Who’s Who / Who Done It?

March15/ 2010

A “attend a funeral” decision should always be “Yes, do it.”  Funerals are a final public statement of the guest of honor’s mortal marathon .…..  Approaching my own inevitable conclusion, can I improve upon my plan for a Viking funeral in a flaming dragon ship? Governor Dumplin’, BobLee and Kathy Taft were together in Greenville on Saturday last.

Before discussing my friend’s funeral, lets update the dead career of a most deserving “journo-terrorist”.   The following UPDATE has been added to the Duke Lacrosse retrospective.  Primary Duke Lacrosse co-conspirator Linda Williams is going, going ….. almost gone.

NOTE:  With The N&O’s steadily declining readership and advertising revenue,  Linda Williams has been DEMOTED to part-time status.  She was allowed to keep her title as Sr News Editor for reasons that make absolutely no sense.  UNLESS one understands the Affirmative Action-obsessed nature of N&O management.  These days she is reduced to “just helping with the Sunday edition”.

…… Remember when “Milton” was laid off in Office Space ….. Was Linda also allowed to keep her stapler ?


As noted in Monday’s Deep Thought …..  Any should I should be answered Yes, I should.   Assuming the action being considered does NOT involve (1) Thai food …. or (2) a skanky trollop in a dimly-lit bar …. or (3) trying to beat a speeding locomotive across a railroad crossing.  I’m talking today about going to a funeral.   You SHOULD go to a funeral if it’s one you are considering attending.

Quote Yogi:  “If you don’t attend your friends’ funerals, don’t expect them to attend yours.”

I’m into my “Go to funerals” life stage.  Not to be confused with my “Be a groomsman” stage ….. “Buy a baby gift” stage or “Sorry to hear about your divorce ….. he/she was a jerk but I didn’t think it my place to tell you” stage.  Who knew there were so many stages?

About a year ago I was funeralizing so often I had trouble keeping my “somber grey funeral suit” cleaned?  My mom remarked in her late 80s that she had purchased a simple black dress some 20 years earlier.  Had she known she would wear it to so many funerals, she woulda bought a nicer dress.  Oddly, I purchased my current “funeral suit” to wear to my mom’s funeral.

My friend Kathy Arnold Taft’s funeral was Saturday in Greenville – at 3 PM and about 90 miles away.  My high school’s BB team was playing for the state championship in Raleigh also at 3 PM.  The ACC semi-finals were on TV.  We had a dinner engagement at 6:30.   I tossed that all into my “Should I go” blender and pointed the F-150 towards Greenville.  …. never giving it a second thought.

Our former mega church has spawned a start-up.  As Tucker Baptists we follow Leakin’ Leon Tucker wherever he goes.   “Formal” at Tucker Tabernacle & Bagel Bar = wearing long pants.  “Very Formal” = wear socks too.  We don’t pass around snakes, eat clay or sacrifice virgins but we do joke about doing those things some day. …. Kathy’s service was in a very traditional Episcopal church.

Recalling the formal order of a “high church service” this Episcopal Funeral Mass was interesting.   Speaking of “interesting” there was a videographer on hand.  No, it was not Rielle Hunter. (YES, I’ve read that Rielle Hunter interview on GQ! …. later)

I arrived 45 minutes early hoping to run into some homeys.  Kathy and my hometown being just 25 miles away.  Walking thru the parking lot I chance encountered a TV videographer.  She was pretty.  I was polite.  She was sad.  She was getting “media scorn” from other attendees.  She needed B-roll.  I obliged with 30 seconds of boffo comments which old friends Ann & John at Emerald Isle actually saw at 7:15 AM Sunday.  Small world, huh.

This occasion did indeed bring out a Who’s Who of NC General Assembly windbags and toadies.  Kathy was a longtime political activist as you may recall.  At one point, …..

“…. there were so many prominent politicians standing around, I thought I was in the exercise yard at the Federal Penitentiary at Butner .”   

   …. that many dark-suited criminals haven’t gathered in a church since “the christening scene” in Godfather. ”

Governor (& Mr) Dumplin’ was the primo pol present.  The Gores, Clintons, Hunts, Easleys and Obamas having made their own “Should I go” choices.   The #1 Evil Political Puppetmaster in NC is Marc Basnight (aka The Duke of Dare).  Media reports had Marc on-site but only three people have a clue what this malevolent scoundrel looks like, I cannot confirm nor deny.  There were aplenty of shifty-eyed scoundrely types milling around.

I was not on the VIP list !!  An oversight I chose to over look.  Ergo I was relegated to the chapel video room rather than the main sanctuary.   Neither area was catered so it wasn’t like I missed out on shrimp and had to settle for peanuts.  This being my first “murder funeral” I can’t say if chapel video rooms are standard or not.  The screen was quite large and I had a good viewing angle.

I found two she-homeys and sat with them.  In the post-service stand-around I found three others.  Not a big hometown turnout.  There had been “a viewing” the night before so maybe others came then.  A “viewing” for someone who would ultimately be cremated seemed a bit strange ….. but a guy planning a Viking Funeral cannot be too critical of others, can I?

     Episcopalians have been called “Catholics Without A Pope” which seemed to fit.  The preaching team was a dozen folks in white robes.  My first thought was “an SNL skit of Liberals’ version of a RNC rally”.   “People in white robes ….” Get it?   Moving right along.  One of the robed people was “a midget in a motorized wheelchair”.  I texted Kid as we always alert each other to midget sightings.  The motorized midget did the closing prayer and did it very well.

There was “communion” but no offering taken.   I inquired “why no offering?”.  I was told that “With so many politicians on-hand we knew their contributions would be minimal at best.  There was concern one of’em might steal the offering plate. “  That “money line” justified my earlier decision to attend.

The service was very nice.  Kathy’s daughter told a wonderful story about her mom and a Subway deli that I plan to steal.  I stopped at a Bojangles in Bailey for an iced tea and made it back home in time for that 6:30 dinner.

WHOA !….. wait a gosh darn minute BobLee.  Any hot leads on “Who Done It?”   OH SURE! Of the 400+ in attendance I overheard at least 316 “theories”.

There’s the ex-boyfriend ….. the ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend ….. one of the three ex-husbands ….. a hit man ….. Derm gangbangers ….. Linda Williams (why not?) ….. Coach K (why not?) ….. Lee Fowler (!) ….. Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick ……. The usual ethno melange of Negroes, Mexicans, Lesbians, Russian Mob, “rich white boys”, & Johnston County people …..

…. and the N&O’s favorite “perps” for any occasion – either Art Pope or someone connected to Jesse Helms’ old organization.

Remember:  When you think you SHOULD ….. you’re probably right.   The reverse is also true in Life.  When you think you SHOULDN’T ….. you’re probably right then too.

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