Making the best

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From Being Dead Is No Excuse:

Southern women always want to look their best — even if they happen to be dead. Our local undertaker, Bubba Boone, understands this. We brag that Bubba can make you look better than a plastic surgeon can, though, unfortunately, you do have to be dead to avail yourself of his ministrations. He did an outstanding job on Sue Dell Potter, a retired waitress. Sue Dell expressed a strange desire to go into the ground looking exactly as she had in her long-past waitress days. We went to call on Sue Dell at the funeral home and — lo and behold — she sported a big, teased bouffant and, unless you’d known her back when she was waiting tables and flirting up a storm, you’d never have believed it was Sue Dell. But we feel certain that Sue Dell was smiling down from heaven (with her now fire-engine-red lips) and thanking Bubba for his excellent work. 

In the [Mississippi] Delta, we are blessed to have before us a fine example of helping the dead put their best foot forward without actually lying. We have been doing this for a long time. In 1905, Joshua Ridgeway was shot and killed in a bar-room brawl in front of the old Hotel Greenville. For his tombstone, the family selected “Blessed are the peacemakers”. It was an inspired choice. While it doesn’t actually deny that Mr Ridgeway died in a vicious gunfight, it does imply that he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and might even have been engaged, unsuccessfully, into trying to talk the others into laying down their arms. Of course, they would have known better to have fallen for that. 


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