Saturday, June 21, 2014
'Rite of the Sitting Dead' -- or, Dead but enjoying it
Over at Hollywood Elsewhere, Jeffrey Wells posted a link to this New York Times article about funerals in my hometown of New Orleans and elsewhere that... that... well, as writers Campbell Robertson and Frances Robles note, "put the 'fun' in funeral."
The NYT piece begins by focusing on a wake at the Charbonnet-Labat Funeral Home for Miriam Burbank (pictured above), "who died at 53 and spent her service sitting at a table amid miniature New Orleans Saints helmets, with a can of Busch beer at one hand and a menthol cigarette between her fingers, just as she had spent a good number of her living days." (Must admit: The strategically placed bottle of Jack Daniels in the background is the perfect touch.)
Not surprisingly, the chronically uptight Mr. Wells disapproved of such activity. Me? If I had any choice in the matter, I'd be displayed at my wake propped up in a movie theater-style seat, pen in one hand and a notepad in the other, while a DVD player ran continuous loops of The 400 Blows and In the Heat of the Night on a nearby big-screen TV. Laissez les bons temps rouler, dah-lins!