I recently had to complete an exercise as part of my writing course. After imagining there was a fire in my house and thinking about what I would grab, after my son and my cat I would grab this………

It’s probably quite wrong to keep your father in a box, in your shed. But that’s what I do because “The Shed” is my workshop so I like to talk to him. The box is small and brown and contains his ashes. There might only be his cremated ears and cremated left leg in there or his elbows and knees. In fact how does any of us know it’s really our loved one? It might be the ashes from the morticians heavy smoking session for all we know! Made of polished wood, it’s very heavy and sits like a dignified object of antiquity, next to which I keep his favourite gold cufflinks and the last card he wrote me a year before he flew up into the clouds. Psychologically they all reek of cigarettes and he’s probably lighting up in there, watching me renovating furniture and laughing at my handiwork! At one time, I kept him in my office which was also the guest room so I could talk to him while at my desk. The ashes sit on a shelf opposite the bed. Ironically, my mother had to sleep in the guest room when she came to visit and my parents loathed each other. I just forgot to point it out and my mother never mentioned that having her dead ex husband watching her snore like an incinerator might be remotely uncomfortable. Anyway, here’s to you Pops!

It’s a bit dark isn’t it? Discussing my father’s cremated ears and elbows so matter of factly but that’s my humour and I’m sure my father would snigger and choke on his Dunhills too. 

Someone I know confided in me about the death of their parent. She said when her father died they had an open pyre for his cremation and her mother had to light it. They’d been divorced for 10 years and she said her father probably found it all very funny at the irony of his ex wife setting fire to him. I burst out laughing. Life is hilarious. 

“Turn me over, I’m done on this side!” – St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, to his murderers, while being burnt to death on a gridiron.

What’s your dark, controversial humour? What one sad thing makes you put a comical caustic spin on it now and then which no one understands? I’d love to hear……..

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