The Obituary

The Obituary

My first impression was: is this photo of Shelly photo shopped?  She was smiling.  I worked with her for twelve years, quit, and later came back to work another eight years with her and I never saw Shelly  smile once. She was my boss, not directly, she was the owner’s daughter and she took care of the accounting.
   I wasn’t  happy about her death, but it was expected. Shelly smoked, drank—like a fish—and never looked healthy. Her partying gold digger boyfriend John, only added to her overall deterioration.
   John, in polite company, was a lush, but in honest company, he was a sponge ready and willing to soak up any amount of funds he could get his hands on. Someday Shelly’s replacement will find a trail that leads to John, and a lot of used up missing cash. But what does that have to do with Shelly’s obituary?
   To be sympathetic, the obit was written by one of Shelly’s sisters. As a family they all seemed close, but you could tell there were differences among the Strunk clan.  Shelly and her twin Kelly were both average looking, slightly unattractive, and both had the same habits.  The other two sisters, were more health conscious, obviously did better in school, and married successful people.
   Let’s take some actual quotes from the real obituary.  “Died after a courageous battle with cancer.” False, she went where her money could take her but never made any attempt to battle the disease. She continued to smoke, and drink— to newer higher excesses—and never made any attempt to change her life. There was nothing courageous about it, she gave up the day she was diagnosed.
   “Never one to sit idle, even for a moment.” False, she only came to work when she had to, she hated her boring job, and frequently came in late, sleeping off a hangover. When she did arrive, usually after ten in the morning, she left for a two hour liquid lunch, and returned to her office late. But let’s be fair, she did work past closing time, sometimes as late as five thirty. Of course,  after closing time, it was drinking time.  Shelly was an alcoholic.
   “She had an abundance of pride for her only son Stephen.”  She loved her kid, in her own miserable drunken sot way—but pride? Not by a long shot.  She complained to the staff openly about the number of times he was in re-hab, she constantly shook her head in disgrace at him when he came in the business with really dark, old fart, sunglasses on to ask for money.  She had to fire her own son at least six times from a cushy job that he never deserved.  
   “Shelly shared a most unique bond with her identical twin sister Kelly.” True.  They were both party animals in their youth, they were both unhappily married on the same day, both divorced quickly after they realized their first husbands could only have sex with them when they ( the husbands )were drunk.  
   Okay, so it isn’t wine and roses. It wasn’t a fairy tale life. After all the fancy words someone lost a family member, and a sponge lost a revenue stream.
   But why write a bunch of lies?  Of course we all have a tendency to think about ourselves in a state of constant regard for our family and friends, always caring, always loving, and always thoughtful.  We never see ourselves living—not for one single moment— in pursuit of selfish pleasure. So why do we write a bunch of lies about the dead?
   Because the truth hurts too much.


Floyd Looney said...

"after they realized their first husbands could only have sex with them when they ( the husbands )were drunk. "

even the backs of their heads were ugly?


Artemis J Jones said...

Apparently, they were.

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