I swear on my life – which I value greatly – the article which is the subject of this story was genuinely in our local press a while back. I simply could not pass up a chance like this.
I almost fell off my chair when I read a headline in the Lifestyle section of the English-language edition of our local Spanish newspaper –
“The Malaga English cemetery is making friends and entertaining people.”
This was a ‘must read’ if ever I saw one.
“The foundation which took over the running of the cemetery two years ago reported that the burial ground was enjoying a surge of popularity.”
What??? To quote my dear, appropriately departed, Dad, “the mind boggles.”
I can just picture it. A horde of little old ladies and gentlemen, on hearing that the cemetery was “the place to be” go dashing through the wrought-iron gates, anticipating an exciting game of bingo or sing-along, and instead they trip over the cunningly positioned ‘Welcome to the Cemetery’ sign and WHAM. Before you know it, there’s a whole heap of people just dying to get in.
But these people are deadly serious. You can’t make this sort of stuff up.
The article advises there are “almost 2300 ‘friends’ of this cemetery – and the number is growing daily.”
No shit! Is someone scattering organic fertiliser over the graves? It certainly sounds like a load of manure to me.
Apparently, members of this Association are entitled to discounts at concerts and other functions held at the cemetery. Does every body get 10% off? Would you get a double discount for a family crypt?
Can you imagine the music they’d play at these concerts?
Knocking on Heaven’s Door
Live or Let Die
Don’t Fear the Reaper
Bat out of Hell
Three Steps to Heaven
Spirit in the Sky
I Ain’t Got No Body
Sympathy for the Devil
And what about all the poor souls who want to get in there for legitimate reasons – like, those who got dead somewhere else first? Is there enough space for them? Do they have to wait in a different queue like at the airport? If they were stuck in the queue for a long time (like at Passport Control!) they’d start to smell pretty rank in no time at all, especially in the heat of a Spanish summer I can tell you.
According to the report, Friends of the Cemetery also do “Lantern lit nocturnal tours of the cemetery, to coincide with a full moon”. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear they have Count Dracula and Frankenstein as guest speakers on a good night. Given the potential for werewolves, these tours must be a howling success.
I told a friend about it and asked if he knew where the cemetery was. He said,
“Yeah, it’s in the dead centre of town. They reckon it’s a pretty cool place to be. But apparently the functions at the crematorium are even better. I’ve heard the chicks are dead hot there. I think I’ll instigate a Friends of the Crematorium? A hot idea like that would certainly deter grave robbers.”
I warned him this was no joke, and could soon find him digging his own grave if someone ‘on the other side’ heard him making such flippant remarks.
Then, of course, there are the “Interesting Talks”. The subject matter must be riveting.
“Everyman’s Guide to Embalming”
“Do-It-Yourself Casket Making”
“Grave Digging Workout Routines”
“Headstone Engraving Made Easy”
I mean, what else could they possibly talk about sitting around in the middle of a cemetery?
And do they hold Séances?
“Is there anyone out there called John? If so please knock three times on the ceiling.”
It must be like a bloody earthquake when all those Englishmen start rapping on their coffin lids.
No thank you very much. A glass of vino in front of the telly is more my style. You won’t catch me joining ‘Friends of the English Cemetery’.
“Not over my dead body, you won’t”, as a true Burtonian would say.
Innovative suggestions for the enhancement of my report will be read with interest. And all reviews/comments will be gratefully received. AP