June 07, 2010

Struth! Grim Eater Gets a Wake-up Call

Image: Death at a Funeral (c) Parabolic Pictures Inc.


IN his continuing search for the more weird, whacky and wondrous in this world, David Ellis says a man in New Zealand has had a stop put to several months of free lunches.

From March until a couple of weeks ago the man dined free at least four days a week. And not at restaurants, his club or even charity soup kitchens – but by gate-crashing wakes following funerals.

Staff of a Wellington funeral firm noted his regular appearance at several funerals in one week earlier this year, and after spotting him at least three times in another week photographed him and sent the photo to other branches of the company – where those staff, too, quickly recognised him as a "regular" at their funerals and wakes as well.

And he made the mistake last month of not being content with quietly trawling the tables at one wake, but pulling a plastic container from a backpack and filling it with some of the culinary offerings.

Dubbed "The Grim Eater" he was always well-dressed, courteous and engaged with relatives and other mourners in paying their respects in church and at an estimated 120 subsequent wakes.

After his plastic container mistake he was finally taken aside and told that while he was welcome to attend the funerals, he could not attend the wakes – and he's not been seen since.

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