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Smoke Signals

8 January 2001
Dan's goin' to the chapel...

A man walks into a crematorium. Ouch. It was an iron crematorium,

Please sit

which probably wouldn't be a terribly good idea, all things considered, ceteris paribus and that, since an iron crematorium would heat up pretty quickly iron being a good conductor of heat, so things would get uncomfortable, and sitting would just make it worse and here's something else - when they said cardboard coffin, I'd sort of assumed that it would be your regular coffin, but made of a slightly more lightweight material - more environmentally friendly, sure, but essentially a black thing with a little bit of dignitas and when I arrive here's something that looks like it was last used to transport bottles of wine for fuck's sake it didn't even have that angular entasis, the outward swell to make a proper coffin shape, it was just rectangular

Please stand

and do they really burn the proper balls-out mahogany coffins, which just seems so unlikely - you spend a thousand pounds on something that exists for a couple of days, then gets burned I bet they tip the occupants out into a big heap, fry them and send the coffins back to the undertakers, bit of brass polish and you've got a sweet scam going on there probably hasn't been a coffin made new since 1970 except for accidental breakages I guess and those things are pretty sturdy, which makes it even less probable they aren't recycled but even if that's a reasonable idea save the planet and everything it's completely fucking unreasonable not to tell people you should at least have the right to choose new or used

Please sing

or paper or plastic and assuming they do keep cadaver and coffin together as the flames rise up then what you're getting in the antiseptic plastic urn is basically always going to be a good part wood or cardboard or glass if you're Sleeping Beauty and somebody gets a bit overenthusiastic they used to put bell pulls in crypts in case someone made a mistake but I never did find out where the bell rang - what if your family moved or what if it rang in the priest's house or the undertakers' offices and they just couldn't be bothered although on reflection it would probably be just outside the door which all sounds a little random for my tastes but then again would you rather be alive in a crypt or dead in a crypt you choose on the bright side no danger of that with cremation you either are or are not a pile of ash

Please sit

except that's not quite true though; there's no way in Hell they're going to do each one individually, surely - just pile them all up at the end of the day or whenever, stack them if they're still in coffins, and go Johnny go so when you scatter the ashes you're not actually scattering the loved one, or not just the loved one, anyway, you've got a whole bunch of granular hitchhikers, not to mention a couple of planks of coffin (arguably), all of which must make urns just party central

Please pray

then when you take into account the four feuding family tribes in here, all intend on scattering a portion of the one who fell down into fell or down or onto the sea or into someone's petrol tank you're looking at attenuated afterlife eternity heaven and hell scattered and spread into immortal fog age shall not wither them nor anything but severe gusts endanger not good not good at all, but maybe better than a decomposing body in the gilded city what's that Edward Bond play it'll come to me no hyperlinks in heaven or in crematoria although the cybercrematorium's a good idea whose time has come

Please leave

look into it sometime tomorrow maybe, now it's time to get a little rest; it's been an exhausting couple of days and everyone's tense.

Time to relax.

Just keep thinking.

As long as you're thinking, it isn't you. It can't be.

Keep thinking.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
30 October 2003. Dan writes: My only goal
9 October 2003. Dan writes: The Knot
18 September 2003. Dan writes: The Engelbart Elephant
28 August 2003. Dan writes: The Amity Index
7 August 2003. Dan writes: This Sporting Life
17 July 2003. Dan writes: Touch
26 June 2003. Dan writes: Metadata
5 June 2003. Dan writes: Street Mate
15 May 2003. Dan writes: Usher's Well
24 April 2003. Dan writes: Medicamenta
3 April 2003. Dan writes: Weapons of Mass Construction
13 March 2003. Dan writes: David Sneddon, Bukake Secret Agent
20 February 2003. Dan writes: Mary Sue
30 January 2003. Dan writes: Bait and Switch
9 January 2003. Dan writes: What Never Happened
19 December 2002. Dan writes: Sermon on the Mount the Face
28 November 2002. Dan writes: Ballroom Blitz
7 November 2002. Dan writes: The Photographer
17 October 2002. Dan writes: Diaphragmatic
26 September 2002. Dan writes: A life in the day
5 September 2002. Dan writes: Different Class
15 August 2002. Dan writes: Story and sequel
25 July 2002. Dan writes: Fellatious
4 July 2002. Dan writes: Skin Mag
10 June 2002. Dan writes: The Ibizan book of the Dead
16 May 2002. Dan writes: The Sissons Situation
22 April 2002. Dan writes: UpsideClown and Out in Hollywood
28 March 2002. Dan writes: Nereus' Daughters
4 March 2002. Dan writes: Diomedes
7 February 2002. Dan writes: Text Only
14 January 2002. Dan writes: Civil Engineering
20 December 2001. Dan writes: Nativity
26 November 2001. Dan writes: The Wedding Band
1 November 2001. Dan writes: what dreans mecum?
8 October 2001. Dan writes: Stop me if you've heard this one before
13 September 2001. Dan writes: Mother of the Muses
20 August 2001. Dan writes: I say I say I say
26 July 2001. Dan writes: Bigger, Better, Brother
2 July 2001. Dan writes: Hecatomb
7 June 2001. Dan writes: Dispassionate Leave
14 May 2001. Dan writes: Small Town Boy
19 April 2001. Dan writes: Maintaining the Driving Line
26 March 2001. Dan writes: Cut and Paste
1 March 2001. Dan writes: Redemption
5 February 2001. Dan writes: Blyton the Face of the Earth
8 January 2001. Dan writes: Smoke Signals
18 December 2000. Dan writes: The Loa Depths
23 November 2000. Dan writes: The Limits of Melissa Joan Hart
30 October 2000. Dan writes: Shiftwork
5 October 2000. Dan writes: Dawson
11 September 2000. Dan writes: Testing Times
17 August 2000. Dan writes: Onanova
3 July 2000. Dan writes: Roboto il Diavolo

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