afterlife is communist. Not a state, or anything like
that (in fact it's surprisingly tidy, given the natural
human predilection for comfortable surroundings),
but a land of egalitarian lolling. Obviously, it makes
no sense for avarice or ownership of property to exist
when existence is no more.
jealousies, however, still abound. These are often
occasioned by those envious of the more mourned and
more fondly remembered. Considering spirits become
more revived when recalled in bereaved friends and
relatives' memories, this is not surprising. Most
ghosts are glad of the chance to flex a little bit
of corporeal muscle occasionally. It means they can
mingle unseen but observant among the living.
biggest opportunity to do this for the majority of
the afterlife's inhabitants is at their own funerals.
Inevitably, once the mourners have dispersed and the
ghost's shimmering presence decreases, the bars of
the after life begin to fill with the recently departed
regaling all and, indeed, sundry, with stories of
attendances and volume of tears shed. Once the new
arrivals' predictable conversations and rivalries
wane, though, it's not long before the workaday business
of being dead takes over and harmony, on the whole,
Nowhere in the city of the dead would you expect to
find more harmony than in Memory Lane. Here, lost
souls moon around, drifting in and out of earthly
presence while loved ones alternatively bring them
to mind or periodically forget them while eating biscuits
or watching TV. Lech Lutha, along with several other
old Leithers, was there frequently these days, thanks
to Jessie Kelso's increasing nostalgic nose dives.
was as he sat in the Dead Lion that rumours of a murder
in Memory Lane began to filter through.
'Murder?' said Lech to whoever was in earshot.
'Surely this is impossible?'
would think so,' said President John F. Kennedy (constantly
being remembered thanks to everyone banging on about
remembering where they were the day he was assassinated).
'But it is not unknown. Being murdered here means
you end up back on Earth as a mayfly or something,
so it's not long till you're back again. It's all
a bit pointless really.'
who vos murdered?' asked Lech.
no idea,' said the president. 'But I have heard there
has been some unrest at the sixties hippies' reservation
down the road.'
they have these constant arguments about being remembered
because, apparently, if you can remember the sixties
you weren't really there…'
yes. I hear this ridiculous saying many times. Marijuana
Bores, she tell me over and over…'
'Exactly. Anway, I overheard somewhere that someone's
murdered a hippy.'
maybe that was it.'
Week: Beyoncé was my fiancée