5/02/2007

A Dyck in a Pet Cemetery (Part 1)

Let me axe you a hypocritical question. Let's say 25 years ago, you had a dog. And let's say 17 years ago, that dog died. And let's say your family paid to have that dog buried in a pet cemetary. And let's say that the pet cemetery owner died a few years later, and the cemetery was closed. And let's say you recently found out that the property was going to be bulldozed to make room for a new commercial development. And let's say other people who have pets buried at said pet cemetary heard the news and started showing up at the cemetery and removing their grave stones. And let's say those same people were also DIGGING UP THEIR PETS while they were at it. Sound strange?? Well not in Dyckersonville, where this very scenario is taking place even as I type.

Why do I give a fuck? Because my family happens to have a dog buried at that pet cemetery. Her name was Pattie, and she was a shit-zoo. Born January 1982; died August 1990. I was 18 years old and about to start college when little Pattie croaked. There was great debate among the Dyckersons as to what to do with her corpse. My older brother couldn't care less - a Hefty bag and a nearby dumpster would have sufficed. My dad wanted to cremate her and smoke the ashes. I wanted to have her stuffed and mounted above the fireplace. But Mother Dyckerson wouldn't have any of it. She wanted a proper burial.

That's where Evergreen Pet Cemetery came in. It was a quaint, unassuming little operation. The owner was a batty old woman named Mrs. White, who also lived on the property. Despite her Alzheimer's, she was the brains of the outfit. Mrs. White's sole employee was the equally geriatric gravedigger and caretaker, whose name escapes me. I'll just call him Mr. Spade. Together they had a monopoly on the local pet cemetery industry, as theirs was the such business within a 50 mile radius. They didn't have an office. They didn't have business cards. When we decided to buy a plot there, we conducted the entire transaction at Mrs. White's kitchen table. Looking back on it now, I'm pretty sure that's also where she prepared the bodies.

We opted for a small ceremony - the Evergreen Economy Plan. Only immediate family and close friends were in attendance. Mr. Spade delivered the eulogy and Mrs. White played the organ. What a multitalented duo. I remember Mr. Spade still had dirt on his overalls from digging the grave. I liked that - somehow it added to the authenticity of the moment. At the end of the service, Mr. Spade lowered the coffin into the three-foot grave on the end of his fishing pole, and that was that.

Fast forward 17 years. The owners are long dead and the cemetery is closed for business. The property has been dormant for years, although the last time I was there, it appeared that someone - or something - was cutting the grass. Basically we had pretty much forgotten about it and moved on with our lives. That is, until last week, when the local news ran a story about a new shopping center being built over the cemetery. According to the report, pet owners have something like 30 days to ... umm ... relocate the graves, or the developers will dig up everything, toss it in a mass grave, and start building. Also according to the report, people had already started showing up to reclaim their beloved pets' remains. Of course, Mother D. happened to see this and called me up in hysterics: "Dyckie, turn on the news! They're bulldozing the pet cemetery! We need to get Pattie out of there!"

Let's get one thing straight right now. There is NO WAY IN BLOODY HELL I am digging up a coffin that has been in the ground for 17 years. Don't get me wrong, I loved that stupid little dog. But GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK. Nothing is forever. And besides that, let's say I pry up the headstone and dig up the box. THEN WHAT??! Am I supposed to drive around town carrying this crap around in the back of my car??! Does my mother think I'm going to bury this thing in my back yard??!

Although I must admit, curiosity is starting to get the best of me. Tomorrow I think I'll take a little ride out to the Evergreen Pet Cemetery and just check out the scene. No, I don't plan on doing any digging...but if a shovel should happen to find itself in the back of the DyckMobile, I can't make any promises. But I can promise you that I shall post my findings - complete with photos - on the next installment of A DYCK IN A PET CEMETERY! Stay tuned!!!

20 comments:

Gucci Muse said...

A Dyck in Pet Cemetery...a DYCK in PET Cemetary...I kept repeating this to myself and I can't seem to get the correlation between DYCK and PET out of my mind, especially when PATTIE is involved.........................

Very subliminal Dyckerson, very subliminal indeed.

ADW said...

Seriously?? Pet Cemetaries??

I think you may just end up doing some digging, think of what a great post you would have from that.

karla said...

Poor Ma Dyckerson. She wouldn't have had such an unnatural attachment to a mutt if she'd had at least one decent kid. She loves that rotted canine corpse more than she loves you...and heck, so do I.

andy said...

Dude,

ZING! That karla's something!
On the other hand, I, like Pattie, was born in 1982, and am now starting to worry about my mortality. So thanks. Can I be mounted above your fireplace?

[DEAR MARY DID YOU READ THAT LAST SENTENCE?!?]

Dixie said...

Wow, I just take the dead critters and bury them out back. Does that count as a pet cemetery?

Amd where is our last 23 minutes of A Dyck in HOLLYWOOD?

Beth said...

oh my god, ...dyckerson...you DO have a heart beating in that shest of yours!!! I KNEW it!! You old softie, you....and I aint talking about your ..uh....whatchamacallit...what do you call it, anyway?

go and dig up that dog for your mama..be a good boy. And you're young too....just a baby...18 in 1990...hmmmmm....I'm learning more and more about you dyck.

Nancy said...

Go dig the little shiz up and bury her in Mama's yard ... for doing this good deed, she just may forgive you for your crappy attitude you had as a child. ;)

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Digging up the dog remains would be a good gift for your mother on Mother's Day. Also, you could add grave-digga' to your resume.

Legaleagle said...

Just watch out if Stephen King makes an appearance - that always means you're going to die.

So, what happened in the remaining 23 minutes of The Price is Right?

It's Me... Maven said...

I say pack a sandwich and some wet ones, it might get messy.

Now my mind is reeling over a new plot line for a King novel involving Cujo and Pet Cemetery... and Fred Gwynne is in there somewhere, semi-dessicated....


GOOD TIMES!

Willo Keays said...

If you happened to do something nice for your mother .. I'd be seriously impressed.

Mighty Dyckerson said...

Gucci - Once again, you're too hip for the room.

ADW - You think I'd dig up a dog corpse just for blog material???? You're right, I would.

Ms. Babble - Shouldn't you be doing your breathing exercises right about now?

Andy - Who the hell is Mary?

Dixie - Exactly how many dead critters do you have back there?

Beth - Baby my ass. I've got aches and pains in parts of my body I never knew I had.

Nancy - Mother D doesn't have a yard. She has a condo. How about I just dump the remains on her patio?

Dr. K - What the hell is wrong with flowers and a card??!

Eagle - Fortunately Stephen King wasn't there. Just some guy named Richard Bachman.

Maven - I actually buried some wet ones with the dog 17 years ago. I like to think ahead.

Willo - I came out of her vagina. That should be enough.

tfg said...

Wait a minute. I was 18 in 1990. I hope that doesn't make me gay, too.

PetStarr said...

This is your best post yet - funny, heartwarming, touching (but not in THAT way). A Dyck triumph. Give me regards to little Pattie.

Mighty Dyckerson said...

TFG - Really?? I was 18 too!!! Did you go to the Barbra Streisand concert at Radio City??

PetStarr - Obviously you haven't read my literature about bowel movements.

andy said...

Streisand AND Henley, huh, D? Throw in Hasselhoff and you've got a regular Trifagta right there.

I always knew you had it in you. I mean, of course, the dong.

Crunchy BC said...

Our family's pet burial preference was on the side of the highway at high speed. I just wish Dad would've waited until Fluffy had actually died (sigh).

nita said...

don't tell but ... we bought a house with a civil war cemetery kind of in the back corner ... all overgrown but still with headstones standing. i've been raking and planting and honoring the dead. that's why i don't feel bad at all that i buried my mentally deranged dog out there. he'll never be bothered!

wanna buy a spot? of course, highly illegal but still ... safe and sound!

Mighty Dyckerson said...

Andy - You have just slandered three of the greatest musical talents of our lifetime. Leave immediately and never return.

Crunchy - Your dad was lucky he didn't get a ticket for littering.

Nita - "Kind of" in the back corner? You built the house right over the cemetery, didn't you??

~ Stacy ~ said...

I was 26 years old when my family dog got flattened in traffic. My mother called me at work to tell me the lovely news. Then she promptly buried my sweet, Mindy dog in our backyard... without so much as a marker.

My mother didn't want me to be traumatized by seeing my dog all squished and bloodied. But holy fuck! How was a mound of fresh dirt in the corner of the yard any better?!?

[shudder]

What a horrid memory. Thanks for calling it all to mind with your post.