The Interment   Leave a comment

Marg and Perky, Circa 1946

Friday, June 1, 2012; 19:53 So let’s see… spent most of the day before cleaning my Wretched Hovel™ in anticipation of guests after The Interment, then out for choir practice… Roxanne and I had a bit of a laugh over one of the pieces we’re doing: “I Come with Joy” — Well, how else are you going to come?” I asked her. She snorted derisively.

And after I got back from Choir Practice I was toast, I guess nothing but TV watching, beer and looking at Plenty of Phreaks …. Somewhere along the line, arranged to meet with a winsome (touch wood, given she’s 55) lass  thereof; we’re off to a bar called Velachi’s, and so to bed.

But I digress, before I even start!

This morning, and today’s topic… The Interment, of Mom and Dad; AKA “Margaret, the Queen Mother” and “Perky Perry”, to use my late, lamented brother’s mischievous, and utterly apt, nicknames for them…

Intended to do a blog posting about it a bit sooner, it’s now almost a week ago… my Bro-in-law Pavel Chekov, his children Lydia and Gallant, my cousins Lennie Bruce and Grace Slick, and myself in attendance.. and our soon-to-retire Rector, Rev.’d Brian Cohen…

And of course we intended to lay them to rest a lot sooner too, considering Perky kicked the bucket and rung down the curtain November 2008, and Margaret shuffled off the mortal coil and joined the bleeding choir invisibule October 2010… Lotta stuff’s happened in our family, Gentle Readers…

Marg and Perky’s absolutely last Hurrah…

Well, on this sphere, at least. Hopefully they’re not on the 5th circle of Hell drinking rancid Red Rose Tea with sour milk and no sugar for all eternity, or something equally appropriate…

OOOPS!! I didn’t really write that, did I, Gentle Readers?

Oh dear… I guess I must have done…

Off to Saint Victor and an Angel at the corner of Spring Garden and Cobequid Roads and Pavel and Chillun’s met us there, I got my copy of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists back that I’d loaned him; I gave Lydia her mother Luthian’s high-school year book and last picture I’m aware of, of her first real boyfriend, and gave Gallant, his grandfather Perky’s beer stein; bit young for beer yet at 12, but still, never too early to get into the family tradition of mindless alcoholism; I started to do a video of Pavel pontificating at the graveside, Rev’d Cohen told me not to, and I said “I’m sorry” and put it away, and we got on with the festivities… He read some prayers; after remarking ““If I used anything other than The Book of Common Prayer Perry and Rosemary will haunt me for the rest of my life!”

He read Psalm 121:

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills: / O whence cometh my help?
My help cometh even from the Lord, / who hath made heaven and earth.”

Yada, yada / Yada, yada…

Sorry, Gentle Readers, but the prospect of divine intervention doesn’t exactly keep me awake at night, shivering with anticipation.

Alas that he had to resort to The Book of Alternative Services for most of it! Archbishop Cranmer neglected to write a section in the prayer book for cremations, the practice at the time frequently being to cremate people before they were actually dead, the good Archbishop among them. Hopefully the sepulchral noses of Marg and Perky’s ghosts won’t be too out of joint in consequence and Rev’d Cohen can enjoy his upcoming retirement without too many knockings and bangings and issuance of ectoplasm.

And he handed me the shovel, and I tossed in a couple of spadefuls, I gave it to Pavel, ditto, who gave it over to Lennie who gave it to Grace … we all had a turn or two, even Gallant and Lydia, dumping a mixture of what suspiciously looked like cement binder (yer in there, goddamit, yer stayin’ in there!! ), into the tiny grave designed for cremations, made out of a chimney liner…

The toast. It was my idea. I fess up.

Bristol Cream all round, it being Margaret’s tipple of choice; we all had a sip as I said: “To Marg and Perky — Oh, alright! To Rosemary and Perry!” and noticed that other than a sip, of the blood-red, syrupy, sugary concoction, no-one drank much of the Bristol Cream, except for Yours Truly and Rev’d Cohen — not even Lennie:

“You know liquor’s bad if I won’t drink it!” he snickered at lunch afterwards.

I gave the bottle, still 2/3rds full, to Rev’d Cohen as a sort-of a “thank you” for services rendered, apparently his wife covets the leprous distillment.

But it was agreed by all that the toast at the graveside was a Good Idea. Nice to know I have them occasionally, but I resisted the temptation to pass around half-tablets of Gravol™ on a little silver tray to anyone who wanted one, Gravol™ being Margaret’s recreational pharmaceutical of choice. (I rediscovered why recently, after taking one for nausea in the morning: 6 and a half hours of oblivion almost immediately ensued…  a most desirable state when Perky was at full throttle, as he usually was…)

…Pavel made some indelicate remarks about the 45-gallon drums of it in her possession…

No headstone. I suggested we get one in the shape of a La-Z-Boy, and was about to embark on a description of Paul Vincent’s interment plan for Marg and Perky… Rev’d Cohen/Pavel/Lydia/Gallant demanded I stop… no sense of Ha-ha. None.

But they’re not here now, and here is Paul’s plan, the sick little devil:

To take them to a taxidermist, have them stuffed and mounted on their La-Z-Boy chairs, with little cassette recorders underneath, playing their most archetypical phrases, forever and amen:

Perky: ” Oh, Jesus, JESUS, JESUS!!! “
Margaret: “Oh, Johnnie, Dear….”

As we were leaving for lunch I saw Lydia already looking at Luthian’s yearbook…

“Was Mom’s nickname in high school really “Turtlefur”? she demanded of me at lunch afterwards…

And over lunch (Lydia wanted Murchie’s, Lennie put his foot down and we wound up at Earl’s, I could see one of his reasons for preference (aside from sitting down to a proper table and real food) was the scantily-clad waitresses in mini-skirts barely covering their bum cheeks; we went to the can together, as we peed, Lennie remarked “it’s the end of an era”…

Yeah… that’s certainly true… Pavel opined that, the toast being done and the battery acid dispensed, one thing we can all look forward to, is never having to drink Bristol Cream, ever again!

Except, I remember, in May of 2005, after 2 years of Hell in Fort McMurray, sitting on Marg and Perky’s back deck, eating beef steak pudding and eating strawberry and rhubarb pie, and, yes, drinking Bristol Cream…

It was paradise…

And eventually lunch was done, about 2:30 – 2:40ish, and Pavel and chilluns went home via the Coquihalla, hugs from the latter to Lennie and Grace.. but not me… and off we all went. Lennie and Grace dropped me off, and off they went, to the other ferry, and I lay down for a few minutes to recharge..

And off for my lovely first date courtesy of “Plenty of Phreaks”

Requiescite in pace, Mom and Dad.


Posted June 7, 2012 by Capt. Roy Harkness in Uncategorized

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