Deadly Windfalls & Parking Lot Panties | 4M #9
Welcome to the ninth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!
Funeral Vans … From Space!
Look out Mercedes and Chrysler — there’s a new first call van in town. Well, not actually in our towns, yet. But the folks in South Africa should be pretty excited about the new Hyundai Staria — especially if they love Star Trek. Described by Hyundai as a “futuristic people-mover that ushers in a new era of movement,” the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) features a striking grille and streamlined profile. Motoring journalist Melinda Ferguson thinks it’s perfect for “schools, the transport industry, I think the funeral industry, the dog parlour industry and for large families.” Make it so!
Headstone Created for Lady Who Died of Excitement 95 Years Ago
Picture it. Wales, 1926. Ninety-year-old Elizabeth Lingard finds what she believes to be a rare first edition copy of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Believing she’s stumbled upon a gold mine, she rushes to tell her landlady about her impending riches — and promptly dies of a seizure. This year, a museum worker stumbled upon her story and found out Lingard was buried with no headstone. Last month he remedied that oversight, installing a nice stone with the help of a local undertaker. What came of the book, and Elizabeth’s expected windfall? It ended up with her niece. As for its value, though, the world may never know.
Wait … Elle Woods Was Embalmed? What? When? How?
Some people simply can’t accept the fact that Reese Witherspoon still has a flawless face at 45. She doesn’t need the assistance of Photoshop — or formaldehyde — to be beautiful. So when trolls accused InStyle magazine of retouching their cover image of a gorgeous, seemingly ageless Reese, editor-in-chief Laura Brown clapped back: “We are not in the business of embalming women at at_instylemagazine.”
Deathcare peeps, I’d consider this a compliment! If your embalming expertise can make folks look like Reese Witherspoon, more power to ya!
These Extra Services Won’t Be Found on Their GPL
A funeral director in Florida is fed up with the services taking place at his facility — and it has nothing to do with rowdy families or rambling reverends. John Lloyd, manager and director at Northwood Funeral Home in West Palm Beach, Florida, has joined his neighbors in speaking out against the growing number of prostitutes and drug dealers doing business in their neighborhood.
Lloyd, who is in the process of purchasing the funeral home where he’s worked for 25 years, is tired of seeing “used condoms, needles, and ladies underwear” in his parking lot, and who can blame him? Food trucks in the parking lot? That’s a good thing. Hookers and junkies? Not so much. We hope that local officials pay attention to his pleas, and wish Lloyd the best of luck; no one needs this in addition to all the challenges you guys deal with every day.
Op-Ed Slams Arlington’s Tacky Trolley
Arlington National Cemetery — the final resting place of more than 400,000 of this country’s bravest souls and their loved ones — has been quite popular lately. Recently, we learned that the cemetery may run out of room by 2060 (which is actually promising, as previous reports estimated full capacity by 2048). This week, the President participated in the wreath-laying ceremony to honor the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington.
Amid those somber and patriotic observations, however, we get this opinion column from Washington Post writer Gabriel Cronin-Golomb about Arlington National Cemetery’s gaudy, intrusive tour bus: “Why is it that immediately upon entering this sacred site, we are shown a stark image of disrespect, callousness and commercialism? They seek out tourists with star-spangled advertisements, with the sole objective of making a tidy sum off of those who hope to have ‘a fun day out’ on this hallowed ground.”
On one hand, you have to agree; one of the last things a grieving family wants to experience is a busload of gawking tourists butting in on their visit or burial ceremony. On the other hand, though, visiting Arlington is part of the DC experience, and the 600+ acres play host to more than four million visitors each year. Transportation, paid and ugly or otherwise, is a necessary evil. So what do you think? Should cemeteries be considered so hallowed that tourists should be discouraged?