Editorial: Shame on the fool

PETER O'NEILL
Last updated 05:00 21/12/2012

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OPINION: Something should happen to the man who gatecrashed the funeral of a former Timaru man in Christchurch on Wednesday, I'm just not sure what.

The photographs of him taken by our photographer John Bisset could be the answer.

Publication of them may bring some deserved shame on the fool.

Funerals are personal affairs. Family and friends choose a goodbye that can be solemn or lively, factual or fun. But the tone is chosen by the family, not an outsider.

A cheeky and convincing outsider. One, it seems, intent on a practical joke. But at a funeral? Come on. It's not funny.

It's bad enough that people have been known to turn up to funerals to take advantage of the food and drinks afterwards.

This takes that to another level.

The young man, dressed in a suit, was seen joking with a colleague before going to the front of the service and shaking hands with family members in the front row. To then go to the coffin and take the deceased's photograph in his hands and begin babbling loudly is the height of audacity.

One explanation might have been that the man was suffering from a mental condition, but joining his friend afterwards and laughing would indicate otherwise.

Yet his actions couldn't be considered normal, which would indicate there is something wrong inside his head.

How would he feel if someone did this at his father's funeral?

No, not funny at all.

The family hasn't gone to the police. There's probably no charge that's applicable. Unless being dumb and dumber qualifies.

But the family is keen to make sure the man and his stupid mate don't do it again, and so have spoken out about the experience.

John's photographs will help.

Something should happen. The family's chance of a fitting farewell was taken from it.

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- The Timaru Herald

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