TOPICS: Putting the fun in funeral

DEATH, what a lark.

Writer David Foster Wallace once called it the thing ‘‘we all spend all our time not thinking about directly’’, and on the list of things that Topics likes to think about, it ranks alongside  the ever-expanding length of time between our last dentist visit, and the immoveable mass that is our HECS debt.

Actually, on second thought it isn’t quite as bad as those two.

But, as ABC Upper Hunter reporter Lisa Herbert puts it in her new book The Bottom Drawer Book – The After Death Action Plan, death seems to happen to the best of us.

Herbert’s book is all about organising yourself for the big day; what you’re going to wear, which songs you want played, and who are you going to get to delete all of those dodgy late-night Facebook messages you’ve been sending to that girl from around the way?

 Erhm, that last one might be slightly specific ...

Though  some people might think it a slightly morbid topic, in her book, Herbert approaches the subject with a light touch that makes what is a fairly tough topic a little easier to live with.

Herbert says ‘‘everyone has a story’’ of dealing with death, and she herself has plenty of stories about being contacted by people whose family members are dealing with terminal illness, or are going through it themselves, who have benefited from being able to talk about the process.

So come on,  folks, let’s embrace it – Herbert estimates you’ll get time for three songs at your funeral, what are they going to be?

We’re thinking Ceremony by New Order, My Way by Sinatra, and Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It, by Will Smith.

You can go to thebottomdrawerbook.com.au for more information on the book.

BE PREPARED: Lisa Herbert with her book,  The Bottom Drawer Book – The After Death Action Plan, a light-hearted look at planning for death.

BE PREPARED: Lisa Herbert with her book, The Bottom Drawer Book – The After Death Action Plan, a light-hearted look at planning for death.

BE PREPARED: Lisa Herbert 's book The Bottom Drawer Book – The After Death Action Plan, a light-hearted look at planning for death.

BE PREPARED: Lisa Herbert 's book The Bottom Drawer Book – The After Death Action Plan, a light-hearted look at planning for death.

MOST of you cottoned on pretty quickly to our little April Fools’ joke on Tuesday, when we told you about a plan to install three toll booths on the Hunter Expressway.

We aren’t giving you too much credit though, since we mentioned in the third line that the plan was ‘‘hatched ... in a secret bunker underneath the 40-kilometre road’’.

To those of you who didn’t pick it up, lift your game. 

Giving credence to the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction, a few of you  thought the Herald’s (legitimate) story on an aquifer discovered underneath Morpeth was the prank.

We weren’t the only ones having a bit of    fun in the Hunter on Tuesday though. 

The Jets sent waves of panic through fans when they tweeted that  former player Mario Jardel, a strong contender for worst marquee in the A-League’s history, was in talks to return to the club as its strikers coach – a move that, if true, would surely spell the end of Adam Taggart’s goal-scoring days.

The Country Music Channel was also in a pranking mood, and managed to pull plenty of people in when they wrote on Facebook they were ‘‘thrilled to hear that Cessnock Council has announced the construction of a new stadium in the Hunter Valley’’.

They told country music fans the so-called ‘‘CMC Bowl’’ would be ‘‘the new permanent home of CMC Rocks starting in March 2016!’’. Cruel!

SOMETIMES things just fall, or crash, into place.

A reader with a wry sense of humour sent us this photo of the Bingle Street sign in The Hill.

It’s obviously run into some trouble, or had trouble run into it, over the weekend.

Look, do we have to finish the joke? 

Sigh. OK. Here goes.

You could say it’s had a ... bingle!

SELF-FULFILLING: The Bingle Street road sign lives up to its name.

SELF-FULFILLING: The Bingle Street road sign lives up to its name.

 Email Michael on topics@theherald.com.au or tweet @mmcgowan569 ​