Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Shiver Me Timbers

The beach vacation proceeds blithely, I'm happy to report. The dogs have shown signs of excellent progress -- we've not yet seen the return of their customary whole-heart, whole-spine tail-wagging, but both have managed to display some tentative oscillations.

No, it's Wonder Woman who today hints that all is not well in Paradise. She evinces guilt, for example, that our recent purchase and avid consumption of the first season of Deadwood on DVD has had a noticeably deleterious effect on our vocabularies. My Al Swearengen post of a few days ago, (which proved rather bemusingly popular on the Internets, by the way, being read by a heady 53 people!) manifests the problem clearly: It's all very well to assume a tone of voice and a distinctive vocabulary in order to amuse and elucidate in a blog-post, but it's when one's ordinary conversation becomes peppered with casually tossed-out "cocksuckers," and one addresses one's own cherished teenaged offspring as "you dirt-worshipping little goat-fuckers," that one should perhaps sit back and take sober stock.

Perhaps spurred on by my recent flirtation with ass-cancer, Wonder Woman has also begun to be troubled by thoughts of death. In particular, over dinner last night she expressed some new opinions on the method by which she would like to dispose of her mortal remains. She declared herself unenamored of the customary burial or cremation, and has instead decided she'd like her lifeless body to be preserved through taxidermy.

Now at first blush, this may seem somewhat unconventional, bordering on the bizarre, but on reflection, it has many practical advantages, and it's just like my wonderfully pragmatic life-mate to have explored the possibilities. For example, you're far less likely to be forgotten if you have to be dusted once a week or so -- which certainly can't be smugly asserted by the occupants of cemeteries, where out-of-sight, out-of-mind rules the day. She also pointed out that visitors and house-guests are unlikely to overstay their welcome if confronted by the stuffed corpse of the former Lady of the House displayed as a curio.

But it is in the matter of home decoration that my cherished soul-partner shows the depth of her practical ingenuity. During most times of the year she suggests she could be displayed casually in the living-room, perhaps, seated on the sofa holding a drinks-tray, or a rack of popular magazines for visitors. But at holidays, think of the possibilities! A Christmas creche featuring donkeys, sheep, and Mom in full BVM drag, or perhaps a Santa's-sleigh display featuring Mrs. Claus in red with white fur trim. Ho, ho, ho! A Thanksgiving tribute in the foyer with cornucopias and Indian corn, all surrounding an artfully posed Wonder Woman in full Goodwife McPuritan regalia! The Halloween possibilities are virtually endless, of course -- and whose heart would be so hard as to be unbeguiled by an Easter tableau featuring bunnies, chocolate eggs, and Mom's preserved corpse in a simple white shift holding a sign: Halleluia! Unlike Me, He Is Risen!

It has long been a cherished daydream of ours to open a themed restaurant in a resort town. The Outer Banks of North Carolina, where we are now spending our holiday, was a haunt of Blackbeard -- was in fact the site of his final battle with the British Navy -- and so a thousand pirate-themed joints flourish up and down the islands. Last night in Nags Head we passed one place that had a fiberglass pirate out front, posed to attract foot-traffic. Wonder Woman proposed that this would be a capital way to attract passersby to our own Pirate's Cove: Her articulated remains in silk head-scarves and duck trousers, posed rampant with cutlass brandished in the flower-bed out front amid hogsheads and shipwreck flotsam, one glass eye out wildly askew, the other hidden beneath a patch, and a scratchy looped recording blaring from a hidden bullhorn:

Shiverrrrr me timberrrrs, ye cocksuckers!

I'm calling our lawyer to have our wills updated tomorrow.


Linkmeister said...

She can model herself after some of these women.

I own a copy of "The Deadly Lady of Madagascar," (mentioned at that site) but alas, Amazon has no cover art.

grishaxxx said...

Friend of mine - an art restorer - was working in Mexico City for the Getty, and she told us about a curious afternoon with a colleague's family there. After lunch at their home, her host asked if she wanted to meet Tio. "A pleasure," she said - sort of wondering where this uncle was who hadn't joined everyone else for the meal. So her host went to a closet and brought out a very large shoebox sort of thing and introduced my friend to the mummified remains of Tio, who had died in infancy, but who needed to be close to the rest of the family, so he stayed in the closet, peacefully, but would come out for company.
So, taxidermy (if you've got good curators) is a reasonable option.

mrs. packer said...

Hot damn guys! You've solved 2 of life's problems for me!

Forget teaching, I'm off to pirate and plunder!! D'ya think there's much to be had off brine shrimp boats on the Great Salt Lake? Or shall I try the high seas?

Taxidermied death! Fantastic! Mom-in-law's neighbor runs a taxidermy shop out of his garage. His signboard declares: "Bringing Memories Back to Life" What better way to fulfill his marketing promise, and to creep out my friends and family, than by mounting and stuffing my lifeless corpse. (Yes, that is a stratight line. Do with it what you may.)

Anonymous said...

Happy to hear the Indian's backsides are shakin' at least a little bit. Now, how would the famous pot roast sell at Pirates Cove? I'd vote for gooberslop sandwiches with dill pickles! How 'bout it kids?? Glad you're having fun!!! Old Anon

XTCfan said...

Glad to see that the painkillers, mimosas, and downtime are doing their work, Ned ... on you and the Missus. I think her idea is a capital one. One recommendation: Make sure that the taxidermist replaces her bones with strong-yet-bendable wires, to ensure maxiumum posability (ala Gumby).

I assume that an unspoken motivation of your Missus wanting to have her remains around after she's shuffled off this mortal coil will be that her presence will deter any other lady suitors? Or are you thinking this your chance to have that threesome you've always talked about?

Bobby Lightfoot said...

See, I'm w/ XTC fan. The biggest plus I see is that, with some minor mods, intimacy could continue Beyond The Grave. I don't neccesarily see the need to besmirch your vows by going 3, though.

That would be weird.

Bobby Lightfoot said...

Sorry I misspelled "necccessarilee"

XTCfan said...

Yeah, Bob, shouldn't that be "necessaralee"?

As The Man said,
Smith & Wesson

The Viscount LaCarte said...


pi said...

ahrr -- you've conjured up a classic Gahan Wilson story about a food preservative that prevents corpses rotting. Relatives stack up, become more utilitarian than revered. You have to bend Aunt Martha into the hatrack you'll need before rigor mortis sets in.

See -- the web's not so all-embracing. Still no dbase of Gahan Wilson, searchable by derangement.