‘Dead people’s teeth,’ she yelled as she opened the case

Confronted by a box of teeth, you would have screamed too.

Steve Perkin wrote the ‘In Black and White’ column in the Herald Sun for close to a decade. He joins YourLifeChoices’ Sunday line-up and is looking forward to your contributions.

Margaret read our piece recently about false teeth and it reminded her of an experience with her young granddaughter.

“My great aunt had died, so I took my six-year-old granddaughter, Abby, to help me clear out the rooms she’d been renting in a house in suburbanBrisbane.

“This aunt had been a dental technician, which explains the box of false teeth Abby came upon.

“Abby opened it and screamed. ‘Dead people’s teeth,’ she yelled, running for her life.

“It took me ages to calm her down and I’m still not sure that she believed me when I explained that many people had teeth like those not that long ago.”


Terry doesn’t have any stories about false teeth, but he has a yarn about an ear.

He used to work as a lifeguard at the waterside at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.

“A man came up and said his daughter had lost an ear at the bottom of the slide.

“Thinking I’d misheard him, I asked what sort of earring. He told me again it was her ear.

“She had been born without a right ear and had had a prosthetic one fitted.

“Sure enough, after diving a few times, I found the ear. Strangest thing I ever found in that pool.”


Allan plays golf, but only when his back allows him.

“I bought some anti-inflammatory tablets and when I got to golf, I decided to take two, but I dropped one on the ground.

“My back was so stiff I couldn’t pick it up. I had to get somebody else to do it for me. I found that ironic.”


As we get older, we find ourselves, not surprisingly, attending more and more funerals.

I’ve come to realise that there’s an upside to this – you use them as a funny sort of market research.

I attended Ken’s funeral on Monday where his son told a story.

He said that last year, they attended the funeral of Ken’s father. “Afterwards, Dad said, ‘That was good. That’s what I want’.”

So when Ken died, his son gave him the funeral he’d wanted – a low-key affair where mourners were instructed that, as per Ken’s wishes, nobody could wear black and “if anyone cries, tell them I’ll haunt them.”

I’ve picked up some ideas from funerals. I want my ashes cast on Port Phillip Bay inMelbournebecause a mate did that years ago and I liked it – although the ashes did blow back into the boat, which was a little awkward.

I want mine cast from the beach. Just tip them out, throw them, I don’t care. Just get them beyond the sand.

People can take their dogs. I like dogs and I want a flippant song played, like U2’s It’s a Beautiful Day.

Then a party with only keg beer – no trendy craft stuff – and a bus to take mourners home.

So what ideas are you planning to adopt from funerals you’ve attended and are you convinced those you leave behind will follow your instructions?

Do you have any stories to share with YourLifeChoices? Do you know any interesting characters? Do you have a milestone birthday or anniversary coming up? We’d like to hear from you. Email steve@yourlifechoices.com.au



    To make a comment, please register or login
    24th Jun 2018
    I tipped the ashes of my aunt, uncle and cousin from the end of Frankston pier into Port Phillip Bay. It was far enough out to give them a reasonable send off.
    Lark Force
    24th Jun 2018
    Hi Casey, Perhaps your Mum and my Mum have met up by now as my Mums ashes were tipped in at Chelsea. And that's where half of mine are going.
    I wonder just how many peoples ashes have been put in Port Phillip Bay.
    Perhaps its not global warming that's causing sea levels to rise?

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