Sorry I’ve been slacking on the blog lately. This time of year is just hard for me and I haven’t felt in a very chatty mood.
As many of you know, my grandfather killed himself back early in the morning of December 31st, 1999. They found him later that day with the upper part of his skull blown out by a 12-gauge double-aught buck shell. It was a fucking mess.
The crazy motherfucker did it slumped against his own headstone. The old man was always big on production, but short on foresight – Probably why the whole thing blew up into such a huge rigermarole.
You probably heard the story; an elderly grieving widow found him and succumbed to a heart attack right there and then. Some nice old lady from Skokie – Dead as disco.
Well, the whole sorted story got picked up by the national news media, and the cable news networks had a fucking field day with it. My grandfather’s estate was sued by the family of the dead woman. Hell, they sued everybody; our family, the cemetery, The City of Chicago, and even the State of Illinois.
In order to give you the full story, I have to backtrack a few decades here, sorry: My grandmother had died in a car accident back in the early ‘70s, and my grandfather was utterly heartbroken. He used up all of his money he had at his disposal to buy a dual burial plot at the nicest cemetery in Chicago. He sold his house and his Buick to pay for a huge 12-foot tall ornate engraved stone monument for my grandmother (and someday himself). Therein lies the rub – He was in his 60s at the time and never foresaw living another twenty-odd years. Below his name read: 1907 – 19(blank-blank).
According to his suicide note, he killed himself because didn’t want to ruin the damned monument by having to sand-down and re-carve his part of the headstone. It wouldn't match. It would throw-off the whole aesthetic.
Fuck, he was 92 and had recently been diagnosed with cancer, so he only had a year left anyway... Two years tops.
According to the note, he figured that he’d had a good run, and didn’t want to go through the ordeal of wasting away in constant pain, anyhow. So, BANG!
Here’s the kicker; since he did it against his monument, the whole fucking thing was covered in blood and gore. It stained – Bad. The county health department wouldn’t even release it into our custody for us to move it. Granted, at that point we really didn’t want to use it. It was a gruesome sight, but we figured that we should cede to grandpa’s emphatic (although, deeply flawed) determination.
Furthermore, the ensuing lawsuit against the cemetery caused Rosehill to void my grandfather’s lease on the burial lot, which meant we had to dig up grandma and plant them both in some cut-rate shithole plot out in the exurbs.
Their graves still remain unmarked seven years later.
I guess that’s the price you pay in pursuit of perfection.
Okay, that was all just a huge lie. None of it ever happened. I've just been lazy with the bloggin' lately, nothingmore.
I was at President Ford's state funeral today, and the premise for this story came to me during the wait before the service began. Sitting quietly for two hours straight on a fold-out wooden chair while listening to ominous organ music is a pretty good way to get a couple of story ideas.
I'd been meaning to get some more short original prose up here, and the story wouldn't have worked as well with the disclaimer at the top. If you're pissed (alla the Drinky Joe April-Fools Day fiasco), I'm sorry. By now, all of you should know better. Hell, try reading the masthead once in awhile.
I still need to get up a self-indulgent holiday wrap-up on here, and I'm putting together the Winter WILT soon, so look for some straight-forward L&E posts over the next few days.
And remember, I hit you because I love you. Now sing the songs like I told you to sing the songs!