STONE COLD DEAD

Alas! He is cold, he cannot answer me. –Mary Shelley, author of FRANKENSTEIN

Because I could not stop for Death — He kindly stopped for me. –Emily Dickinson

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *    grave stone 2Have you given any thought to what you want on your tombstone after you’ve gone to that great big pizzeria in the sky? I wouldn’t wait until the last minute if I were you, because ye know not the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36, or thereabouts), and once ye’re at the pearly gates, it’s too late. Now, it’s possible, before getting the gate, that your spirit may remain a while in the grave to consider what far-out gems of wit you might have come up with — but dream on. Afterthoughts aren’t written in stone….and if you don’t write your own epitaph, others may use the occasion to pick a bone “After you’ve gone.”

All of which brings me to SWI and its impending death. SWI, the blog for which I wrote many posts up to a few years ago, will bite the dust in November, according to its editor. Two of those remaining posts (published in early 2012) deal with real epitaphs not deserving of being left to vanish forever into the cold November ether or….wherever. Here are some of my favorites:

Here lies the body
Of poor Aunt Charlotte.
Born a virgin, died a harlot.
For 16 years
She kept her virginity
A damn long time
For this vicinity.
–DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

Here lies Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.

Beneath this smooth stone
by the bone of his bone
sleeps Master John Gill;
By lies when alive
this attorney did thrive,
And now that he’s dead he lies still.

Here lies Anna Mann
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.

MARGARET DANIELS
She always said
Her feet were killing her
But nobody believed her.

SIR JOHN STRANGE
Here lies an honest lawyer
That is Strange.

This is the grave of Mike O’Day
Who died maintaining his right of way.
His right was clear, his will was strong
But he’s just as dead as if he’d been wrong.

Beneath this stone my wife doth lie
Now she’s at rest and so am I.

JOHN BROWN, DENTIST
Stranger! Approach this spot with gravity!
John Brown is filling his last cavity.

Here lies the body of W. W.
Who never more will trouble you, trouble you.

Here lies the body of Mary Ford
Whose soul, we trust, is with the Lord;
But if for hell, she’s exchanged this life,
‘Tis better than being John Ford’s wife.

Owen Moore
Has passed away
Owin’ more
Than he could pay.

I’ll close with one I wish one and all could say in the end:

Been Here
and Gone There.
Had a good time.

 

 

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16 comments on “STONE COLD DEAD

  1. carmen says:

    Those are hilarious, mister muse.

    Speaking of such things, I must tell you about this. I’ve just returned from Australia, where I visited my family there. (Been there. Now here. Had a good Time) Son-in-law is a huge footie fan (as most people are) and he and the guy next door are both Richmond Tigers fans. Well, the team isn’t doing that well this year and often start out their games with high scores and then lose in the end. Just before I left, there was a Saturday night game on. Son-in-law and neighbour trade various texts during the game, and it starts off great! They’re in a big lead and both men are pumped! Of course, the inevitable happens and the Tigers lose the game. Neighbour texts son-in-law – “I’m getting some of those team members to handle my coffin when I die. That way, I figure they can let me down one last time!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do not know where I will be laid to rest. Getting buried where is a guess. I may go up in flames and a wooden urn be filled with my remains.
      I liked your epitaphs and I hope those buried there go no where mistermuse. It is a Jewish custom to wait one year before placing the grave marker. This helps the deceased settle down and I suppose know he/she is dead. Strange, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse says:

        Well said, Michaeline.
        I didn’t know about that Jewish custom, but it certainly sounds like a compassionate thing to do to let the deceased settle down in his/her grave before advertising to the world that you’re dead. Also, if the deceased changes his mind about what should be on his grave marker, that gives him time to communicate his thoughts to his surviving family.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      Great story, Carmen….also educational, as I thought footies were pajamas worn by babies, which would mean that your son-in-law gets a big kick out of baby wear. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but still, a bit strange. So I was glad to learn that a footie fan can also mean a football fan, though I daresay your son-in-law would suffer far fewer let-downs if he switched his allegiance to baby pajamas. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • carmen says:

        You make me laugh out loud, mister muse!! 🙂 To clarify things even further, everyone there refers to it as ‘the’ footie. . . Australians are bemused by all the gear people use to play football here in North America; they’re tough, mate!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. arekhill1 says:

    I don’t think I’ll bother composing a cry for attention from beyond the grave, Sr. Muse–I’ve been ignored enough while I’ve been alive. What do you think about contributing to Bob’s follow-up publication? I’m thinking I’ll see how it develops first.

    Like

  3. Those are clever and funny, Mistermuse. I have always liked Robert Frost’s epitaph, a line from one of his poems: “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”

    In an “awareness” week about matters and thoughts around death, a survey was carried out by the Marie Curie Cancer Care center, of famous epitaphs. The Top 10 Favorites were:

    1. Spike Milligan: “I told you I was ill”

    2. Oscar Wilde: “Either those curtains go or I do”

    3. Frank Sinatra: “The best is yet to come”

    4. Mel Blanc: “That’s all, folks!”

    5. Frank Carson: “What a way to lose weight”

    6. Winston Churchill: “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter”

    7. John Belushi: “I may be gone but Rock and Roll lives on”

    8. Bette Davis: “She did it the hard way”

    9. Humphrey Bogart: “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis”

    10. Peter Ustinov: “Please keep off the grass”

    Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse says:

      Thanks, Cynthia, for passing along those “Top 10 Favorites.” I actually used one of them (Mel Blanc’s) to put the finishing touches to my original January 2012 post on SWI, but I decided to close out today’s post with the “Been Here and Gone There” epitaph instead. The Spike Milligan one seems like a variation of the Margaret Daniels epitaph and may have been based on hers.

      As for the rest, Churchill’s has long been a favorite (of mine), and Sinatra’s the most optimistic. There’s a few I hadn’t heard before, including Ustinov’s, which I like a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing that those are real! I like the last one best. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. BroadBlogs says:

    Thanks for a laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Garfield Hug says:

    Great epitaphs! Will need you to coin one for me ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mistermuse says:

    You are most welcome. When you return to work, let’s hope the ‘current” Electrical Lord’s power surge has found a different outlet so that you are no longer the unwilling generator of his abuse!

    Like

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