Monday, June 14, 2010

Grim Eater

I had to laugh the other day when I read a news article about an individual in New Zealand who was attending funerals in order to get a free lunch. He must have some African in him, I thought. Apparently the food bill at funerals in the Xhosa community is astronomical as the recession bites - literally. I did some diversity training last year and the Xhosa delegates were complaining bitterly about the cost of the feeding frenzy that follows a traditional funeral.

Apparently it's big business in the townships with funerals being attended by hundreds of people, many who didn't even know the deceased - a funeral is a meal ticket. They shared that, apart from the immense financial burden that they suffer, the quantity and quality of the food is also scrutinised. I was told that you can order it in polystyrene containers to be distributed to the hundreds of mourners.

It got me thinking of what sort of eats one would serve at such an occasion. Finger snacks? Spare ribs? Black Mushrooms? Death by Chocolate?

Death is no laughing matter really, but there is something about it that brings about an irreverence in some people. I love this clip from the series Coupling:

My British family share a black sense of humour and are at their wittiest at a funeral, strange, perhaps its the Irish in us! Just as we were getting ready for my mothers funeral there was a knock at our front door. My sisters and I grabbed our bags thinking it was the hearse to find a scruffy man standing their trying to sell us manure! We just killed ourselves laughing – as we knew my mum would have seen the humour in the situation!

My fathers funeral ran late and the funeral procession was whisked to the church at great speed. As we bobbed about in the back of the limousine we laughed ourselves silly and thought my dad, an retired pilot - who often confused driving his car with piloting an aircraft - would really have enjoyed this car chase!

As for my epitaph – perhaps – ‘She died laughing’ would be appropriate I think?