My mother just passed away and I had to go to GA for her funeral. It was very hard, but very strange, as well. I felt like I was the star of some coming-of-age indy film about the freak who goes back home to deal with the death of her cold and distant mother and her estranged redneck family. It was very surreal and I will share with you some of the highlights.
First, Delta Airlines does not have a bereavement discount. I did not know this until I paid for the one-day notice airplane tickets for two from California to Georgia. Actually, they do have a bereavement discount, but only for Alaska and Hawaii. Don’t they know that people die in all 50 states? What is so special about Hawaii? At least if someone dies, you get to go to Hawaii! I had to go to Georgia!
So, I got into a fight with the funeral home. That’s right. You heard me. At my mother’s funeral, they gave my daddy a package to take home. When he gets it home, he opens it up and it’s the bill.
So, when I got back to California, I emailed the funeral home and told them I didn’t think they should give the bill to the family at the funeral. I suggested they mail the bill to the family. Every other business in America can mail a bill, why not them?
Then, the woman from the funeral home writes me back a mean email! She said it’s not a bill it’s a “statement” and they are required to give it to the person responsible and WHY DON’T I CALL THE FUNERAL HOMES IN LA AND FIND OUT HOW THEY DO IT. WTF? Oh no you didn’t bitch! This is who they send to deal with the grieving people?
I wrote back, “First of all, you can call it whatever you like but a bill is a bill; second, I understand that you have to give it to someone but not at their wife’s funeral; and third, I watch Six Feet Under and you ain’t fooling anybody bitch!”
The funeral itself was very religious, which was so not my mama. She was a very controlling woman. She was never a WWJD kind of gal. Unless it was What Would Jean Evans Do? That’s her name.
My favorite part is that everyone I talk to keeps saying, “Oh, your father will probably die now.” What? My daddy is only 60! “Yeah, but that’s what happens. The wife dies then the husband can’t bear to be without her and he dies, too.” Please, stop helping!
At the funeral, my brother Eddie kept saying to every person who walked up to me, “Be careful. Everything you say to Bobbie can and will be used against you on stage.” It was cute the first 100 times. Then I started thinking maybe he was pissed about something. Then I realized none of my brothers were really talking to me. Hmm. Do you think they are mad about all the jokes calling them fucking idiots? I didn’t think this through.
My niece says to me, “Hey tell us that joke.” “What joke?” “The one on your website about me being pregnant on Chrystal Meth.” Fuck. I gotta go. It’s not my fault. She shouldn’t have been pregnant on Chrystal Meth. She knew her aunt was a comedian.
My brother Eddie got fat. My rail thin brother who used to terrorize me as a child with fat jokes that were completely unprovoked and vicious is now fat. I really wanted to just spew every criticism on him that he ever tortured me with. I wanted to say, “Hey Eddie, hope the house doesn’t catch on fire and we all have to haul ass ‘cause you’d have to make two trips!” I wanted to do that but that behavior is not as becoming a 40 year old as it is a child. I don’t think I could get away with it now. Damn life’s cruel jokes!
So, as mentioned before in this blog, my oldest brother and his wife are insane religious fanatics. My husband and I are atheist liberal commie pinkos who believe in crazy things like evolution, gravity, and photosynthesis. My brother said, “How can you believe in evolution?” I said, “You believe Jonah was in the belly of a whale!!” He said, “Oh, I can show you proof of that!”
His wife said, “You believe that if you put a watch in the ground for a hundred years you can dig it up and it would be life?” WTF? Is that what they teach you evolution is in home school? No wonder they don’t believe in it.
I said “You believe that Noah gathered up two of every animal on Earth
and put them on a boat.”
She said, “No we don’t! Noah didn’t gather up the animals. God called
I said, “How do you know that?”
“Because the Bible says so.”
I said, “Well Catcher in the Rye says a lot of stuff to, but I don’t live
my life by it.”
“Catcher in the Rye wasn’t written by God.”
“Neither was the Bible…for Christ’s sakes!” Oops. Sorry. I got carried away.
I had a long discussion with my brother about religion, politics, abortion, racism (get this: the white man can’t catch a break in Mississippi. Really? Mississippi?), everything we disagreed on basically. Then, about a week after I get home, he calls me up and says, “I’ve decided you’re not evil.” I was thinking “Well, I’ll call you back when I decide you’re not an idiot.”