4 hours ago
Friday, May 26, 2006
The Fat Controller has finally been collected. For those of you who have no idea what on earth I'm talking about, read this post. If you want to know who I'm talking about read this post. Now I have to warn those of you with a sensitive nature that this post may not be to your liking, however this is 'life' so get on with it. Yes I am a saint but that doesn't stop me from being a little irreverent, sometimes you have to give life a poke in the eye.
Mrs Beeton, (my mother in law), has not been coping too well since the Fat Controller departed. Not well at all. Understandable in the main as they were together for seventy years. Still it is hard to deal with an eighty five year old juvenile at times. Especially as she is hell bent on carrying on without the slightest acknowledgement that anyone other than herself has recently been bereaved.
Throughout their marriage and particularly in the later years the Fat Controller took charge of the finances, decisions and just about anything that carried any responsibility. Mrs Beeton on the other hand took care of the shopping list and cooking. However shopping was a joint affair as she never left the house without the Fat Controller, never!! She was completely dependent on him, she doesn't drive, she never had to make any decisions other than where to do the shopping or what to wear each day. The full extent of her dependence has only come to light in the aftermath of the Fat Controllers demise.
Caring for Mrs Beeton has, it has to be said, been a strain. She has substituted his Lordship and I for the Fat Controller. She refuses to make any decisions whatsoever, if pressed she simply looks the other way and changes the subject. I am the chauffeur, appointment maker, shopping companion and general dogsbody. His Lordship now commands the finances and official matters, that's because he's a man, and no he and I did not choose these roles, they have been bestowed by Mrs Beeton. Myself and the other family members are not permitted to take care of anything arriving in a brown envelope. We tried, when his Lordship was working away for a week, but she started to hide the mail only to produce it on his return. He has now resigned himself to this duty.
And so I return to my original statement, the Fat Controller has finally been collected. After much digressing. It has been almost three months, three months that he has been sitting on a shelf, I assume, at the funeral directors' waiting patiently for someone to collect him. The hold up has of course been Mrs Beeton, another decision discarded and blanked. Sorry I forgot to point out that it is his ashes that I am talking about, 'he' hasn't been sitting on a shelf for three months... ugh!! So taking matters into my own hands I decided it was time to go and get him.
With no direction from Mrs Beeton I decided the best thing would be to bring him back to our house and take it from there. Just one slight concern however, I wasn't sure how he would be 'packaged'. Ok so I don't have a great deal of experience in these matters. You see when the subject was raised whilst arranging the funeral, Mrs Beeton went into hysterics at the mention of ashes, urns etc, so the subject was put on hold... indefinitely. So it was with some trepidation that I arranged to have him dropped off at the Captain's house. Whilst waiting for him to arrive, my sister, the Captain and I were discussing the 'packaging' options. Wooden box! Plastic bag! I didn't fancy the idea of a plastic bag, but the Captain helpfully suggested tuppaware if that were the case. However on reflection we all agreed that it might not be the best solution. What with moves afoot soon and all the packing/unpacking confusion I may loose track of him, which could result in him being served up in a cake if he ends up in the wrong cupboard!
Our meanderings of the mind were cut short when the door bell rang. Standing on the doorstep 'hugging' the Fat Controller was the funeral director, he wouldn't have minded as the funeral director is actually a very nice young woman, and I was immediately relieved to note that he was not in a jiffy bag, or shrink wrapped. He was in a sturdy green plastic tub contained in a very nice purple velvet bag. Phew. The nice young funeral director carefully held onto him as she explained the options we had for what to do with him next.
"You could store him until Mrs Beeton is ready to join him,"
Hmm, a matching pair for the mantelpiece, I like symmetry.
"You can scatter him somewhere he liked, but you must get permission from the land owner first," I'm not sure that Morrisons supermarket would be too taken with us scattering him up the b.o.g.o.f.f. aisle.
"You can have him interred in a family burial plot, you'll need permission again and a certificate from the crematorium."
I discovered that's to prevent someone from burying naughty substances etc for later use. I don't think anyone would get very high snorting the Fat Controller though. Having once had a faceful of my friends late husband, it was a windy day but that's another story, it didn't do anything for me.
"You can of course bury him in your own garden, but if you move and someone else is living there it could be a bit disconcerting if they discover him in among the roses."
"One suggestion that a lot of people seem to like to do is to bury them in a large plant pot. Then you can take them with you wherever you go. Put a nice plant on top."
That sounds great, shove him in a nice big ornamental urn and plant him up with some nice crysanthes, or herbs, actually maybe not the herbs. When the time comes we could have a matching pair, one either side of the door!
Until that time however, as Mrs Beeton is not ready to make any decision on his future and she is definitely not ready to join him just yet, I will have to find an alternative to the above. So far he has made a wonderful hat stand, been used as added weight when gluing a drawer front back onto the drawer, weighted down the bin lid to stop the dogs rummaging and he makes a damn fine door stop to boot.