Monday, March 20, 2017

Headstone Humor


The other night, on a TV news show, Shirley MacLaine was pitching her new movie, The Last Word. Those of you familiar with cable news will recognize on which show she appeared. The premise of the story is a successful older woman hires a young journalist to write her life story, including her obituary. Coincidentally, one of the non-fiction ideas for this month’s column was obituaries. I did a little research and found some funny epitaphs I thought I’d share. For some of us, these are dark days. Humor is essential to keep from crying. So, with no further ado, here are parts of obituaries I thought chuckle-worthy.

Thurman was a loving husband and father with a big heart open to everyone. He had a passion for cars, motorcycles, and entertaining family and friends, hunting, fishing, and remodeling. His motto, “Accomplish what you can today because tomorrow ain't promised.” He stayed busy. He leaves to cherish his memories, his wife, children, and grand kids, a host of back stabbing mother f^@&#*$ that still owe him money.
Ohio man: He respectfully requests six Cleveland Brown pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one more time.

Perhaps most important to Bill was educating people on the dangers of holding in your farts. Sadly, he was unable to attain his lifelong goal of catching his beloved wife Judy “cutting the cheese” or “playing the bum trumpet”—which he likened to a mythical rarity like spotting Bigfoot or a unicorn. […] He was a gas.

Ding dong the witch is dead, but the memory of our mother lives on.

My personal favorite: “Bill” encountered an unhandled exception in his core operating system, which prematurely triggered a critical “STOP” condition on Wednesday, […]Diagnostics indicated multiple cascading hard-ware failures at the root problem. Though his hardware has been decommissioned, Bill’s application has been migrated to the Cloud and has been repurposed to run in a virtual machine on an infinite loop.

Mr. Ziegler “escaped this mortal realm” just so he could avoid having to vote in the 2016 presidential election.

Freddie adored the ladies. And they adored him. There isn’t enough space here to list all of the women from Freddie’s past. There isn’t enough space in the Bloomingdale phone book. A few of the more colorful ones were Momma Margie, Crazy Pam, Big Tittie Wanda, Spacy Stacy, and Sweet Melissa (he explained that nickname had nothing to do with her attitude). He attracted more women than a shoe sale at Macy’s. He got married when he was 18, but it didn’t last. Freddie was no quitter, however, so he gave it a shot two more times. It didn’t work out with any of the wives, but he managed to stay friends with them and their parents.

Beloved husband Moe Lester was best known for his ability to have a name that doubled as an unfortunate pun.

He was sadly deprived of his final wish to be run over by a beer truck on the way to the liquor store to buy booze for a date.

Louis […] bought the farm Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, having lived more than twice as long as he had expected and probably three or four times as long as he deserved. Although he was born into an impecunious family, in a backward and benighted part of the country at the beginning of the Great Depression, he never in his life suffered any real hardships. Many of his childhood friends who weren't killed or maimed in various wars became petty criminals, prostitutes, and/or Republicans. Lou was a daredevil: his last words were "Watch this!"


Polly Iyer is the author of eight novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and Indiscretion, and three books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, and Backlash. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

26 comments :

  1. While some might frown at what they consider inappropriate obituary humor, others will welcome it as a respite from a time of mourning. Having said that, I must admit I got more than one chuckle out of those you shared above. They demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that obit writing has a lot of faces.

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    1. These were obviously written by loved ones with a sense of humor. They say a lot about the writer and the deceased.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. Sometimes truth is funnier than anything we can make up.

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  3. Loved this! I've often thought that mine should read, "Well, I tried..."

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    1. When all is said and done, that's the best we can do...try.

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  4. What fun! They all made me chuckle, but my favorite is the picture at the top.

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    1. Yes, I loved that too. Joe E. Brown's last line in Some Like it Hot. What a hoot.

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  5. What a great topic, Polly. I've always thought interesting to read headstones and obits.

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    1. We need to laugh these days, Vicki, which is why this was such fun research.

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  6. Those were awesome, Polly! I admire your spirit.

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    1. Thanks, Elaine. I don't know if I could write mine ahead, and if I did, find such humor.

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  7. I've always admired a twisted sense of humor!

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  8. Thanks for a hilarious post! Moe Lester--too funny.

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    1. As a mystery writer, I find that funny.

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  10. Thanks for the great laughs. The only one I'd heard before was the one about the Cleveland Browns.

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    1. So typical of a sport's fan to get the last word. Thanks for laughing.

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  11. One I saw on Facebook that made me chuckle was on a headstone: "See, I told you I was sick!"

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    1. I love that. My husband has always been a bit of a hypochondriac, and when he got sick, I didn't believe him. Fortunately, it didn't get to the headstone part.

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  12. Men can be babies when they don't feel well. A headache becomes a brain tumor! lol!

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    1. Tell me about it. Peter and the Wolf. I finally had to believe my husband. He was really sick.

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  13. Thanks for sharing some of the fun headstone humor. I find obituaries quite interesting to read, especially the contrast between the very proper and serious ones and the funny ones like you posted. Gives some insights into character that we could use in our writing.

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    1. This perfectly illustrates someone "getting the last laugh."

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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