...if I hadn't seen it with these mine eyes.
Thursday was a brilliant day here -- warm sunshine, lovely breezes, birds all hollering in the trees, the whole bit (this morning, it's about 10 degrees above zero, and we have SNOW again. Rough on the tulips etc.)... just a delight to be outdoors, even if my outing was to the nearest cemetery for an interment. A "proper" old-fashioned interment, that is, casket and all.
I had good directions to the plot, and there was the family, all lined up, and there were the myrmidons from the funeral home. And to my joy, one of the myrmidons was carrying the Little Brass Thing -- I want to call it a "dirt dauber," but that's not dignified, I suppose. The Thing, anyway, that you carry sand in, to sprinkle on the casket. Out in the country there is a pile of earth and a bouquet of shovels, and the family lay hold on them appropriately, but in the city we're a bit daintier about the "earth to earth" symbolism, I guess.
Anyhow, my own personal Little Brass Thing has been empty for some time, and I was very glad to see that we were nonetheless provided. I got to "Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy..." and held out my hand for it, tilted it decorously over the casket as we approached "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust"... about to make the usual little gritty cross... and...
LO AND BEHOLD... it turns out that in the most advanced and fashionable undertakious circles, the Little Brass Thing is now filled with...
IRIDESCENT BLACK GLITTER.
Words fail me.