Since I was a teenager, I’ve always enjoyed cemeteries at night. If I could live in one (ABOVE ground, please) I surely would. I also enjoy drinking in cemeteries. As a kid, my pals and I would go sit in a neighborhood cemetery and drink beer. We would sit right on the graves and always save at least half a beer to pour on our individual “host’s” plot before leaving, out of a sense of politeness.
Later on, as I started going on the road playing music, I would visit local cemeteries from time to time, usually while drunk and with a bottle in hand. I would try and deduce from a person’s name on their tombstone if they were a drinker or not. I would often talk to the tombstones.
One time in the Pacific Northwest (I think Oregon?) there was an open cemetery across the street from our motel. After our show, one of the roadies and I walked over there with quarts of Bud. I was really drunk and started talking to a small, above-ground tombstone. After awhile I decided to take this little monument on a tour of the grounds; sort of a meet-the-neighbors stroll. I picked it up, put it under my arm and we walked around like that for about 1/2 an hour, all the while noticing the odd police car driving by on the main road.
Finally, I returned the stone named Pete – somebody (Pete, not Peter — he HAD to have been a drinker) to his plot and set Pete’s tombstone back in place, exactly as I had found it. I also poured some Bud on his grave for him and we threw our empties in a waste-basket beside one of the cemetery’s walk-ways. As we were leaving, I noticed a sign at the entrance (which we hadn’t seen earlier) that basically said there was a city ordinance which imposed a $10,000 fine on anyone convicted of vandalism within a cemetery.
And that’s when the searchlight hit us. “What are you guys doing there?”, the cop asks. “Jus’ out fer a walk — thas’ ar hotel ober dere”, I slurred in reply. “Well, stay out of that cemetery; we don’t like people in there at night — especially if they’ve been drinking like you two obviously have…better get back to your rooms”.
I hope theres guys like you around when I die Gene. Nothing says ‘Rest in Peace’ like a can of Budweiser poured onto a decaying body.