The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 October 2007

The art of the post-mortem interview

Michele has questions to ask the dead, and she doesn't expect to get answers:

See, here is what I always wondered about [John] Edward and others who claim to speak to the dead: Why aren't they telling us anything important?

Why waste time talking about Aunt Maude's garden when there are so many other things to be learned from the dead? Surely, just one of those spirits that has been contacted is dying, pardon the pun, to tell us something about the afterlife.

Not that anyone would dare ask:

Now wait just a minute, John Edward. Here's what I want to know, not what you want to tell me.

And I would ask grandpa about the mysteries of life. What happens when you die? Is there real life out there? Is there a heaven? A hell? Purgatory? Was there a God waiting for you? If so, which god was it? Greek? Jewish? Was it Buddha? Or is it the Catholic god? Do you get to see people who are still alive? Do you spy on us? Was that you at grandma's funeral who knocked down the flowers?

And thus, grandpa would solve everything. He would tell us which god, if any, was the ruler of the afterlife. He would tell us what death is like. Why don't the dead on Edward's show ever say anything like that? Why has not one relative of the called-upon deceased ever thought to ask "Did it hurt to die? Was Aunt Maude waiting for you? Can you see us all the time? Do you watch us masturbate? IS THERE A GOD?" Not one person has ever asked a question like that. One might think they were led by the producers of the show as to what questions to ask.

I've not made a habit of watching this particular spectacle, but I've always wondered why no one ever seems to come up with something as simple as "What was the combination to the safety-deposit box?"

George Carlin once suggested that if you really wanted to test a faith healer, you should ask him for a smaller shoe size. And me, I'm ready to entertain questions from the dead: say, Will Rogers asking "What were you thinking, naming an airport after me?"

Posted at 7:00 AM to Almost Yogurt


Well, South Park pretty well covered the John Edwards thing.

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at 8:39 AM on 14 October 2007

Thing is, the first thing that happens when you get to the Afterlife Processing Center is, they have you sign a detailed Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Violators go to hell, where the calls from the beforelife end up dealing with a voice-recognition menu tree that never takes "0" for a response.

Posted by: McGehee at 10:51 AM on 14 October 2007

The sort of people who go on John Edwards' show have already made up there mind about what the afterlife consists of (it's all peace and flowers and apparently God isn't important enough to be asked about). They merely want to affirm their beliefs, get some more faux-love-by-proxy (so much more comforting than real love or memories), and most important of all, to cry on television.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 10:55 AM on 14 October 2007

I like Andrea's answer. Snarky truth.

Posted by: michele at 12:30 PM on 14 October 2007

Wiley Post is asking the same question.

Posted by: Brett at 1:18 PM on 14 October 2007

I always thought it odd of Oklahoma that their two main airports (two only commercial airports, as far as I know) were named for guys who perished in plane crashes.

Is this a common airport-naming practice? I'm not being snarky, I'm just asking - I'm fearful enough of flying that I try to avoid it at all costs, and so have not been in many airports. (And no, it's not so much the flying per se; it's being smooshed in an aluminum tube with hundreds of other people I don't know and might want to get away from, but can't, not at least until the plane's touched down at its destination. Well, and crashing. Crashing is part of the fear.)

Posted by: fillyjonk at 3:01 PM on 14 October 2007

There is a third municipal airport in Oklahoma City, in Canadian County: Clarence E. Page Airport, once Cimarron Field. (Page had played a role in getting some WWII support located at the then-remote airfield.)

This is probably not the time to mention Amelia Earhart Lane, which runs between Meridian and Air Cargo Road, north of Will Rogers World Airport.

Posted by: CGHill at 3:10 PM on 14 October 2007

The idea of Amelia Earhart Luggage has always perplexed me.

Posted by: Michael Bates at 1:33 PM on 15 October 2007