Not terribly funny right? Not material fit for a humor blog? Oh, just you wait for it, my friends.
So in doing some research, I learned that in order to accomplish these last wishes, I wouldn't be able to spread the ashes off a peaceful dock somewhere with a nice view. I would need to rent a boat, since Florida law says you can't spread cremains in the water unless it's three miles off-shore.
Given this is about the same distance I see smokers these days having to walk away from a public building in order to have a cigarette, this wasn't entirely surprising to me.
So the question for me became: what the heck kinda boat does one rent for such an occasion? I mean, this is Dad. This isn't the former Little Big Jimmy Left-Feet of the Parmagiana Crime Family who you speedboat out to the Everglades while playing the Miami Vice theme song, dump him in, and hope for curious crocs before the police get wind.
One has a certain expectation for decorum here.
Worse, I was getting visions of fishing charters where I'd be scattering ashes on one side of the boat while Stan, George and Mindy Sue there on the other side of the boat were tapping a keg and pulling in the Catch of the Day. "Hey, watch it, lady-- it's drifting. You got a little of your father on our flounder!"
(I know, I can't believe I wrote that, either. But this is the way my mind works under stress.)
So I called the main funeral home down in the Keys and explained the situation. They were very understanding and kindly gave me a referral to a reliable place their clients often use in sad times just like this:
It happened to be a dive shop.
Yes, in between snorkeling trips and dolphin wrangling and whatnot, this dive shop takes the bereaved out in boats so their loved ones can swim with the fishes for all eternity.
So very Florida Keys.
But here's the kicker, the thing that nearly made me burst into wholly inappropriate fits of giggles...
I booked the boat, was glad to have this one increasingly complex task finally pinned down, my mind relieved, and the nice Dive Dude says to me, "So, will you be wanting to go in the water after?"
"Well, sometimes people want to do snorkeling trips on the way back."
"From the funeral?"
"Yeah. They stop to go diving. Will anyone be swimming?" he asked, his voice filled with total sincerity.
To my knowledge, Jimmy Buffet has never mentioned this in his songs.