RICHARD ORD: A wedding anniversary spent discussing the dead

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It’s probably a good indication of the current state of our marriage that my wife and I spent our wedding anniversary trying to talk to dead people.

Who, I ask you, spends their wedding anniversary at a spiritualist evening?

Do we have a strong marriage? Knock once for yes, twice for no!

Most happy couples, from memory, go for romantic nights away for their wedding anniversaries. Communing with the dead, I had been planning to save for later in life.

Perhaps my wife booking us in to see a clairvoyant was a comment on my patter.

According to the invite, we were attending a Spook Night with Kerry Clairvoyant. With a surname like that, she was in the right game. I wondered if it was her married name.

The evening was, strangely, good fun. Apart from the weeping obviously.

And we weren’t alone. There were about another 60 people there, but not many couples. Not many men either. I was one of four. Women clearly want to keep talking to their men even when after they’re dead. Is there really no escaping their nagging?

As it happened, we didn’t get to communicate with the dead. My wife just had to put up with me giggling down my sleeve.

To be fair, Kerry Clairvoyant did try to get us involved. She pointed over to us and said “I’m getting a David. It’s very strong.”

We didn’t know any Davids. Which is odd, because it’s quite a common name.

She moved onto another table, where there was an Alan. “He worked with his hands.”

There were a few Alans who had, in the spiritualist parlance, “passed on.”

And they worked with their hands. Who doesn’t? I’d have been more impressed if she’d spoken of an Alan, who had worked with his feet.

Anyway, Alan just wanted to say he was happy, that the family shouldn’t worry and they should leave his toolbox alone! Everyone seemed comforted by Alan’s words from the other side.

Kerry said there were a few spirits queueing up to have a say, but it was difficult to hear them when they all talked at once. When they did get through, the one thing that struck me was how mundane the conversation was.

At no point did the spirits start shouting “This is amazing. Everyone listen: There’s absolutely no reason to worry. We all live on after death. And you can meet Elvis.”

The dead, it seemed on this occasion, were more preoccupied with current relationships with loved ones, sticking in at school and safe working practices.

“He’s showing me a patterned wallpaper,” Kerry said. Crikey, the afterlife must be as dull as the one we lead now.

It was our 12th wedding anniversary and even the dead didn’t care.

What our children make of it, I don’t know. “How you going to top that for your 13th anniversary?” our eldest asked.

I don’t know. Do abattoirs have open days?