Sybil Bruncheon's REFLECTIONS ON FUNERALS... on the occasion of George H. W. Bush's passing...

Birthday Marching Band Street.jpg

But what about me... and my, um... eventual departure? Will anyone speak well of me at an 8 hour funeral or maybe TWO funerals?...in different STATES???... and TIME ZONES!....with dignitaries from all over the world, some of whom will completely ignore each other or shun each other... or even come to blows over how much they miss me, and ALL of them there to eulogize me! And what about one parade and procession after another?... from the funeral home to the church-- NO! THE CATHEDRAL!!... and then to the cemetery, but just to look at it because we've chosen a different, much better and fancier cemetery... with fountains and statues and elaborate multi-storied mausoleums with attached residents...or even resort hotels!... And the hearse! Should it be a Duesenberg or a Cord...or even a rare 1905 Isotta-Fraschini with a leopard-skin-lined (faux, of course) coffin...or SARCOPHAGUS!... or maybe I could just be taken in a deluxe Red Flyer Wagon drawn by dozens of musclemen clad only in loincloths... or maybe just a gaggle of llamas. And what about banquets before and after all the ceremonies... and then served al fresco at the grave site with dozens of courses of the most exotic foods and delicacies, many of which are named after me.

Be honest! Haven't I bravely served my fellow Americans daily with humor, charm, wisdom, patience, insight, tenderness, compassion,... and recipes, all delicious, nutritious, and some attempting to be low calorie.

Haven't I sung songs, recited poetry, detailed historical anecdotes, commiserated on the loss of parents and pets, instructed young and old alike on first-aid remedies, taught office and housekeeping skills, and congratulated complete strangers on litters of kittens, recovered friendship bracelets, reunions with former lovers, successful bankruptcies, promotions at petting zoos, and graduations from juggling school.

Haven't I spent years posting daily Birthday wishes with funny captions and amusing photos to literally thousands of people across our great nation and even overseas... personalized too with the recipient's actual name written in the heart-felt message? And haven't I been surrounded by adoring sparrows, grackles, and squirrels because of my nurturing nature, and haven't I terrorized presidents and pompous bullies with my implacable and justified anger?

Haven't I labored on in sickness and injury, through heartbreak and financial ruin, fulfilling my duties as Sybil Bruncheon with no complaint... or very little, and only on rare occasions, usually involving talking on the Amtrak Quiet Car or endless shlunking by non-paying customers at various Starbucks nation-wide. Haven't I jostled bingo balls, read endless trivia questions, and done hundreds of impressions of famous and infamous people, often indecipherable.

Don't I deserve some sort of fancy acknowledgement??... even a piñata shaped like a donkey, a cucumber, or the Hindenburg hung over my casket (open, please... or, if I've put on too much weight, draped in the flag of Greater and Lesser Marnier and the Triple Sec Islands). And if we can't have one military band or another play an assortment of Sousa marches and heart-felt hymns, can someone please remember to put on a nice medley of Patti Page, Eddie Fisher, and Connie Francis 45s on a cute little Zenith portable record player while the gay waitstaff lip-syncs?

Is any of this too much to ask?... or expect?... or hope for?

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