Mr. Young Sr. has finally kicked the bucket and died this morning of black lung at the ripe old age of 68. While I can’t pretend I really enjoyed his endless mining stories, I do have a lot of respect for his persistence. He is the oldest person in our colony—possibly the oldest living person I have seen after the Great Panic of 2019 come to think of it.
In any case, I’ve been helping with Mr. Young Sr.’s funeral arrangements. Thanks to a combination of freezing temperatures and Mrs. K’s freshly baked apologies, I have moved back into the big house. I still haven’t exactly forgiven her for the atrocious outcome of the glitz pageant but I keep devouring her ‘I’m sorry cookies’ so I know I’ll have to speak to her eventually.
I realized our handbook could benefit from a page on new world funeral etiquette. I have broken this out by the two causes of demise: natural and zombie-related.
Death by Bite
Zombie bites kill most people. Well, that isn’t entirely accurate… Mostly they die of a shot wound after they are bitten but before they reanimate. Since there is no cure and the fever can take an hour or more to kill the person, we employ a simple policy: shoot early and aim for the head. These funerals usually consist of a quick digging and burial. No fuss, no muss.
Death by Natural Causes
There are so few natural deaths these days, so we wanted to make his funeral a special occasion. Below are some guidelines to ensure a cheerful send-off:
- Caskets are gauche – making a casket for a dead loved one is a waste of time and resources. Why not put your carpentry skills to good use and make something living people will use? For example, Mr. Wade is using the building materials to create a new outhouse which we can dedicate to Mr. Young Sr.’s memory. A fitting tribute.
- Wear whatever you like –Black is a drab color to wear to a festive event, isn’t it? This is a good occasion to wear something a little sultry. There is nothing like a reminder of ones’ mortality to put a formerly resistant gentleman in the mood.
- Always have a guard standing watch – Zeds seem to have an unfortunate talent for attacking during parties. They seem to be attracted to the noise of merriment and good cheer. If I didn’t know better, I would swear that some of them even dance a little while they try to eat our brains! We call that the Zed Shuffle.
- No gun salutes – I don’t care if your loved one was a general in World War II, there is no excuse for making that much racket. Additionally, ammo is too precious to waste on the dead. If you really need to take fire, take a page out of Mrs. K’s book and use your crossbow – strategically aiming for a flying pack of ducks, if possible.
Well, that was easy. Now we’ve come to the awkward part: finding a gentle way to kick Mr. Young Jr. out of the colony now that his father has died. But that is another post, I’m afraid.
Writing until my number is up,