You may hate me for saying this.
You may become disgusted and horrified and completely frustrated with my opinions here today. You may want to fashion a voodoo doll of sorts with my sparklingly-attractive head-shot (that has obviously been photoshopped) and stick pins in my nether region because of the opinion I want to share with you here today.
But it cannot stop me from telling you that if I happened to go down in a plane crash with a bunch of strangers and we all landed on, oh I don’t know, a desert island or something and you died — I would refuse to go to your funeral.
Strangers die every day. One-hundred and fifty thousand people die every day that I don’t know. People that you don’t know. And yet if I were to call you up out of the blue and tell you that so-and-so (a person you’ve never heard of) just died and would you please come to the funeral…you would think I was crazy. You’d be all, “um, sorry buddy but I don’t make it a practice of going to funerals of people who I don’t know…”. You’d probably say, “well, please give whoever this guy is my best and stuff, but I think I’ll be staying home and picking my teeth with magazine subscription cards instead of attending, if that’s ok.” You’d probably say something like, “yeah, don’t think I’ll be there, but tell whoever loved him, um, to keep on loving him” and then I’d lose your attention altogether because you’d be all stoked on having just come up with a new saying that would be sweeping the nation pretty damn soon (keep on loving) and which would spark products the likes of which we’d have never seen before (drink cozies immediately come to mind).
But I digress. Back to the funeral thing.
So, now imagine you’re on a plane. You don’t know anyone else. The plane crashes. Two people die. You find yourself on a desert island and some do-gooder has already set up this whole two-person funeral thing with the trademark crosses made out of bamboo and the flowers draped over the bamboo-crosses and this person is obviously some kind of event planner in the real world cause they’re setting all you guys up to stand around the crosses on the beach in some kind of symmetrical fashion and, well… I’d have to stop them and say something like, “Yeah, I’m gonna go look for coconuts, instead… So, um, see you all later…after the funeral.”
Which, for some reason, would piss everyone off.
But if I don’t have to go to your kid’s Christmas play in the real world and I don’t have to go to your Bar Mitzvah in the real world and I don’t have to go to your damn office holiday party in the real world because I don’t know you, then why should I be forced to stand around at a funeral for you on some desert island if I don’t know you at all? You wouldn’t want me to go to your funeral if I didn’t know you — right?
Someone, of course, would probably say “C’mon, pal. He was a good person. Just come with us to the funeral and pay your respects.”
Yeah, guilt-tripper. No matter where you’re at, even on a desert island, there’s always one of them hanging around making everyone feel guilty for eating two coconuts when everyone else only had one and making you feel like crap for hogging the only roll of toilet paper, and of course, for not wanting to go to the funeral of some stranger you know only as guy who asked for extra peanuts on the plane.
Look – you don’t know if they’re a good person. You don’t know what they were like in their real life. You don’t know what they were planning to do upon landing in their destination city. You don’t know him, and neither do I — and I’m not going to stand around and pretend to know them by attending a funeral I have no intention of going to in the first place.
No matter if there’s food or crying or we’ve all been through a horrible disaster — it just doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever to attend your funeral. And I wouldn’t want you to attend mine either if you didn’t know me. In fact, if I had died and you showed up just because someone guilted you into showing up (or because we all got flattened by a huge piano while walking next to each other on a city street) I would come down from the Heavens in my spirit-form and say to you in an echo-ey voice: “I don’t knoooooooooow you. Why are youuuuuuuu here?”
As a dead person, I’d have an echo-ey voice, FYI.
In the end (which is really just the middle of an even longer argument about attending events for people you don’t know just because you are guilted into attending said events due to some kind of cultural or emotional pressure you shouldn’t have to feel) I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done or how long you did it…
If you’re a stranger — there ain’t no reason for me to go to your funeral.
No how. No way.