• Occasionally, people use their wills to express disappointment with a loved one — or with someone who ought to be a loved one. For example, in her will the late Sara Clarke, from Bournemouth, England, wrote this: “To my daughter, I leave £1 — for the kindness and love she has never shown me.” That is a recent example, but this kind of thing has been going on for a long time. The Earl of Stafford, in the late 1600s, wrote this in his will: “To the worst of women, Claude Charlotte de Grammont, unfortunately my wife, guilty as she is of all crimes, I leave five-and-forty brass halfpence, which will buy a pullet [a young hen] for her supper. A better gift than her father can make her; for I have known when having not the money, neither had he the credit for such a purchase; he being the worst of men, and his wife the worst of women in all debaucheries. Had I known their characters I had never married their daughter, and made myself unhappy.” Here is one more example, again from England: “To the perfetic [pathetic] woman what was once my wife I leave the sum of 1p [pence] which she can shove up her arse.”
• Rich Moore, a member of the Crimson River Quartet in Mission Viejo, California, says that this story is true: A southern gospel group was asked by a widow to sing her husband’s three favorite songs at his funeral; the songs were “In the Garden,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Jingle Bells.” The members of the group were understandably leery of singing “Jingle Bells” at a funeral, but they did sing it — at a much slower tempo than usual. After they had sung the song, the widow said that she now remembered her husband’s favorite song. It wasn’t “Jingle Bells” — it was “When They Ring Those Golden Bells.”
• In the old days, before modern medicine developed, people had lots of children because they expected some of the children to die. They were knowledgeable about death, having seen it so often, and so they accepted it. Artist Grandma Moses had 10 children, but five died at birth or soon after. One daughter, Anna, collapsed during a Christmas party at age 37, and died a few days afterward. Before dying, she promised her daughter a birthday party. Grandma Moses first gave a funeral for her daughter, then gave a birthday party for her granddaughter.
• John Weir was once inaccurately referred to as “the late John Weir” in the New York Native. Shortly afterward, he ran into a friend on the street, who was shocked to see that he was still alive. The friend asked him, “What are you doing on the planet? I thought you were dead.” Mr. Weir assured him that he was still alive, and the friend, who was burdened with too many things to do and not enough time to do them, complained without thinking, “Now I’ll have to put you back in my Rolodex.”
• In New England, a tourist saw an elderly man tending a ceremony. She asked him, “Do people often die in this town?” The elderly man gruffly replied, “No, they die only once.” Trying again, the tourist asked him, “Do a lot of people die in this town?” The elderly man gruffly replied, “Yes, all of them do.”
• Johnny Carson’s final show, “Funny Moments and a Final Farewell,” was shown on May 22, 1992. The final image shown as he walked off the set at the end of the show was a photograph of a sunset. It was taken by Rick Carson, his son, who had died in an automobile accident in 1991.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Buy