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So the NY Times recently named pumpkin seeds as one of the 11 healthiest foods people aren’t eating; the most nutritious part of the pumpkin, packed with magnesium. High levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death, unless, of course, you’re choking on one, which I am, but as you learned last time, the thought of the swingers next door saving me, or worse, not, and then coming to my funeral, sans robes but still no underwear, is too much to bear.

Let it be known I’m being cremated, so there’ll be no wailing over my casket, but everyone is expected to arrive in head-to-toe black. Gucci stilettos, Prada neck ties, eyelashes out to here, dresses cut down to there, nighttime black. Check your mink at the door.

Depending on who’s in charge of the guest list, I’m envisioning two hundred people. Three if word gets out Kaluha cake will be served at the repast.

Though I work in Hollywood, I’m not of Hollywood, so the celebrity sightings will be kept to a minimum (sorry Mom, Denzel will not be making an appearance).

Since name-dropping is tacky, let’s just say a few A-list (black A-list, that is) writers and directors will swing by. No actors though, and since the only A-list black actresses in Hollywood these days are Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy (“Madea,” “Big Momma,” “Norbit”), don’t go looking for any of their names in the guest book either, as my funeral will be held in a black church and as you know, they frown upon the whole drag queen scene.

I’m donating my body to science (since I don’t have kids, I figured this was my best chance at posterity) once they’ve had their way with me, my ashes should be spread at the oldest McDonald’s on El Toro Road. As a kid, it was my idea of heaven. Going there meant it was Friday, or I got an A, or mom was forecasting a raise (it’s an ancient black woman’s secret that the best way to make something happen is to act like it already has). And so this is where I want my ashes to rest. Someplace happy. Someplace with a lot of foot traffic. And french fries.

Now comes the part when folks “randomly” get up to say something about the deceased and everyone pretends it’s a spontaneous moment. It seems even in death we’re afraid to claim what’s ours, the very least of which should be ten minutes of accolades. Since this is my story, my funeral, twenty, twenty-five minutes.

One after the other, folks will share witty little ditties about me. Perhaps the one where in my mink vest and high-heeled suede boots, I choked a white lady over a caramel apple at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. She used the N word; she had it coming.

Or maybe… how I was the key witness in a bank robbery at the B of A on La Brea. Turns out, I may have told the robber which teller to go to. I have a nasty habit of saying things out loud that should be kept private. I think I mumbled something like “The teller on the left is so slow! It must be her first day.” And that was before I complimented his belt. He caught me staring at the big, gaudy thing and I didn’t want him to think I was checking out his “package,” so I said “nice belt.” Had I not been so hypnotized by the silver and gold cowboy buckle, I might’ve noticed the gun tucked in his waistband before he pulled it out and pointed it right at the teller-on-the-left’s face.

God, I hope a lover or two stands up and says something sweet about me. It’s important to have someone who knew you in that way to speak kindly about you at a time like this. You never know, though. Exes at a funeral can be tricky. They tend to play nice when there’s even a slim chance you two might have sex again, but since that is clearly off the table, all bets are off on what the MF might say. I’d like to think it’d be all candy and roses, but hey, they are my exes for a reason, after all.

And so, once again, I’m reminded of another reason why I need to get myself a permanent man; to save me from yet another indignity. My exes would have no cause to speak at my funeral because that would be like pissing in someone else’s pool. It’s just not done in polite circles.

Now, don’t think because I’ve planned out my funeral down to the tiniest detail that means….


Tamara T. Gregory is a writer/producer/traveler. Happily single (yes, there really is such a thing), she is an expert on the dating game. Her debut novel, Passport Diaries, is an LA Times bestseller and is soon to become a Hollywood motion picture. The book is available at Gregory’s X…WHY blog is exclusive to Urban Thought Collective.

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