Saturday, 27 October 2012

Dear Sir or Madam,

The Reverend and Mrs J P Ghastlie
Purgatory Lodge
Doom Lane
Lostock Green


Dear Sir or Madam,

My wife and I are increasingly concerned at the number of placards and posters appearing in the nearby village, placed there presumably by people inexplicably opposed to the exciting prospect of us soon having our own Crematorium.

Both Glenys and I joyfully embrace Life’s last Mystery, having moved to our present location on the blind bend at the junction of Doom Lane and Reapers Hollow in the hope of my being able to officiate at resulting fatal motor car accidents. Sadly, none have taken place these past five years, although once a local farmer did run over a frog there. We stood and sang “The Day Thou Gavest…” and the little flat body was cremated near our greenhouse.

As Respecters of Death, we use our Railcards to travel the country in search of really good funerals. I myself have compiled a Sadness Quotient based on the number of funeral cars, how many occupants are besides themselves with grief, and the volume of singing during the service. Amazon have expressed interest.

So you can imagine our disappointment at the village reaction to Memoria Crematorium’s (MemCrem) inspiring offer. Do villagers realize that by rejecting Memoria’s overtures, they are passing up the chance of being really sad at least seven times a day? Fourteen, if you count the return journey which in my experience can be far more harrowing than the inward because the bereaved are by that time utterly shattered by Death’s swift sting. And all this visible through the windows of the slow moving funeral cars. An unrivalled spectacle!

So my wife and I regard the village response as not only personally disappointing, but also as a missed opportunity for locals, especially the normally feckless and workshy who suitably dressed in cast-off dark clothing could line the funeral route, heads bowed, caps and bonnets in hand, intoning “Nearer My God To Thee…” Given persistent rain and an overcast sky I can think of no more beautiful a pageant.

I am,
Yours in Death,
Rev Jolyon Ghastlie MA (Tombs. Cantab)

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