Tuesday, April 11, 2006

'It's summer & we're runnin' out of ice'

Pity the poor beleaguered Irish. No longer able to light up over their pints, courtesy of EU's Nanny Government, now the European Union is telling the lads that they'll have to eliminate or at least cut short the wakes for their loved ones.
The Irish custom that sees corpses kept in an open coffin so the deceased can be viewed during the wake has been endangered by an edict issued by Stavros Dimas, the EU environment commissioner.

He wants chemicals used by embalmers to preserve the cadaver withdrawn under a new biocides directive.

Such a move would see the end of the age-old ritual of "laying out" the body while games are played and food and drink are consumed to the accompaniment of dancing and fiddle music. ...

The directive, which would come into effect in September, aims to withdraw embalming ingredients such as formaldehyde, which are capable of destroying living organisms.

Captain Ed thinks the EU is missing the point. We think the EU is purposely missing the point to make another point. We're just not quite sure what it is. Perhaps someone is thinking ahead to the time when the new rulers of the continent will want a lot of decay among the dead quickly. Perhaps it's a slap at Catholic funeral rituals: after all, there are prayers and beads involved in these prolonged wakes.

The Anchoress laments the lack of moxie in the Irish response:

What has happened to my people?

If they take this new edict lying down, I just don’t know what I’ll do. An Irish wake without the body in full view?

It may be a reflection of the diminished faith of the Emerald Isles, sadly. Or perhaps the Irish, after years of bloody war against the British and the each other, are just tired of fighting the just, but lost, cause. Perhaps someone already tried to raise his clenched fist at the socialist masters of the EU and said, "You'll take away our wakes over my dead body!" and some scurvy little bureaucrat smiled and said, "That's the general idea."

There's an old-timey solution, of course.

Ice. Good for almost all seasons 'cept summer.

Which of course reminds us of Pore Jud Fry from "Oklahoma!" the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. His fantasy wake was curtailed too, as Curley explains:

"He looks like he's asleep, it's a shame that he won't keep. It's summer and we're runnin' out of ice."

Poor Judd.


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