February 16, 2009
Would you be willing to have your tombstone read, simply, “DOUCHE”?
How about “PERV”?
Of course. And I really can’t fathom why anyone would object to doing this. What are you so concerned about? Offending people? Embarrassing your family? So what! YOU’LL BE DEAD. Who gives a shit? To paraphrase Woody Allen’s father in Hannah and Her Sisters: “Why should you care? You’ll be unconscious!” You get to enjoy your money now, and by the time you have to pay the piper, you’ll be far beyond the reach of public opinion. The only real obstacle I can think of is legal. Illinois apparently has a law on the books forbidding people from placing, erecting, or constructing “any objectionable, indecent or obscene tombstone, vault, grave jewel, monument, engraving or device” on a cemetery plot, and for all I know there are similar statutes across the country. Kind of makes you wonder what people were getting up to back in the old days that made such a law necessary in the first place. Were plots really being adorned with indecent devices to the extent that the state government had to step in? The mind boggles. Mine does, anyway. It also makes me wonder what the hell a grave jewel is, and how it could possibly be obscene. Unfortunately, the mighty Google is no help with this query. Anyone?
Ah! A chance to be known as a douche or a perv to clove-smoking goths that hang around my tombstone, cemetery groundskeepers, bereaved visitors (who will cry even harder once they realize that their loved one is next to some pervert or douchebag who 1) felt the need to tell the world she’s a douche via her tombstone and 2) is seemingly trying to let everyone know that, yes, she plans to carry on being a perv in the afterlife) and pretty much anyone who happens past my grave. On the one hand, I’d like to be pragmatic about this: I’ll be dead and, therefore, totally oblivious. So I’ll opt for the money now. But I wouldn’t exactly be excited about accepting this dare. It strikes me as an annoying thing to put your kids through (they’ll harbor enough resentment toward you as it is), and if you leave behind a spouse or (worst case scenario) a parent, I think they’d be pretty bummed about the whole mess – and doubly so each every time they visited you. So, the answer is yes, of course, but with a few qualms. Although, nothing that a million dollars couldn’t help me get over. Easy.
For the record, I looked up “grave jewelry” and it turns out it’s any one of various sorts of adornments that are incorporated into a tombstone’s design (do a Google image search; the pics it pulls up are only consistent in their gaudiness). Ironically, it sounds like something I might actually like to have put on my grave marker. Tombstones are – being a cry for post-mortem attention, after all – ipso facto tacky. Why not just run with that idea? I mean, I wouldn’t mind if my grave were totally bedazzled and painted bright pink with a picture of my head floating in a snifter engraved into it (I’m actually getting more and more into this idea as I write this). Kitschy and campy just strikes me as better than douchy and pervy.