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Guest Post

September 2, 2008

As a part of my ongoing quest to broaden my intellectual horizons, I have invited my good friend and noted herpetologist, Jolyn Djibouti Metro, to share a few thoughts this week:

Growing up, the only living creatures that were allowed to live inside of our house (with our knowledge…) besides homo sapiens were reptiles and amphibians. We went through numerous frogs, lizards, and snakes. We learned a lot about metamorphosis by watching the 2-legged “frogs” change into fully developed ones; we learned about adaptation by watching the lizard grow it’s severed tail back; and we learned a lot about the life cycle by watching our 6′ long gardener snake devour one small white mouse weekly. This provided much hands-on education for us Metro kids, which was probably needed due to the fact that we were homeschooled for a considerable portion of our elementary school years.

I can really only remember two of the lizards that we had, Minnie and Mickey. Minnie died within three days of us purchasing her, just by dying, in her cage, all alone. Her funeral consisted solely of us throwing her in the dumpster outside. That’s when we got Mickey. He lasted a much longer time, but his end was much more tragic than Minnie’s.

In the particular house that we were living in at the time (8613 Dixie Canyon Court, Antelope, CA 95843 Phone Number (916) 729-1284–just providing proof of my unfailing memory) we had a study which was positioned adjacent to the living room. We used it as our office, and it housed a majority of our books. It was also where we kept our pets. We walked in one day to find my little brother Ben and his friend, Drew Farley, grasping our little Mickey by the tail and hurling him over and over and over across the room against the painfully white double doors that led to the study. Needless to say, he died. Ben, that is. Dad wasn’t too pleased with his actions, so Ben got the ax. No, I’m just kidding, Mickey died. And despite the fact that he died in a much more dramatic and heroic way than Minnie, he got the same exact funeral treatment.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Funeral celebrations should be based on the way you die. There is a hierarchy of death that this world is not living up to. Death by old age while at home with all your family surrounding you? That really deserves no celebration at all. Death by flying squirrel? You should at least get a box to sleep in. Death by being caught in the middle of a street shooting? Eulogy provided by 50 Cent.

We need to stop celebrating and encouraging mediocrity, that includes mediocre deaths. Mediocrity is the #1 problem facing the world today, and we’re perpetuating it in ways that we don’t even realize. Most people recognize the mediocrity that they’re pushing in little kids gymnastics class. The kid who can’t even do a somersault gets the exact same ribbon as the kid who can do a Mariel 540. This says to the kid, “you don’t have to even try to excel, you get the same prize as everyone else.” So why aren’t people realizing the same thing is said with funerals? If we provide the same type of funerals to everyone, no matter what type of death, we’re basically saying, “Yeah, go ahead and don’t even try to be a hero and die well. You get the same treatment as all these other people.”

So, let’s take a stand against the unjust and equal funeral system and start providing people who have died from choking on pretzels with the funeral they deserve: throwing them in the dumpster.

Jolyn Djibouti Metro

One Comment leave one →
  1. hawkinsart permalink
    September 9, 2008 4:01 am

    come on Jae, I’ve waited long enough for the outfit of the week!

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