Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weddings and Funerals

by Pa Rock
Social Observer

Weddings and funerals: two tiresome events that foist themselves on society with irksome regularity. But does anyone really enjoy either of these gatherings? Possibly (probably) the brides and perhaps even a few of their mothers have a fondness for weddings, but anyone who gets caught up in planning a wedding will readily admit that it can be more traumatic than than a level five tornado. And funerals? What could be more barbaric than singing and praying before a waxen-faced corpse lying in an expensive box?

Yesterday I had a couple of unplanned experiences that led me to believe that both weddings and funerals could be made into entertaining affairs. The first eye-popping experience was the U-Tube wedding video that is causing all the buzz. Several million people have viewed the "dancing" wedding on their computers. The groom somersaults down the aisle, and everyone else dances forward. It is very animated and loud, and it is obvious that the guests are having a great time clapping to the music and cheering on the antics of the wedding party. I could enjoy going to a wedding like that. Maybe the millions of hits on U-Tube will help the concept to catch on.

I saw the wedding video on the NBC Evening News - so it is really getting coverage.

Later, I was channel surfing and came upon a British screwball comedy entitled Death at a Funeral. The movie came out a couple of years ago, but I hadn't had the opportunity of seeing it yet. It was directed by Frank Oz, and the only actor in the production that I recognized was Kris Marshall who has been a regular in a couple of programs on BBC America.

Synopsis: The family patriarch has died, and friends and relatives are gathering at his British country home for the funeral. Some of the relatives include the pretty widow, their grown sons who are at each other's throats over money and dashed dreams, the deceased's tightly wound brother who is a doctor, and the doctor's two grown children - a son who is studying to be a pharmacist and has just developed some kick-ass hallucinogen which he puts into a Valium bottle and inexplicably brings to the funeral, and a daughter who is coming to announce her engagement to a man that her father, the doctor, does not like. The fiance is understandably nervous about his impending encounter with the father who doesn't like him, so his girlfriend gives him a Valium - yup, one of those Valium, to calm his nerves.

Another guest at the funeral is a dwarf who had been having a gay affair with the deceased, and who brought along photos to prove it. He gets his chance to blackmail the brothers shortly after the funeral is interrupted when the hallucinating boyfriend knocks the coffin over and spills the corpse out onto the floor.

By being a "screwball" comedy, some of the action is predictable, yet funny nonetheless. After the brother with money decides that he won't pay the blackmail, the other brother comes up with the idea of tying the dwarf up until the wedding is over. When the bound and gagged dwarf remains unruly, another guest who has stumbled into the mayhem stuffs him with five Valium to calm him down - yup, those Valium! Later when the tripping dwarf falls off of a table and hits his head, and it appears to one-and-all that he is dead, the gang makes a decision to slip him into the coffin with his lover, dear old dead dad! After the mourners reassemble to complete the funeral, it is only a matter of moments before the dwarf comes to and begins rocking the box.

Now I'm not suggesting that people attending funerals be given acid, at least not unknowingly, but could there be a better occasion for getting drunk and disorderly? In fact, weddings would be a lot better if the reception was held immediately prior to the marriage ceremony!

Weddings and funerals should not be such awful events. Who really needs wedding planners and funeral directors, engraved invitations and mahogany caskets, bridal gowns and burial suits, and flowers, flowers, flowers! Spend that money on alcohol, and if there is any left over use it to feed the poor! That would be something worth remembering!

1 comment:

Phillipia said...

Totally agree! Small, quickly planned weddings are the best and usually the most fun for everyone; funerals should be a celebration of a life...