America, You’re Funny: Funeral

At a party on a Friday in San Diego, a prominent architect, a rugby player by the name of Grahm “Basher” Downes had his head bashed in. A memorial service held for him on a Rugby field included beers and big breasted samba dancers. “A Celebration of a Life” they called it. One person after another went up to tell funny stories from bigger than life life of Grahm “Basher” Downes. One talked of how he interacted with Junior Seau, a locally famous football player. Another, his brother, about how he brought with him to Australia OMBAC team rugby hats and jerseys as gifts for his nephews who were expecting ipods and iphones. Beneath the harsh sun, jokes about poor sound, rugby and hot girls flowed like the beer.
This is when it dawned on me, only in America can you have beer and jokes after a tragic death. In Japan, crying women are hired to cry at the funeral. In Ukraine, as people cry they are sprayed with holy water so that just in case they are not crying enough, there is enough on their hair and clothes to drip all around. And in Palestine, a killer in the casket will be paraded around the streets with wails and cries of revenge and anger. But in California, people in flip flops and board shorts tell jokes and laughter and stories flow like the tears of Ukranians.
I guess I would understand this better if it were a death of an old person who lived out their life, or of someone who died of an incurable disease as it would be their time. Maybe even a car accident because somethings you just can’t prevent. But when death is because of a fight, a tragic brutal murder, how can that be a joke and in any way time for celebration? I guess you can, but only in America. America, you’re funny.

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