I went to The Corner House the other day, the ice cream parlour that is a temple to many. I looked at the menu on display on the wall.
Death by Chocolate, it said.
What thought did that bring to my mind? Calories? Not being able to finish off the gigantic amount? But death? No. Fair enough.
I order a Chocolate Mousse with ice cream. I'm in the company of friends. Life goes on. And then I get a phone call. Somebody died. Not someone I'm close to, but someone I know, and the son of someone I know a little better. This was the 3rd call of death in a week, 2 of them people I knew reasonably well. Well, life does go on. I polish of the remains of my mousse and get up to leave. Then I see it again.
Death by chocolate.
Is it really alright to forget the real meaning of the word and use it so loosely? People joke about death all the time - from sudden realisation of impending doom ("I am so dead") to a friendly threat ("I'm going to kill you if anything goes wrong"). Death certainly has lost its meaning and gained a 'flavour' if I can say that. Little children are killing each other every five minutes with their toy guns. Video games are a league above. Gory, gruesome deaths are not uncommon.
Maybe it is a good thing. Joking about something helps lighten the burden that it brings. But yet, no matter how loosely you use the word, when death stares you in the face, its meaning becomes painfully clear.
I don't know why I wrote about this. Apologies to anyone if it depressed them. But it was something that lingered in the mind.