Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Six Feet Under


No-one does obituaries like the Telegraph nowadays, and this is a classic of the genre. You can feel the tension in the air as they carefully skirt around any mention of the obvious puns, in deference to the sombre occasion and, no doubt, the exasperated requests of the dead man’s family.

And who needs a cheap shot at the name with such a life to eulogise? Leading African troops against the Japanese, tugging Greek beards, demanding the surrender of Cuban irregulars clad only in diving flippers and mud – his story has it all.

I suppose with a name like his one might feel driven to excel, if only to give people something else to talk about. Lt Col John Trenchard Pine-Coffin OBE succeeded in spades, and we salute him for it. Ave atque vale…

The Pine-Coffin arms, yesterday. “In storms we thrive”. One only hopes that Heaven doesn’t bore him.


HA HA HA said...

finne stuf!

"Mustering as much authority as he could in the circumstances..."

not bdad.

but whan they mentoined dthe hotal i misread it as '3-star brothel'. whata letdown whan i reaad it agian.

Thomas Pauli said...

Let us honor if we can
The vertical man
Though we appreciate none
But the horizontal one.

At least.

Anonymous said...

Yes I read many of these when I was depressed and contemplating my future at another point in my life. They were a must read as I contemplated morality. I remember reading the obituary of one of the journalists who actually wrote these things and the challenges of balancing the highly personal issues and the fact checking required during a sensitive time for the family. The old military ones were almost the most inspiring and in a way were great therapy.

PI said...

Ooooh I missed that one but am usually a couple of days behind. My mind always goes drifting off when they remark plaintively 'he never married.'
It's quite sad, I find, when you
see a photograph of a lusty, sparky man in his prime and imagine him at ninety three. Still there were far too many who'shall not grow old'

Ivan the Terrible said...

Well, "he never married" is usually code too, you know, Pi. As was "confirmed bachelor" in the good old days.

Not that my mum thanked me for explaining that particular piece of code to her. I don't think she's ever gotten over the realization that Liberace "went up the down stairs"...

Desargues said...

Ave atque vale -- he may be a bit too late for that, Ivan. Unless you wish him to thrive and prosper in the afterlife, that is. However, not to let the men one-up the fairer sex, I give you the skirted Larry of Arabia. What a guy! Erm, woman, I meant.

apprentice said...

It's reads like something Michael Palin might write. I here his poor relations where the Pine-Laminates, and he had a Scottish cousin called Pine-Clad, and the black sheep on his mother's side the family was the artful Coffin-Dodger

R. Sherman said...

His parachuting career was brought to a premature end when he landed in the dark on a tractor and broke several bones in his feet.


Aunty Marianne said...

I am fairly certain that he served under my uncle Tony. I'm not going to go into this any further, but by the sounds of it they'd have egged one another on.

They don't make'em like they used to any more.