Acrostic Of The Week

Getting the right choice of words to put on the gravestone of a loved one can be a tricky business. There are so many pitfalls that most of the inscriptions are little more than a variation on a theme, the details of the deceased and a trite message of affection.

Steven Paul Owens died aged 59 in September 2021 and his family have erected a headstone in his honour at Warren-Powers Cemetery in Polk County in Iowa. The inscription reads “Forever in our hearts, until we meet again, cherished memories, known as: our son, brother, father, papa, uncle, friend & cousin”. Quite touching.

However, the formatting of the inscription over seven lines has upset the Camp Township Board of Trustees, who are responsible for the graveyard, because the first letter of each line forms an acrostic spelling out the phrase Fuck Off. It is no unhappy accident as, according to Owens’ family, the deceased used it as a term of endearment and that if he said it to you, it meant that he liked you. If he didn’t like you, he simply stayed quiet.

As no word has been forthcoming from the deceased on the furore, I can only assume that he is not happy.

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