“Stick me in a binbag and put me out with the rubbish.” We hear this sentiment voiced so often these days, it’s reached the status of both cultural indicator and cliché.
It is a very good way of aborting talk about death and its aftermath, and it is a gambit deployed almost exclusively by men.
Why do they say it? It’s not as if it is what they would do in the event of the death of one of their nearest and dearest. In fact, baggists are those most likely to beggar themselves for banks of flowers and a horse-drawn hearse for a beloved family member. I suspect that baggists are the biggest sentimentalists of them all.
Do they say it because they think it bigs them up in a blokeish way? Makes them look pragmatic, down-to-earth, no-nonsense? Unafraid?
Would a more perceptive reading deliver a verdict of unhelpful, unrealistic, silly? Or sulky, irresponsible, self-destructive? Men are prone to self-destruction. Their suicide rate is three times that of women. When they kill their own children, too, their suicides are characterised as much by vengeance as despair. Are the tendencies in any way related?
What’s the right way to respond to baggists? Kindly indulgence or tart rebuke?
Samaritans suicide statistics report 2012 – very interesting reading – here.