Does one of these plants look dead to you? It was Purslane. You can see what it once looked like. Such lovely little flowers. Until Mostly Dead Tree dropped a big old branch on it. I thought I had pulled it back from the brink, but, then the squirrels started digging in the pot, stashing their nuts.
With the War of the Squirrels and the sacking of my backyard, the Purslane just didn’t have a chance to recuperate. Mostly Dead is still mostly dead. Surely she should be dead hibiscus is still hanging on by the skin of its few leaves. Yet it is still budding and blooming. It must be carrying on photosynthesis by proxy. I’ve been thinking about all the euphemisms for “dead” or “dying”. Here are some I came by:
half dying, giving up the ghost, on last leg, decline, expire, go downhill, kick the bucket, peter out, wasting away, curtains, last roundup, number’s up, lights out, done for, eighty-sixed, kaput, washed up, call it a day, pack it in, buy a one way ticket, croak, bite the dust, up and die, buy the farm, cash in ones chips, meet ones maker, pass away, buy it, bite the big one, pushing up daisies, demised, departed, dead as a doornail, the big sleep, take the last breath, to expire, to perish, pass on, to check out, to head for the happy hunting ground, to shuffle off this mortal coil; worm buffet, food for the worms, cross the great divide, meet one’s end, lay down one’s life, go the way of all flesh, go to one’s last resting place, slip away, depart this life, depart this earth, die with one’s boots on, gone, in a better place.
There’s a classic sketch of Monty Python’s, the “Dead Parrot Sketch”, which is the most popular from Monty Python’s Flying Circus British television series. In it, a customer returns to a pet shop with his dead parrot, purchased from that shop, presumably alive when he bought it. The customer’s onslaught of euphemisms is as follows:
“It’s passed on! This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed him to the perch he would be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolical processes are of interest only to historians! It’s hopped the twig! It’s shuffled off this mortal coil! It’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This…. is an ex-parrot!”
If you have any other euphemisms, please, send them to me in a comment. I will be happy to add them to the list.