next to my grandparents in a nice Catholic ceremony. Like I'm going to spend my hard-earned inheritance on an overpriced box they're just going to bury anyway? I don't think so. When they go, it's vulture time.

Now some of you might be beginning to suspect that respect for the dead is not exactly one of my major selling points – and you'd be absolutely right. The fact that people will never visit their withered old granny living out the last of her days in some skanky old age home, then spend thousands and thousands to transfer her corpse from her lonely wheelchair to a hole in the ground truly astounds me. People have to literally die to get the respect they deserve  - or sometimes don't deserve at all – in life.

Just for once, I'd like to read an obituary that goes something like: "The deceased was a dickhead of the highest order, a lousy father and an ineffectual lover. He was despised by all who knew him. Guests are invited to gather at the cemetery to dance a jig round his coffin and piss on his grave. No flowers please."

But despite my extreme attitude towards throwing limited resources at unappreciative corpses, I was still moved by the story of the drowned seven-year-old, Petelin Taks, and the resistance to her recent burial at Swellendam Cemetery.

The gravediggers were harassed and verbally abused, and a family whose daughter is buried next to Taks arrived to demand that their dearly departed be dug up and moved to another plot.

The reason? Taks was coloured, and the Swellendam Cemetery is "traditionally whites-only".

Wow. Given the fact that white people don't stay white for very long when they're dead and buried six feet underground, and that we all accept the ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust cycle of life, departed soul or not, could someone please explain to me what those morons were thinking? Are they afraid the dead might rise upon a foul moon and integrate? That would be the last thing the town needs: zombies marauding through the streets. In Swellendam, the living dead could easily be mistaken for a normal resident.

That's it. I'm done with Swellendam. Sometimes, you just have to step back and wait for the racist infestation to finish wallowing in its moral decay and do the world a favour by dying. And when Swellendam's in-crowd  finally go where they belong, give me a shout. I've got some really cool ideas for things we can do to their corpses. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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