Obituaries

There being no newspapers in Teleleli, public notice-boards have a high importance. It is the custom to post obituaries, but not births or marriages.

The automaton I. Robot was told by his ailing creator, in a moment of morbid self-pity, to go and wait by the notice-board to post his obituary. His master died, and so the automaton waited by the noticeboard for several decades. In order to have something to do, he collated the most commonly-stated causes of death. In descending order, they are as follows:

  1. Old age.
  2. The will of the gods (often a way of avoiding mention of disreputable or shameful methods of death).
  3. Accident (may also indicate a violent death).
  4. An illness.
  5. The Crots.
  6. Red Ruin (or Red Gown)
  7. Sudden Death (this may indicate what we would call a heart attack or stroke).
  8. The Flux (or The Bloody Flux).
  9. Scald Head.
  10. Watery Gripes.
  11. Suicide (not generally considered shameful in Teleleli. ‘Excess of Love’ usually also indicates suicide).
  12. Wretchedness (or Low Spirits, Melancholy etc).
  13. Purples.
  14. Weak Constitution.
  15. Visitation of the gods (this may be a meaningless poetic term, may indicate insanity, or as with #2 may be a way of avoiding specifics).
  16. Dancing Fever.
  17. The Rattle.
  18. Poisoned (this does not necessarily indicate murder. It may indicate what we would call food poisoning, or the bite of some spider or other creature).
  19. Mountain Sickness.
  20. Spotted Ague.
  21. Strangler’s Fever.
  22. Rising of the Lights.
  23. Cursed (or Died of Sorcery, Died of Witchcraft etc)
  24. Cooties.
  25. Died in a duel (this may simply indicate that the deceased once fought a duel, or claimed to have done so).
  26. Stupidity.
  27. The Dancing Maria.
  28. Homesickness.
  29. The Vapours.
  30. Green Sickness.
  31. Miasma (in many illnesses which cause foul breath, the deceased is said to have choked on miasma).
  32. Kink (this indicates a coughing fit).
  33. Sailor’s Fever.
  34. The Grip.
  35. The Shakes.
  36. Drum Belly.
  37. Taken (that is, no body has been found, but the person is presumed dead).
  38. Day Fever.
  39. Want of Breath.
  40. Famine Fever.

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