September 28, 2010
A John Cleese Eulogy
A nice way to have a funeral might be to have someone like John Cleese - or better yet, the actual John Cleese, to come and discuss your life with those gathered. It occurred to me remembering a travel piece I once read about Egypt where the writer very cheerfully outlined all sorts of concerns such as microscopic bugs in the shower water found in lesser hotels that could invade your brain but never mind that, the very air is rich with history - oh, but don't even think of putting your foot in the river, shudder the thought, but oh, the pyramids, the glory, the mysterious allure, and wait, did he mention the nasty habits of camels and that they spit and bite?
For every pro there was a con but all delivered in the same cheery, let's just take in in stride, it's travel, you know, ever the adventure. Crazy world. The article, mislaid, probably not as absurd as I fondly recall but that was the impression it left, and while it was not written by the lovely John Cleese, it most certainly had that tone, that brilliance.
So what if you had died and there you were, in some casket with people milling past, oh, sniff, she was a nice woman, and for the eulogy, John Cleese steps up. He clears his throat and begins to summarize your life in the same tone, "oh, it was such a well-lived life, the sunrises and sunsets, true, there was that five year period, rather bleak that, and expensive, the medication alone, oh but moving on, she never let anything get her down except for that time in Fresno, that was bad, but ever the trooper, she practically rolled through the next six or seven years until she hit her proverbial wall, ouch - that smarted, but once they paid off that bloke, things turned around for the better....
“A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants” ...not a bad send-off.
An added note - my own fact-checking, usually done prior to a posting, turned up this wonderfully loving tribute by the Python crew to Graham Chapman at his memorial service way back when...