I’m not really sure how the conversation began, but for over a week now babybear has been planning my wake. Let me set your mind to rest right away: I am FINE. In the pink of health, even. It’s my intention to remain this way so that I can be a pain in the ass for as long as possible. I feel certain I shall meet this goal with great success. Back to my imminent death, and my daughters plans to “wake” me.
Somehow or other the subject of wakes, the different types, and different peoples preferences became fodder for our last girls night out. Babybear and I have regular girls day/nights out since we share a passion for mischief, a love of the profane, a desperate need to add shoes to what the menfolk in our lives deem an unholy amount of impractical footwear, a constant supply of books, and each other’s company. Maybe we were pursuing the tragic romance shelves at B&N, maybe it was the DIY section, but however it piqued our interest, the discussion began.
To be sure, this doesn’t exactly top my list of things I’m hoping she’s inspired to plan for, but I adore this child’s mind and so I pressed on.
Me: “Oh? What do you have in mind? Something tasteful and understated is probably out.”
Babybear: “What?! Noooooo. No, a regular wake where your body’s just stretched out is too DONE.”
Me: “Yeah, it’s so played out….so passé. Maybe a clown? Juggling? To entertain the mourners?”
Babybear: “Well, a clowns a good start, but I’m thinking THEME wake. Horror movie.”
Me: “Interesting…you have my attention, go on.” (Please note at this point in your reading that I am NOT a fan of this genre, horror that is. Not at ALL.)
Babybear: “well, for starters I think that clown should be terrifying.”
Me: “Terrifying? Why stop there? Maybe my coffin should be closed and there should be a handcrank on the end. Every time a mourner steps up to kneel and pay their respects, they have to turn the crank one time.”
Babybear: “I know where you’re going with this and all I can say is I LOVE IT!!! When the crank goes around, a twangy version of ‘pop goes the weasel’ should play.”
Me: “But only a few notes at a time!”
Babybear: “YASSSSSS! And as the people wait their turn, they realize THEY WILL HAVE TO TURN IT TOO!!!”
Me: “Yup. And the suspense is building because every time someone cranks it and the music plays a few more notes…”
Babybear: “and nothing has happened yet…”
Me: “they know SOMETHING is going to happen and the chance of it being when THEY turn the crank is INCREASING.”
Babybear: “The suspense is KILLING them!”
Me: “Not YET!”
Babybear: “Ha! That’s right! They’ll be so focused on watching your coffin to see if it’s gonna pop open and have you sit bolt upright and laughing, they’ll never expect the toy monkey with the cymbals on the shelf half way down the line to go off and start chattering and clanging!!!”
Me: “Whoa! That’s GOOD. I almost had a heart attack just imagining that!”
Babybear: “and, and , AND a TRAP DOOR IN THE CEILING ABOVE THEIR HEADS WILL DROP OPEN!”
Me: “Dear God! What happens then???”
Babybear: “THAT’S where a fake body will drop down!”
Babybear: “and THEN the next crank will pop the coffin open, your head will turn to everyone and yell ‘SURPRISE!’ And then, in the chaos, everything RESETS and starts over…”
Me: “Um, babybear, we may have fatalities at the wake. Other than me. Maybe we ought to have paramedics on standby….”
At this point I should tell you that our conversation stalled because babybear had dissolved into laughter at the image she had created. All I have to say is just be on your guard if I kick the bucket. And someone wake me when it’s over.