The month of March has officially begun today. For all of my life until the year 2020, the month of March was my favorite month of all. At least in the top 3. I am a huge lover of St. Patrick’s Day. Huge. It is/was my favorite holiday. However…last year the month of March was the last month of my mothers life. And just like that, it was no longer in my top 3.
That being said, I just finished reading a book that stated we need to laugh NO LESS than 30 times a day. This came as quite the shock since I am confident that for a very long time now I have not managed to laugh even HALF of that amount. How pathetic and sad is that? But seriously, there is not much humor out there right now. In fact, we went to the comedy section of Netflix to watch something to help remedy this yesterday, only to have it play Kodachrome, which was in no way shape or form funny on any level. Fantastic movie, nothing funny about it though.
This brings me to my point. In an effort to again, remedy that sad state of affairs my laughing situation is in I thought I would go back and find some really great stories involving my Mom that will make you laugh. Make ME laugh actually. And the first one that came to mine was in regards to my niece Bella’s guinea pig. This story originally appeared in my first blog (Totally In A Tiff-dated August 23rd, 2011)
If you can read this without laughing, you too need to seek serious help with your LPD (laughs per day) as well. This picture is not of that night, but one where my Sister and I were laughing as hard as I was laughing that night. (Kindly disregard the gentleman in the back who clearly needs to improve his LPD’s as well.)
Jasper was Belle’s friendly Guinea Pig. Jasper died of Cancer. Shocker. Like we didn’t have enough of that in our lives with humans. I am not sure how Sister knew he had Cancer, she can’t remember. She claims she took him to a vet, and he had an impacted bowel or something. She can’t remember what she had for breakfast so I don’t know how reliable these facts are.
Truth is we don’t really remember when she got Jasper, or how long he lived or what year he passed. I was back from Minnesota, so some time after 2002.
Bella wanted a pet so bad. Anything. Really she wanted a dog, but she would take a hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, whatever. Her Dad told her she could have a guinea pig but the first minute the house smelled like his cage, he was gone. She promised she would take care of it. She, as she would prove later in life as well, stuck to her word and religiously took care of this thing. This guinea pig had the cleanest cage in the tri state area.
Jasper became Bella’s best friend. She confided in him. He never talked back. She could tell him all of her troubles and secrets and he wouldn’t judge her. They were pretty tight.
When Jasper got sick, it was a very tense two weeks around the Compound. The Compound is what we call where we live, because we all live practically on top of each other. My Brother lives up the street two blocks, my grandparents live across the street, my Aunt Joyce (my dad’s sister) lives right next door. Down the hill from her is her son Neil, my cousin, and in front of Neil’s house is my Sister. There are a few people who aren’t “family” scattered in there. I am not totally sure how that happened…but anyway…the Compound was electric with the news that Jasper was not doing well.
For two weeks Bella was a mess. I guess it was a blessing that Bella had a heads up because when he did actually pass, she was only slightly prepared, but completely devastated.
Two problems. Her Dad was still at work. My Dad was still in the field. It was fall, harvest time. That left Ethan to prepare a burial spot for Jasper. She wanted him buried out by the Apple tree I believe. Some fruit tree, or maybe it’s not a fruit tree at all, it’s behind the house for the love.
It’s dusk and my mom comes to my room and says “get dressed, it’s time.” “Time for what? Good lord it is almost dark and I am in my jammies.” “Jasper didn’t make it. We are having his funeral now. Your Dad probably won’t make it in time. Bella is a mess and we have to be there for her.”
Oh dear God is she serious? Are we getting dressed to go out in the freezing cold to go to a funeral for a guinea pig at dark? Yes, yes we are. And I start laughing. Laughing so hard I am crying. I am trying to convince Mom she has finally gone off the deep end, she is yelling at me to hurry up.
What I am about to tell you is as surreal to say today as it was to experience way back then.
We arrive at the Boyers just in time to be asked if we want to include any special memento in his casket, (shoe box.) Oh my hell, they have all lost their minds. A memento? I never spent a “momento” with this thing, I sure as hell don’t have something to put in his box to remember me by.
My Mom says, “Belle what do you have so far?” Well, she had his water bottle, his food dish, his log house, something to wrap him in and her school picture. I do not recall what Dee Dee put in because I was too busy feeling like I had entered the twilight zone. Ethan said “I am putting in a chunk of apple, he loved apples” and Mom, like she was the only one with the brilliant idea, screams “CARROT!!! Put him in a carrot, he loves those!”
The procession proceeded out the back door to the burial site that Ethan was so kind to prepare just minutes before our arrival.
What happened next I am sure will be discussed at my judgment day, but I couldn’t help it.
Mom says, “Everyone hold hands. It will also help with the cold.” Are you serious right now with this nonsense?
Dee Dee says, “Would anyone like to offer up some words of love for Jasper.” I start laughing…get an elbow to the gut from mom. I am sure Bella said something to the effect of I love and miss you Jasper, you were my best friend, I can’t believe you are gone. Dee Dee’s went something like we will miss you Jasper, have fun with your other guinea pig friends in heaven. Mom’s was to the degree of her being so glad he was no longer suffering. How much more at peace he would be.
We get to Ethan. And I swear straight out of National Lampoons Vacation came his eulogy.
Clark Griswald delivering Aunt Edna’s eulogy: O God, ease our suffering in this, our moment of great despair. Yea, admit this kind and decent woman into thy arms of thine heavenly area, up there. And Moab, he lay us upon the band of the Canaanites, and yea, though the Hindus speak of karma, I implore you: give her a break.
Ethan Boyer delivering Jasper’s eulogy: “Dear God, he was a good pig. The best really. Couldn’t ask for a better guinea pig. Jasper, give our love to the sweet baby Jesus and Grandma Rosie when you get to Heaven. I hope they have lots of apples in Heaven. Mom piping in, “and carrots, don’t forget carrots.” “Yes apples and carrots, he loved them both, but apples more.” Take care Jasper as you travel to where all the pets go and find Belle a new best friend. Please. Amen.”
Dee Dee says, “Tiff, would you like to say anything?” At this point, I lost it. I had held it in the entire time and was literally about ready to pee my pants, in fact, I think I did. I am talking doubled over, gut wrenching laughing and everyone is screaming at me to be more aware of Belle’s time of need and not to make light of the situation, this is not a laughing matter. Quite possibly the hardest I have ever laughed in my life. I cannot write this right now without literally laughing myself to tears.
We have flashlights…it is dark…it is cold…we are burying a guinea pig and they asked Clark Griswald to reside over the funeral services? I think I have officially deemed my family as certifiable at this point. Who does this? To make matters worse we are still holding hands and my mother asks us to recite the Lord’s Prayer. And. We do.
I was asked to leave promptly after the services and not to stay for the light menu that was being served.
Cheese, crackers, apples and carrots.
I was also never asked to attend another Boyer pet funeral again.
The following was an addendum added the day after the original post.
It was brought to my attention late last evening, once Bella had a chance to read it, that I only forgot one really key, but yet hysterical, fact in the story of Jasper and his services.
Bella missed his death, meaning she wasn’t present for it. Her mother forced her (and this I believe) to serve pizza at the Maquon Methodist Church for the Halloween party. She thinks she was in the 5th grade. There is a lot of irony in that she was serving the Lord, while Jasper was heading to him. This however, still angers Bella, as she should have been there. And frankly, after the ordeal we went through to send him off, yes she should have been there when he went into the other world.
This also explains why Mom was so excited to leave the house. She hated Halloween, not when we were little, but we never had any trick or treaters and she would much rather shut the porch light off and sit in her bed and inhale ice cream cones. This gave us a reason to shut the light off and leave.
I think that sums it up. R.I.P. Jasper, I hope your little log home is still doing well.
P.S. Dee Dee brought carrots to work today.
2 thoughts on “The Rita Jane Humor Anthology Part 1”
I laughed and cried and still keep Rita Jane in my thoughts.
OmG! Tiffany D. Buckman that is such a hoot! If life coaching doesn’t work out (and I know it will) you could be come the Erma Bombeck or Garrison Keillor of Knox Couny! Love ya Tiff! 6/8 Rules!!!