EDITOR'S NOTE: Marty Walsh's humor column is unavailable because of a death in the family... we're allowing Mr. Walsh to use this space on our website for him to morn the passing of his loved one... and work out some "issues."

Death In The Family

Jonathan Polkay - August 2nd, 2005  Bookmark and Share

I imagine all four readers of my column are wondering why it still isn't here; well, I had a death in the family. (Okay, mark THAT excuse as "used".) I don't want to bore you with details of my personal life (Like I usually do) and the unfortunate circumstances, but... as I sit here in front of the keyboard, I realize I have nothing to contribute this month! So, without further ado...

Geraldine Walsh (1912-2005) R.I.P. (Rot in Pieces)

 Yes, you read that right. My grandma passed away. That worthless bag of bones just bit the dust, and hoo-boy, I am just broken up about it!

Really! Well, actually, I'm not in the least bit heartbroken. I wish I had reminded myself earlier when I first heard the news...

Dancing King

Marty: Hello? Oh, hi Mom. Yes, I'm fine. What? Bad news? What happened? Grandma died? Okay. Well, don't keep me in suspense- what's the bad news? Hello? Hello?

Eventually my family saw fit to speak to me again- just in time for me to attend the wake. As I stood over the coffin resisting the urge to grab the lid and slam it down, a childhood memory came flooding back to me- Her offer for me to find the loose change she'd dropped into a bucket of ammonia. Naturally, I retaliated- with her failing eyesight, it was a snap to switch her toothbrush with the toilet brush. (It was three days before she even noticed.)

Of course, I had to endure the excruciating comments from numerous family members...

"You didn't have to come- she really hated you."
"I heard her last words were, "My grandson really sucks." "
"Look at him- he didn't even have the decency to die before SHE did..."
"Columbia is the capital of South Carolina. Nice place..."
"Julia Roberts' career continues to thrive..."
"Candy was never his girlfriend..."

Not surprisingly, I was nominated to be a pallbearer. My mother broke the news to me:

Mom: Marty, we'd like you to be a pallbearer at the funeral.
Marty: You're kidding, right? Mom, you KNOW I don't like dead people! They can't hold a conversation worth a d...
Mom: It would mean so much to your father. You remember your father?
Marty: How could I forget? He's sitting right over there!

After some more incentives...


 ...I gave in. Walking out to my car, I noticed the funeral director's assistant rather zealously attaching "Funeral" stickers. Funeral CarHe must work on commission, I thought. A buck for each sticker. It was at this point the funeral director stepped in and assured me, "You'll have to forgive him. It's his first day."

After peeling off about four dozen "Funeral" stickers off my front windows, I joined in the procession. Getting to the cemetery, I proceeded to help get the old buzzard's coffin into the chapel without too much trouble. (I assure you, I did not slip on purpose. I swear, the fourth time was DEFINITELY an accident!) Settling into a nice comfortable pew, I sat back and got ready for a little nap- it was at this point I was disturbed by my mother. I could smell bad news coming again...

Mom: Marty, the family would like you to say a few words...

Marty: WHAT? Haven't I done enough already? Why does this torment continue?

Mom: We feel the need to get back at you after you insisted on playing, "Chain of Fools" on the way to the cemetery...

I reminded her that I managed to get applause when we crossed the intersection of Jackson & Dearborn, and Aretha isn't called the Queen of Soul for nothing. However, my mom missed the joke and pressed on, the way she always missed jokes.

Mom: Just go up there and say at least three things- and don't swear, either. Is that asking too much?
Marty: Well, as a matter of fact- er- Hey! Everybody back off! Gitcha cotton-pickin' hands off me-

 After some more persuasion...

More Incentives

...I make my way to the altar and stand before a motley assortment of faces. Clearing my throat, I take a deep breath and begin.

A few Classy words..."I've got three things to say. First, I know the priest said a lot of things about Grandma going to Heaven. Without fear of contradiction, I believe I can say the padre' might be mistaken this one time. Second, I'm writing a humor column for a rather classy website called "The Fedora Chronicles". Assuming any of you old fogies know how to use a computer, you may want to check it out- most of you lived in the era anyway. Come to think of it, I haven't actually been able to write any columns as of yet, because life's little annoyances- like this moron's funeral- keep getting in the way. Third, there IS no third thing I have to say, so I'd like to take some time out to quote one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's longest lines of dialogue from the movie, "Conan The Barbarian"... "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women."


Oh, Man...Was it ever worth it!  Bookmark and Share

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