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
Drinking movie suggestion: Annie Hall
Benedictions and Maledictions
Go Tigers! We can do it!