Monday, 28 January 2008


Augmenting today's death-themed posting, here's an anecdote about crematoriums. Oh, and squirrels too.

Squirrels are ace aren't they. Especially red ones. They're very rare. On the other hand, death isn't so rare. Death's looming all over the place - round corners, under bins and everywhere. So, imagine my surprise when, only the other day, I found myself surrounded by both death and squirrels at the same time.

A friend of ours sadly lost her dad over Christmas, and respectfully, we attended his funeral at the local crematorium. Crematorium's are strange places. Not least because of the slightly sinister "death-factory" turn-around of their services. As one poor bugger gets sprinkled out the back door, the next lot of greiving relatives are blubbing and queueing up front. Or at least that's what normally happens.

Our crematorium's different though. Because our crematorium's got squirrels. Red squirrels. Big, fat, matter-of-fact red squirrels that bounce around on bird-tables and knick berries off memorial wreaths.

And were any of us sadly weeping? Were any us glum or sombre? No. We were all laughing and pointing at the squirrels, and ooh-ing and ahh-ing like a load of children. And whilst a man lay dead waiting for us to burn him, we didn't care at all. We had red squirrels for godsake!

But what a fantastic piece of P.R: softening the blow of a tradegy by coupling it with an appealing animal. Here's my tentative list then of similarly paired bad-news events with rare or inspiring beasts.

Redundancy = a chimp.
Notice of intended prosecution for speeding = talking parrot.
Economic recession = a fucking massive owl...

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