By Judy Berman
Going out on your own terms is exactly what Walter George Bruhl Jr. did. He wrote his own obituary, and it’s hilarious.
“There will be no viewing, as his wife refuses to honor his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand, so he would appear natural to visitors,” according to CapeGazette.com.
This reminded me of Bernie Lomax in the movie, “Weekend at Bernie’s” (1989).
An Irish wake is an occasion for both sadness and merriment. In this movie, death is a dark comedy.
Bernie Lomax (Terry Kiser) had it all: a cushy executive job at a New York-based insurance company, a flashy sports car, hot babes and a beach house with endless parties.
He was the ultimate host. Just one problem. He’s dead.
Despite that, he is still the life of the party.
No one seems to notice that the party-guy is a real stiff.
That wasn’t the ending Bernie had in mind when two of his employees – Richard Parker (Jonathan Silverman) and Larry Wilson (Andrew McCarthy) – discovered someone ripped off the firm for $2 million.
Hoping this would lead to a promotion, they couldn’t wait to tell Bernie. He lured them to his beach house for the weekend with the promise of a fun getaway.
Instead, Bernie turns to his Mafia partner, Vito, and asks him to knock off Richard and Larry because they discovered his scam. The mobster, however, decides Bernie’s the one who’s got to go because he’s been getting greedy.
Having an affair with Vito’s girlfriend was the final nail in the coffin. The mobster orders a hitman, Paulie (Don Calfa), to rub out Bernie.
Before Richard and Larry arrive at the beach house, Paulie kills Bernie. When they find his body, their weekend plans appear to be dead in the water.
Then, the partiers arrive. Richard and Larry prop Bernie up. With his sunglasses on and perpetual goofy grin from the fatal drug overdose, no one notices that he’s shed his mortal coil, and the party goes on.
Richard insists on calling the cops until he sees his office crush, Gwen Saunders (Catherine Mary Stewart), walk in.
The next morning, Richard and Larry discover a taped phone message that Bernie had accidentally recorded. On it, Bernie tells the hit man to kill his two employees and make it look like a murder-suicide.
That’s when they realize that their best bet for staying alive is to make it look like Bernie is still around.
Larry has rigged it so that Bernie appears to be waving as friends pass by. They also tie his shoes to theirs so it appears he’s walking with them. And Bernie keeps popping up in all the wrong places.
The sightings of Bernie convince Vito that Paulie has botched the job. So Paulie’s ordered to return and take care of Bernie permanently.
That’s a tall order for a guy who just won’t stay dead, and it’s driving Paulie crazy.
So, Bernie is having the time of his
life death. But, I would rather have the last word like Walter George Bruhl Jr., who died March 9 in Punta Gorda, Florida, and wrote his parting shots in his obit.
For years, I’ve told my husband, Dave, that I want an Irish wake with me standing in the corner with a glass of wine. Also, a ticker-tape parade.
He assures me that he’s working on this as we speak. I’ve asked my friends to
nag remind him of my final wishes.
That would be the ultimate send-off.
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Movie trailer: Weekend at Bernie’s (1989) – starring Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Terry Kiser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCTgcZ6ImsQ
Walter George Bruhl Jr.’s obituary. http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/walter-george-bruhl-jr-dupont-co-retiree/1139838