Friday, October 27, 2006

A Good Place To Be Buried



When I was ten years old, I was kicked out of girl scouts for being obsessed with death. I’d point out spots on the side of the road and say things like, That would be a good place to be buried or I’d ask the other little girls how they’d like to go when their times came. This was in the early 1980s when people lived a long time except in my family. My grandparents all died within the same year -- heart attack, stomach cancer, brain tumor, lung cancer. In addition to this litany, my mother’s boss had blown his brains out on his birthday when he found out his wife was having an affair. At a party. That our family happened to be attending. At his funeral, the official story was that he was cleaning his guns.

“By putting it in his mouth,” my mother said. “And pulling the trigger.”

So the girl scout troop leader informed my mother than I needed some serious therapy or I’d be out on my ass. And I was out which wasn’t such a bad thing. I loathed the meetings and camping trips because I proved to be so ill-equipped at anything practical that a girl could earn a badge for. I had the reading badge and the fire building one and my main accomplishment on International Food Day was spraying some cheap pseudo French perfume on passersby at the French food booth of which neither I nor my mother had cooked anything. Even the Ethiopian booth had managed to come up with some peanut soup, even though it was during their horrible famine and to this day, I cannot be persuaded to go to an Ethiopian restaurant, the famine images are so strong. In addition to all these factors, I did not like selling girl scout cookies and barely managed to get the Cookie Roundup Badge, the one that even the autistic girl scout got. Also, I couldn’t tie a knot worth a shit and consistently came in last in competitions for the team because of this lack.

It was the knot thing that I think screwed the pooch for me, not my trenchant observations about the fleeting nature of life, although my dire warnings about how some people had been buried alive and can you imagine waking up in your own coffin, well, that could not have been a happy thought. I’ve never been much of a joiner, truth be told, and this quality stayed with me. As for knots, I never learned to tie one and mine come lose all the time, fraying at the ends.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens. " Woody Allen

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Annie Hall

Benedictions and Maledictions

Go Tigers! We can do it!

12 comments:

Cardinal Spellman said...

A lot of my relatives are resting at Mt. Olivet cemetery, which sounds a lot like the Mt. of Olives(where Jesus had such a hard time)but isn't really.

Catherine and Al said...

Happy Halloween, Michelle. We love your action, honey. Your one of our greatest assets!

George Goebel said...

What a friendly looking photo, Michelle. You are blessed with wonderful camaraderie. Cheers! A high end beer to you and yours! Go Tigers!

Cookie Monster said...

Today's "Joke of the Day":
Peter Marshall: What are "dual purpose" cattle good for that other cattle aren't?
Paul Lynde: They give milk and cookies...but I don't recommend the cookies!

Allen Woody said...

When you're sailing on the Ship of Death to the afterlife, you never have to worry about tying knots. That's all taken care of for you.

King Tut said...

I sailed to the afterlife long before there ever was a Pope entombed at St. Peters.

The Cineaste said...

It's so funny when John Goodman tries to throw the ashes into the ocean in "The Big Lebowski."

paul said...

O Mighty Isis were counting on your spellpowerstobreaktheCards shuffletheduckGoTigerLadyLuck
R2 C2! Foxy CajunQ Shazaammmmmm

Bird on a Wire said...

Speaking of Woody Allen and death, I always liked this quote of his:
"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying."

Laura said...

I never was a girl scout, thank God for small favors. As for the knots, I double knot 'em that way they stay tied. Go Tigers!

Sheila said...

Death seems to be around you all the time. strange. I asked a few friends once how old they thought they would live to be. They didn't like that question very much. I never liked girl scouts. If I wanted to sleep outside in a tent I'd pitch it in my backyard.

JR's Thumbprints said...

As a teenager, I went to a double suicide funeral. The married couple put on their Sunday finest, started their car, and embraced each other. They were found a day later in their garage. He had a terminal illness, and his wife didn't want to live without him. How's that for love?