I’ll always prefer having a chuckle when faced with sadness, so I zeroed in on the story of famous pals stealing the corpse of Drew Barrymore’s grandfather.
This one is priceless.
Way back in the silent movie era, John Barrymore was a huge star.
His career was remarkable – even historic – as he appeared in early cinema and respected stage theatre during the first half of the 20th century, while living a Hollywood lifestyle that was not unconnected to his death, from cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure, in 1942.
Since then, there have been rumours that Barrymore’s friends stole his body and sat it at a poker table for one last booze-up.
The story had been dismissed, including by a friend who claimed to have stayed with the body overnight, but last week Drew Barrymore – herself a star with a troubled history – confirmed it was true, and that those in attendance included Errol Flynn and WC Fields.
“I hope my friends do the same for me,” the ET star said.
“That is the kind of spirit I can get behind. Just prop the old bag up and have a last few rounds.”
I love it. Please don’t think I’m being disrespectful of the dead, or of other people’s ways of mourning, but the idea of turning my own funeral into Weekend At Bernie’s appeals to me greatly.
I think many of us have considered our mortality lately, and too many, I’m afraid, have faced it.
At time of writing, worldwide COVID-19 deaths are sitting at 788,000.
In Scotland, death certificates have mentioned COVID-19 in relation to 4216 people.
A few months ago I came through a hideous respiratory illness (including a negative test for COVID) and have recovered fairly well.
Convalescing, I had a lot of time to think about how I’ve lived and how I might be remembered if I did go. I hope it would be with a smile.
So, when it happens, I demand a party, preferably with my stiffening cadaver sitting nearby, wearing a silly hat.
Don’t pay your respects, but stand your round. And laugh, because you’re a long time dead.