While I learned a great deal about the recently departed, I started taking the text with a grain of salt. It seems every father was beloved. Every teacher had a love for nurturing minds. Each person listed leaves behind a grieving multitude, who will never be able to replace them. How can this be? What did they write when Hitler died? “He was a good dictator”? “He made great strides in population control”?
When the old codger across the street from me died, all I could remember was how he used to put a traffic cone in his driveway when I held family barbeques, so no one would be able to back onto his precious asphalt in order to get off our dead end street when the event was over. I guess his obituary might say that he was survived by his beloved driveway, but I doubt it did.
Just once, I’d like to see a death notice that told the unvarnished truth. Something like...
In memory of Douglas “My Way or the Highway” Stevens
After a long illness, where he drained our savings with treatments that wouldn’t work, even though he knew he was a goner. Eighty-one years on the planet, though he claimed to be seventy-nine, like that would make a difference.
A pain in the ass to his wife and a puritanical scold to his children, Douglas looked at every situation and then did what was best for him. A lifelong resident of Milwaukee, he was known by few and liked by fewer.
He was a member of Kiwanis, Elk’s and Rotary Club, though the membership scoured their rulebooks looking for ways to get rid of him. Especially despised by the VFW, who remembered him as a coward first and a lying thief second.
He is survived by Mildred, his wife of sixty years, who really appreciates the break; His son Douglas Junior, who plans to mark the one-year anniversary of his father’s death by changing his name to Wilbur; and Albert, who will not attend the funeral because he’s still steamed about his father getting drunk at Christmas and calling his daughter-in-law Betty a whore.
Douglas will be cremated because he wanted to be buried. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, send a donation to finance the outhouse that will be built over the unused burial plot.
A memorial brunch is planned, where Duke, Douglas’s prized schnauzer, will be slow-cooked and eaten.
Please consider these other items written and/or performed by Marc Holland:
Live performances at:
Three plays co-written with Mike Davis-
Crenshaw Family Reunion
Beauty and the Deceased
Night of the Livid Dad (one-act)
One play co-written with Kathy Holland-
Are all available at:
Coming Soon: A new one-act co-written with Kathy Holland-
JobbedWill be available at:
Novels under the pen name Quentin Tippler-
Hats Off For Homicide
And Coming Soon:
On the QT: The Collected Short Fiction of Quentin Tippler
Are for sale at:
Novels under the pen name Carl Stafford-
Son of Mann
And Coming in 2014: