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Fun With Gravestones and Tombstone Sayings: Kill Your Friends and Enemies
Fun With Tombstones
Most people, I think, have at some time contemplated their tombstone and attempted to write an epitaph that would somehow summarize their life. When it came to my attention that there was such a thing as tombstone generators (in an article by Ananta), I visited one and found myself playing happily for an hour, creating a variety of humorous tombstones. And then I began to make them for my friends, which was even more enjoyable because I was poking fun at them instead of me. Plus it showed how much I cared for them in life, to want to make them laugh in death.
And that got me to thinking about other ways the tombstone generator could be used. Could it be used for education? Could it be used for threats? Could it be used to frighten people? Could it be used to make children cry? Yes, my friends, it can. But before we get to the laughing, the threatening, the frightening, and the children crying, let us take a leisurely stroll through the graveyard of tombstone history.
Marking graves and commemorating the dead has existed for centuries. Originally, prehistoric man used stones on graves to keep animals from digging up the dead, but presumably they didn't list dates, names, or epitaphs, so little was their comprehension of time and poetry or even the ability to write (although I suppose it's possible a grieving family member may have scratched "ugg" into a stone).
As the concept of gravestones progressed, so too did the extravagance with which the dead were buried and memorialized. There were crypts, tombs, and mausoleums and often they would have writing or...you know...that Egyptian stuff, hieroglyphics. But for all its history, gravestones as we know them today have only existed for about 300 years.
The stele, as the upright stone or slab is called by archaeologists, is one of the oldest examples of funerary practice. Originally, the stone lid of a coffin or the coffin itself was called a tombstone, and the stone slab laid over a grave was a gravestone. Today the terms are all applied to markers placed at the head of the grave. Graves in the 1700's also had footstones to show the foot end of the grave and were rarely carved with more than the initials of the dead and year of death. Unfortunately, many cemeteries and churchyards have removed them to make it easier to cut the grass. In many UK cemeteries the primary or only marker is placed at the foot of the grave.
Graves and memorials are for mourning and remembrance. Since gravestones and plots cost money they are also a symbol of wealth or prominence (Ha, ha! I'm dead and I am still more important than you!). Some gravestones were even commissioned and erected to their own memory by people who were still living as a testament to their wealth and status, just in case nobody else felt so inclined.
So, here are some ways you can use a tombstone generator for the amusement of yourself and others or making children cry. (Ok, I'm kidding about the "making children cry" business...sort of.) It should be noted that the generators will only offer you one tombstone and you cannot put this many letters onto it but you'll get the gist of it and, if so inclined, can make your own as I have done.
There are many uses for the generator where children are concerned. Suppose your kid's goldfish or turtle dies. This often involves a burial in the backyard, so why not make a tombstone image, designed and produced by you and your child to keep as a remembrance? This will also give your tyke the opportunity to express their feelings of remorse. For an epitaph, they might come up with "Goldy was a goldyfish, jumped on the floor and he got squished," or " Timmy turtle, he is dead, now I get a hamster instead."
While the following is more for the parents benefit, it does involve the children. It might even make them cry. Are you tired of doing the Easter thing or paying for teeth that are going to grow back anyway? How about spending a fortune on Christmas presents? The solution is simple. Now you can kill off the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, and the godfather of the children's holiday mafia, Santa. In the photo at the right, you can see the actual devastating effects this can have on children, so it's practical and fun! Just imagine it: "You won't be getting any presents this year Johnny...Santa's dead," and then you show them your Santa tombstone. Watch their poor, little faces. Ha, ha!
We've all been there. Somebody has really pissed you off or done you wrong. You want to get them but you are the non-violent type and you have a natural aversion to prison. So what can you do? Kill them! Figuratively. Generate an image of their tombstone and make sure that they see it. It can contain subtle or blatant information on why they are dead - or as good as dead. For example, Spryte might make a tombstone for Shadesbreath, stating "As you have done to Mr. Bunny, So has been done to you." Has a rather biblical ring to it, doesn't it?
If, for example, Shadesbreath was using me as a derogatory example in his hub, I might make one for him stating, "You're really funny! Now you're dead!" or "He who laughs last, laughs...hey, I'm dead! (Ok, so I'm not as creative as he is, but he's dead and I'm not.)
In the same sense, these may be used simply as threats in an "if - then" scenario. Say your neighbor is constantly reporting you to the homeowners association for minor infractions. You might make one for him saying "Report me one more time and you'll be next."
Just remember that the person has to see it for it to be effective. You can hand it to them in person or send it anonymously through the mail. I should point out that using the mail to send threats is against the law in a big way. Postal Inspectors are notoriously humorless. Just make sure you have wiped everything clean of fingerprints, don't lick the envelope (DNA silly!) and mail it from a mailbox far from where you live. Handing it to them could also possibly be considered a threat and could be against the law. Check your local statutes. (For the record, I advise everyone not to do any of these two things described above [wink, wink] and I will not be held responsible for such anti-social, illegal behavior!)
The History of Tombstones
Tombstones of Love
A tombstone generator can also be used as a declaration of love or remorse. No kidding. Your girlfriend or boyfriend or wife or husband has just dumped you. Send them a tombstone. It might say, "I'd rather be dead than live without you," or "Six feet under isn't as lonely as life without you." Of course, this could send them running for the hills, so you might want to send them flowers too. Or "I'd rather die than hurt you" is so sweet I'll give you your money back if it doesn't work. If you've already used every available option, go for the gold: "If you don't come back to me I'll kill myself!" You can back it up or not, depending on your mood that day.
This is the End
Or you can simply do as I have done here. Amuse yourself and show your friends how much you really care. These are just a few ideas. I'm sure you can come up with a whole lot more if you put your creative, morbid mind to it. Just remember, a tombstone picture is worth a thousand worms.
Fun Tombstone Links
For a lot of funny real epitaphs, visit Mistyhorizon's Funny and Bizarre Epitaphs.