Friday, November 17, 2006

Grave Matters

Sometimes an image gives me subject matter for blogging. In this case, it's a grave matter.

Cast a cold Eye
On Life, on Death.
Horseman, pass by.
William Butler Yeats
(Drumcliffe Cemetery; County Sligo, Ireland)

I checked out a site called Brain Candy and of course Wikipedia and found out a few fascinating things.

An epitaph (ἐπιτάφιος literally: "on the gravestone" in ancient Greek) is text on a tombstone or plaque honoring the dead. Many epitaphs are aphorisms. (Yes, you can see it coming: laughorisms will be invited by dear readers.)

Here's my own select sampling of some notable epitaphs:

Hodie mihi, cras tibi
— Famous Latin epitaph: mine today, yours tomorrow

Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo
— Famous Latin epitaph: I was not, I was, I am not, I do not care

Don't Try
— Poet Charles Bukowski

Dorothy Parker suggested "Excuse My Dust," but they ended up putting that and more on her grave.

I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.(translated)
— Nikos Kazantzakis [in high school, one of my fave writers]

Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite
— Spike Milligan, translation: "I told you I was ill"

— Ludolph van Ceulen, who computed π (pi) to 35 digits.

Finally I am becoming stupider no more
— Paul Erdos, Hungarian mathematician.

"That's All Folks!"
The Man of a Thousand Voices
Mel Blanc
(Hollywood Memorial Park; Hollywood, California)

She did it the hard way.
Bette Davis
(Forest Lawn; Hollywood Hills, California)

Called Back
Emily Dickinson
(West Cemetery; Amherst, Massachusetts)
{self written}

I had A Lover's Quarrel With The World
Robert Lee Frost
(Old Bennington Cemetery, Bennington, Vermont)

Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted.
Sylvia Plath Hughes
(Heptonstall Churchyard;Heponstall; Yorkshire, United Kingdom)

Carl Jung
(Flutern Cemetery; Fluntern (Zurich), Switzerland)
{Invoked or not invoked, the god is present.}

The Stone the Builders Rejected
Jack London
(Jack London State Historic Park; Glen Ellen, California)

Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime
Dean Martin
(Westwood Memorial Cemetery, Los Angeles, California)

Against you I will fling myself,
unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!
Virginia Woolf
(Monk's House, Rodmell, Sussex, England)

Here I Done Lay, Or Is That Lie?
George W. Bush

I Blew It.
Monica Lewinsky

I Did It.
O.J. Simpson

Okay. That's your cue.

Give us some epitaphs, preferably funny. Epitaphs for yourself or someone famous, as in the last three.

Laugh. Or...


sammyray said...

I always wanted to have a stone bench for a grave marker, and upon it the inscription: "Take a load off. I did."

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Good one. Put it in your will.

Crankster said...

I just remember Oscar Wilde's last words:

"Either this wallpaper goes or I do."

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Is that apocraphal [sp], or true? either way, sounds right.

Anonymous said...

Crikey! That stung!
Steve Irwin

I rolled in poo just one too many times.
Bistro (my dog)

Anonymous said...

Hunter's epitaph...

Deer don't wear Blaze Orange.

Redneck epitaph....

You held my beer and watched, can I have it back now?

Later Y'all

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Ouch and phew!

Welcome back (not from the grave). Great stuff -- as good as Jeff Foxworthy.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I was on cruise control.

Katie Holmes

One swallow doth not a blowjob make.

Monica Lewinsky (again)

Khalllifawnia vas shtoopid unt I bought der pressidency vile in der governor chob. I'll be bock.

Arnold Schwartzenegger

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

I esp. liked the Arnold one.

Glamourpuss said...

have always loved Spike's epitaph...

My own?
'She came, she saw, she vamped.'

Or possibly more accurately,

'She came, she vamped, they came.'

Glamourpuss said...

Oh, and the Dubya epitaph should read 'laye', as in 'potatoe'...


Anonymous said...

haha these are so funny!

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Um, could you put that in Latin, for posterity's sake? Other than that, all I have to say is, 'Gulp!' (Oh. Right. That's Monica's line.)
C'mon. Jump into the pool!


Anonymous said...

Here are a couple I like:

On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia

Here lies
Ezekial Aikle
Age 102
The Good
Die Young.

In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery

The children of Israel wanted bread
And the Lord sent them manna,
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.

Anonymous said...

Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona

He was young
He was fair
But the Injuns
Raised his hair

Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona

Here lays Butch.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw.

thanks for the laughs today!

the laughorist said...

Joe and AZG,
These are so excellent! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to stop by and say Happy Thanksgiving!

And, end the war in Iraq before Christmas!

Treat me like weed, roll me and set me ablaze...

the laughorist said...

Likewise good wishes to you too. Yes, we need an epitaph for a war. Yes, indeed.

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