John Gibson: Funerals can be dead funny now

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Dead and buried. This item possibly will see you, me or the reader next door six feet under before long but if it helps you pop your clogs with a smile on your face then my scribble has not been in vain.

The National Association of Funeral Directors (their annual dance must be a right old hoot) say most of us risk not having our final wishes met. Consequently, when a funeral has a Wild West theme some mourners turn up in Stetson and spurs and some need to be advised to tether their horse at the cemetery gate.

However, a company director’s request to be buried next to his favourite golf course is entirely credible. Golfers are nuts anyway.

Undertakers are a breed apart, they won’t deny. A new guide titled My Funeral Wishes, sponsored by the Dying Matters coalition and National Association of Funeral Directors, is advising people how to plan their funerals ‘‘down to the finest detail”.

A copy should be available at your nearest branch. And praise the Lord.

Only the lonely

How very true. Janet Street-Porter, pictured, is jawing in her column in a national paper about loneliness. There’s a lot of it about with our seriously ageing population and, dearest Janet, I’ve been there and burned shirts. Here I am in my own wee, itsy-bitsy patch in a splendidly isolated corner of the office and does anybody give a damn (the parallel with Clark Gable is understandable)? Granted, my colleagues are all younger. But you don’t even get the time of day from some of them. This is among the trends Janet S-P is harping about.

A national disgrace, the way once-great Britain treats its senior citizens. Look, I served in the Royal Air Force. My father took some shrapnel at the Somme. And my paternal grandad lugged a milk float up Leith Walk.

So can you spare a copper or a whoopee cushion for a lonely ex-serviceman, anybody?