No doubt you’re aware that I can take an uncomfortable situation and make it worse. Not for me, I don’t often feel uncomfortable.
I figure once you fart in front of ten thousand very quiet people you’ve pretty much pinned the embarrassment meter.
This skill, I’m loathe to call it a talent, manifests itself quite often in my day but it seems to enjoy itself at solemn occasions.
I don’t do anything bad, like try to pick the pockets of the dead guy, but things happen.
Trust me, I go out of my way to avoid people in situations like this. I was in the car listening to a lecture; I know what the evil look means; I know what amount of shit I’ll take on the way home so I keep my head down and mouth shut.
Doing that has given me time to think. Things go wrong because people say stupid things at times like that. Instead of maintaining a silent decorum they need to speak.
The thing is, if they’re talking to me, I’ve tuned them out by the time they say something stupid so it passes.
It’s when they open with it or, even worse, sneak up and drop a ditty in my lap that I react.
“Well,” this well meaning person began. “At least he died doing something he loved.”
What the fuck does that mean? I loved hockey and almost died on the ice. I’m sure if I got up to Saint Peter wearing a hockey helmet and elbow pads I would have rethought my last shift on earth.
To make matters worse, due to my protective gear, he’d probably send me to the short bus side of heaven.
But I’d make the best of it! I’d become the Jim fucking Thorpe of heavens special olympics. See? There’s a bright side to everything if you think like a lunatic.
“At least he died doing something he loved.”
Yeah, he loved tennis but I’m sure his last match left a bad taste in his mouth. I’m betting just before the guy dropped he thought,
“Damn! I could have stayed home and watched TV.”
I look at the guy and, without forethought (maybe I should implement some of that) or sense of propriety (I should check into that too) I said,
“Do you think anyone said that at David Carradines’ funeral? He loved Thailand. And jerking off while hanging.”
The guy gets unnerved and beats a hasty retreat. Which is too bad because I had others who died doing things they loved. Mama Cass*, Keith Relf, hell, I know Belushi and Farley loved to party.
But it got me to thinking, such as, what would you say at a hypochondriacs funeral?
“Fuck! She was right!”
All I’m saying is, give the situation what it deserves, contemplative silence.
Because, otherwise, experience tells me, things can go down hill pretty fast.
* Yeah, I know Cass didn’t choke on a ham sandwich, but, as long as the legend lives, the joke works.