I live by the seaside which means that I'm no stranger to bench dedications. I've never quite understood what possesses people to get a bench dedicated to the memory of deceased relatives, but at the same time I have to admit that so far in my life I'm lucky enough to be able to say I've not lost any people to whom I was particularly close. Come that sad day, my initial thoughts may well turn to benches. And that will be handy because I live by the seaside.
It's difficult to find anywhere to sit down on the Sussex coast which isn't dedicated to someone's memory. Anyone suddenly waylaid by a wheezing fit or atomic anal cramps is likely to have to perch on Irene Gremlett, she loved it here or Morris Woodman, friend of the local sailing club. It's undeniable that the bench system is very efficient at keeping people's names in the memory of passers-by. Half the drug deals in Hastings go down next to Mildred Newton, who loved walking her dogs here. And have you seen the size of the dog turd by Percy Trelt?
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to see some brand new dedications. The plaques read 2012 for the date of death and a lot of the benches still had some fairly fresh floral tributes. But my favourite was Myrtle Polk-Sallett, thanks for the memories and enjoy the view. This is by far and away the best wording for a seaside bench dedication that I can imagine. Enjoy the view. The only thing it lacked was the mortal remains of Myrtle Polk-Sallett, propped up for all eternity looking blankly out toward the English channel, the seagulls scavenging on her putrefying skin. Perhaps she had been there, holding the flowers in her hand, but all the passing herring gulls, pigeons and foxes had put paid to that. If this is the case, I think it would be fitting to ask the council to attach similar plaques to all of the anuses of the local wildlife. Enjoy the view, Myrtle.
It's what she would have wanted. Not least because she always wanted to be able to fly.
NB: Unless it is not immediately obvious to the dimmer amongst you, all the names in this post have been changed.