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Suffering sticker shock at a funeral

T. Gamble
Feature Columnist

T. Gamble Feature Columnist

As I have stated in previous articles, I grew up reading Dear Abby. There were a few certainties in our household when I was growing up. I was certain we would listen to Paul Harvey at noon and whatever he said was the gospel. Any John Wayne movie was four star and whatever advice Dear Abby gave was beyond reproach.

One of the more recent letters published in Dear Abby, however, caused me to spend much time in thought. I guess that could be considered a good thing considering most of the time my mind wanders around like a pinball machine. In this letter, a lady wrote that a close relative recently died. At the wake for this relative, her sister’s small child, about five years old, decided to place stickers on the head and arm of the displayed dead body. Yes, that’s right, the five year old child decided to adorn grandma like a NASCAR race car.

This woman’s sister appeared to be oblivious to the problem this might cause and even after the stickers were removed, the child’s mother allowed the child to return and place a few stickers back on the newly deceased. The sister, mother of the child, did not feel she had done anything wrong and protested when her sister complained that she did not have proper control of the child.

Well, my, my, my, how things have changed. She questions whether or not she had proper control of the child? If I had decided to adorn one of my dearly departed relatives with stickers, there would be no letter written to Dear Abby. There would simply have been another funeral with me as the guest of honor. I’m all for allowing children to express themselves, and to enjoy certain freedoms, but even I draw the line at placing stickers on Uncle Joe so that he looks like a two for one sale at Wal-mart.

As wrong as this situation may have been, it did make me think about the placement of stickers on the deceased. Perhaps, one could have a sticker placed that simply says “caution, keep refrigerated. Do not overheat.” Maybe that would help me on my day of arrival at the Pearly Gates. Or, maybe I could be adorned with Auburn football stickers to show my true team “spirit”. Only problem, I’m not sure that God is an Auburn Tiger fan but after last year’s season, I’m beginning to believe he at least has season tickets.

I guess I could be adorned with political stickers announcing my affection for Ronald Reagan, or my dislike of one candidate or another. Trouble is, I don’t know if God is a Democrat or a Republican. He could be a Republican since the streets are paved with gold. But, the Bible does say to enter heaven one must act like little children, soooo, could be a Democrat. What I am pretty sure of is that heaven doesn’t have a whole lot of lawyers, especially ones adorned with political stickers.

All in all, I guess things could be worse than stickered after death. The kid could have tattooed grandma, nose pierced her, or dyed her hair purple, assuming, of course, it wasn’t already purple. Heck, in today’s world, assuming she didn’t already have a tattoo or nose ring. Boy, its’ a pretty scary world when even Dear Abby is now too weird to read!

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.