Funny. I promise.

Several years ago, I had this job. An assistant-y type job, where I did pretty much whatever my boss wanted me to do and didn't ask a lot of questions. One of my tasks was to look through the local obituaries and write condolence letters to anyone that my boss knew or to whom she was connected in some way (she was both prominent in the community and old, leading to A LOT of these letters). One day, I read an obituary that made me laugh out loud.

And then I sent Sister a long e-mail detailing what exactly was so funny about this man and his obituary.

I know, I know. I'm a terrible person. And since that's already true, I might as well go all the way to hell and write a post based on that e-mail and post it here where EVERYBODY can read it. And before you click away, I am not going to laugh at the WAY he died or get gory at all. I may be going to hell, but I'm not that awful.

FROM: Elise
TO: Sister
SUBJECT: Funny. I promise.

You're having a bad day and I promised you funny, so here goes:

I have to look at all the local obituaries and gather the addresses of family members for condolences. This is not funny. But just wait, I'll get there.

One of the men who died this week was Robert "Bob" Smith.*  He was 85 and he passed peacefully. This is not particularly funny, either.

His wife's name was Elizabeth, but he called her Bunny. Funnier.

Actually, he seems to have called her "his Bunny." Like, "My Bunny, can you get me some more coffee?" or "Hi, My Bunny, how was your day with our 11 children?" See, the funny is starting to grow on you, right?

He had three sons. Pretty average. Not too funny.

They were named Robert, Jerry, and Clyde. Clyde's kind of funny. But only a little.

One of his sons goes by Bob. Also average; also not funny.

Except that it's his second son Jerry, not Robert, who goes by Bob. Funny.

He also had eight daughters. (See! I totally wasn't kidding with the 11 children thing up there) I'm guessing he didn't find that too funny when he paid for their weddings. I would, though. Lots of money is lots of funny.

His oldest daughter's name is Shereen. Maybe not funny, but weird. 

Until you meet her sisters: Laureen, Tareen, Joireen, Kathereen, Mareen, and Janeen. Now we've arrived at the funny.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Hey, that's only seven!" And you would be right, you great counter, you. Joining Shereen, Laureen, Tareen, Joireen, Kathereen, Mareen, and Janeen is the baby sister:  Carol. Poor Carol. FUNNY!

(We could also take a second here to be a little bit sorry for Janeen, who missed out on the R that her other sisters got, including Carol. But I'm giggling too much to be that sorry.)

PLUS? Carol and Clyde were listed together. Last. Named with the same letter. I'd like to think they were twins. That would be funny. And twins as your tenth pregnancy?  Even funnier. For everyone who is NOT Bunny, that is.

So, Mr. Robert "Bob" Smith. You had a long life. You did amazing things. You raised a (presumably) good family, albeit with odd monikers. And, you made a weary employee's day a little brighter. So thanks. God bless you. And God bless Bunny, Robert, Jerry "Bob", the 'Reens, and Carol & Clyde. Oh, and Janeen, who isn't actually a 'Reen.

Funny. I promised.


*I changed the last name to make this less google-able, but I swear the rest of the names are real. If you want to verify, e-mail me and I'll send you the link to the obituary. The reason I'm  not linking it here is that it will give away my location, which is a closely-guarded secret. Also, you you happen to know this man or his family, I apologize for any offense, given or taken. Please e-mail me and tell me everything you know about these people, because I think I would really like them!


  1. Elise, I started giggling at Clyde and didn't stop. I don't know what this says about me, but I sure am glad you are back.

  2. Oddly, I am much more baffled by Jerry going by Bob than the eens. Well, except why Maureen wasn't acceptable (too much like an actual thing people name their babies?) Funny, thanks for sharing!

  3. Poor Clyde and Carol. And poor Bunny! I bet they WERE twins!

  4. I must admit that when I first read this, I was somewhat upset. But when I read it again, I laughed until I cried. My name is unusual, and I have spent a lifetime explaining it. I have been stopped at the airport and asked "are you one of the Reen sisters?" Your post was funny!

  5. There was more than a little creative license taken. The 'een girls' names are accurate though. I've spent much time sharing our names and laughing, so appreciate the humor. Bob was a great joke-teller, and Bunny a giggler, so think both would have chuckled at least a little. I have been called the one who is just a bit different, so the name suits. 'Neen