Your RDA of Irony

The Morbid the Merrier

There are several signs of my decrepitude.  First, my hair is becoming easier to comb.  (I may proclaim 2010 as “The Year I Went Bald.”)  Then, I have a mellowing of my perceptions.  When I now watch a Marx Brothers classic, I find Margaret Dumont to be quite attractive.  Finally, with my middled-age morbidity, I now read the obituaries to see if I knew any of the corpses.  Occasionally I do–but I would not recognize the person from the death notice.  Most obituaries would not pass a polygraph. 

Wouldn’t you like to see an accurate death notice?

Oblivious husband, resentful brother, dismayed father, stingy uncle, horrified brother-in-law.

Is that my planned obituary?  Well, maybe three out of five.

Speaking of dismal obituaries, December 30th is the Feast Day of St. Eugene! 

Here is what the Catholic Encyclopedia had to say about him.

St. Eugene
Feastday: December 30

Bishop of Milan, Italy, not documented at this time.

Well, that is edifying….Of course, I am relieved to know that he was not one of those medieval maniacs: “Converted Southern France by depopulating it.”

However, I do enjoy reading about the creative martyrdoms the exasperated Romans inflicted on those annoying saints. “Within three minutes of meeting Eugenius, Marcus Aurelius lost his temper and ordered that the complete works of Aristophanes be tattooed on the bishop’s tongue.”

Unfortunately, this Eugenius seems to be the patron saint of anonymity. Perhaps I can ghostwrite his hagiography, but Milan is not exactly an interesting place. If you had to have appendicitis in Italy, I really would recommend Milan; in Rome or Florence the doctors would take a three hour lunch in the middle of your surgery. (In Naples, the doctors would ship you to Rome or Florence…by bus.) Otherwise, Milan is just Zurich with pasta.

So, what could St. Eugenius have done there….

And, lo with one liter of gelato he did cure the models of Versace of anorexia.

  1. Peg Pruitt says:

    I agree that decrepitude is the pits. But the alternative really stinks!

  2. Rafferty Barnes says:

    A more recent St. Eugene, St. Eugene de Mazenod is the patron saint of dysfunctional families.

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Dear Mrs. Barnes,

      If I want to contact the patron martyr of dysfunctional families, I’d pray to myself.

      Of course, you know Count Tolstoy’s comment that “every happy family is alike; every unhappy family has its own story.” Mrs. Tolstoy would have had something to say about that: she was miserable. While the Count was busy thinking deep thoughts or cobbling boots, his wife was left to manage the estate and their 13 children. She became an embittered battleaxe–although the Count could never understand why.


  3. Leah says:

    Milan is actually Zurich with risotto– but it’s pretty good risotto. And their equivalent of Times Square is also their equivalent of the Piazza San Marco– the most bipolar public space in my acquaintance.

    Is there an orthodox St. Yevgeny?

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Dear Leah,

      There a number of St. Eugenes and few variations such as Owen and Eoghan (Ireland, obviously); however, in the traditional Orthodox canon, there is no St. Yevgeny. That is particularly surprising and ironic because Yevgeny is quite a common name in Russia. I wonder if the omission of a St. Yevgeny reflects the Orthodox Christians’ resentment. “If the Catholics have four Pope Eugenes, we won’t even dignify that name with a halo.”


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