As usual, there is another truly startling truth here today.

It is that I can guarantee that any of you who visit in 40 years time will still find me in sparkling good form in the family home — despite the fact that I am already a fairly senior citizen, with a free travel pass in my pocket.

Even though you will meet me in the hallway, close to a font of Knock water, I further assure you that there is no miracle at all involved.

Furthermore, if any of you dip a shocked and awed finger in the Knock water, and blink at me in amazement, I guarantee that I will wink back in return.

And that, incredibly, is the pure truth yet again. Where else would you get it?

I’d better explain the facts for those amongst you who still think that I am off my rocker and/or a crazed liar.

I believe these facts speak for themselves, and we will begin with the emerging fact that there will shortly be a fine, modern crematorium in operation in the progressive town of Shannon.

I hereby in this space am publicly making an advance application to become a customer, when my time comes.

It is my hope that the facility will be a few decades in operation by the time I arrive at the gate but, pragmatically, that day will arrive sometime.

I am delighted, incidentally, that the Shannon amenities are to be augmented by a crematorium, because all the great Irish life journeys have always begun and ended in Shannon.

Anyway, shortly after my arrival, my family will be presented with an urn containing what are now commonly called my ashes.

Shannon being Shannon, and progressive, I would not be at all surprised if that urn is imprinted with an Aer Lingus logo.

Again, very apt, and I have no problem with that.

And it is after that handover that, because of recent allied technology, the story becomes very interesting indeed.

Those of you who believe that indeed I am a crazy liar should, this very minute, deploy somebody to check out the following websites on Google — Bathaquaglass.com; funeralpartners.co.uk; and the upmarket Swiss site, Algordanza.

My ashes, incidentally, will be gray and gritty like myself today, will be about one third carbon, with traces of calcium and forensic elements associated with alcohol, nicotine, bacon and cabbage, Clonakilty rashers, and smoked mackerel.

However the folk associated with the hi-tech new technologies listed above never use the word ashes.

They call my mortal remains crematics, and it is incredible what they can do with them, with their special arts and furnaces even hotter than those in crematoria.

Do ye know, for example, that the Algordanza technicians could convert me in a matter of weeks into a glittering emerald of great value?

Or a glowing pendant.

Or a signet ring.

Sadly, the cost of converting me into an emerald would be greater than the cost of three or four traditional Irish funerals, so I will not inflict that burden on my presumably heartbroken family.

Again, with the Shannon business community being as astute as they are, and with this new crematics processing industry exploding rapidly, I believe that by the time I am in an urn, there will be a facility of this nature already well established on the Shannon Industrial Estate.

My wish, when I arrive there, and you are all my witnesses here, is that I be converted at once, not into a bracelet, ring or pendant, but into a bright, four-inch square wall mirror.

This will be no problem at all, will probably be delivered even before the wake is over, and will cost relatively little.

I have already organised things so that, when the hopefully long delayed day arrives when I will be a mirror on the wall, that I will be positioned near the Knock water font in the sun-drenched hall.

I will be as happy as Larry there, will see all the comings and goings, and clan excitements and, yes, in every sense of the word, will always be in sparkling good form. And I will surely wink back at you when you wink at me!

Once again, the very pure truth indeed!


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