Friday, August 14, 2009

Gray Matters

Welcome to the summer (or maybe just month) of "the father's ashes." It seems obvious that the quirky use of a father so gray could be an intriguing prop in fiction. And so it is when Richard Russo uses dad in an urn in the trunk as a character revealer in his new book, That Old Cape Magic.

However, grainy, burnt pop also recently played a part in two crimes. In Australia, police nabbed the thieves who snatched up pop in his (tiny) eternal house and returned the urn and ashes to his daughter. In an even more tabloid-friendly case, the Wisconsin bloke who had his privates superglued by four angry-at-him women got back the attention of one of his former lovers — the one who happened to be his wife — by stealing the urn with her father's ashes and threatening to pour out a cup of him for every hour she didn't return his call.

Ashes to ashes, indeed.

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