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The F Stops Here

Burney J. Le Boeuf
Burney J. Le Boeuf is UCSC professor emeritus of biology and one of the world's foremost authorities on the northern elephant seal. He is also a wine connoisseur of some note.

Burney J. Le Boeuf

The ragin' Cajun expects a little bit from every corner of his life to be represented in the corporeal wrap. For example, he would go with a reenactment of the whole Jonah theme and shoot for being swallowed by a whale. "Then I'd be taking the 'Save the Whales' movement one step further," the fish lover figures. "I'd be nourishing them!"

Friends would applaude this politically correct swan song as they watch from the cliffs, then invade his well-stocked wine cellar to finish off the good stuff. "If I hadn't drunk it all first," he warns.

Asked which wine he would like to have lingering on his palate when he goes, Le Boeuf thinks for a moment before responding. "Chateau D'Yquem 1967," he ventures. "It's a sweet white wine that tastes like ambrosia."

Then there'd be a Dixieland jazz band--a Cajun requisite--that would keep the fires stoked. "They'd start off with a dirge, then follow with happy music," Le Boeuf says. The show would end with Mozart's Requiem, natch.

"As an evolutionary biologist, I don't think there is another side," says the pinniped's pal. But he doesn't let that dampen his fantasies. "They [the wake attendees] can think of me drifting off to heaven, heading toward the Elysian Fields, then sitting on a cloud playing a harp."


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From the Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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