I attended a funeral on Saturday.
The town hall was fancy enough I suppose: blandly petaled flowers hung everywhere, in every corner imaginable, masking the smell of dozens of sweaty patrons in black and possibly the odor of decay. They decorated the largest room, and I figured they’d be a pain for someone to clean up; after all, of all the rooms in that hall, the funeral took place in the one with the most floor space.
The casket was carved with intricate patterns, and lined with satin. It had been designed for a family with a lot of the green that gets you nice things in their pocket. It, too, was covered in flowers and topped by one blood-red rose.
The people were mixed. Some were strangers to me, some were close friends and two were my parents. They greeted me all the same: their eyes were dark with sadness. All wore a disheartening black. There once was a time long ago when people wore white to funerals, did you know?
The service was bleak. Family members told stories of the deceased, tears filling their eyes. One broke down crying, and found herself unable to finish. Organ music played more than once. Sniffles and sobs echoed off the walls and ceiling, but none were my own.
As it all went on, it became harder and harder for me to keep from laughing.
The corpse belonged to a lady with a greedy heart. From the beginning she’d been raised to take anything she could get her hands on, and right ‘til the end that was her stubborn mindset. The family business was everything to her, the only one on Earth that mattered, and she’d destroyed hundreds of smaller establishments to expand the reaches of an already-enormous enterprise.
She hated people because they weren’t her. She only cared about herself, not anyone who thought they trusted her or thought of her kindly. She was the single most selfish person on the face of this earth.
The old bitch had died the way she needed to: an outraged, average American Joe had shot her in the back twice with a .22 the day before his hardware store was to be demolished. One bullet managed to pass through her abdominal area in just the right way to bleed her out like a stuck pig. Bad rubbish was taken care of. It was a shame he’d be subjected to painful court sessions and probably lose everything he had.
An irony came up of this situation: how could a woman with a heart as cold as ice and twisted as a gnarled old oak possibly end up in such a place, with such a family and amount of people who cared about her? How could they even have the tiniest shred of sympathy for her?
Then I thought of the faces of the mourners who had met with me. They were high-class, rich old-timers whose own franchises were fizzling out like an old sparkler on the 4th of July. They were going to lose their businesses soon. They needed more funds.
That’s when realization hit, and with it came the laughter I had so desperately tried to keep bottled up. Tears came to my eyes as I roared without paying attention to anyone else.
This funeral, this whole event, was happening because every person attending wanted some of the dead’s billions. They were playing the biggest game of charades anyone could pull off. This fake wave of tearful commentary was simply for greed, the factor which had lead to the death of not just one but millions.
And that is why I laughed. I continued, not stopping. I wanted everyone to know just how I felt.
There were screams, shouts of fright which rang in my ears. Footsteps sounded all about as people ran for the exit. A single short man fell to the floor. After he was stepped upon enough times, he didn’t stand back up.
I guess you’ve figured why they ran by now: you’re not supposed to laugh at your own funeral.
Written by SoDaft Potato