Fancy Funeral Liquor & Cremains Cannons | 4M #35
Welcome to the thirty-fifth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M 35, 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!
That’s a weird way to grow granite
Visitors to a private South Carolina cemetery were appalled last week to find their loved ones’ gravestones vandalized with what looked like blue spray paint. Funeral home authorities investigated, only to determine that the “paint” was actually a blue-tinted fertilizer spray that landscapers had spread rather “recklessly” and “enthusiastically.” Whew!
The trouble with tombstones
We’ve reported before on the odd, yet increasingly common, occurrence of cemeteries being chosen as ideal places to commit (or hide evidence of) crimes. We see reports of assaults, murders, and car crashes in cemeteries on a near-weekly basis (in fact, here’s one from last week). Recently, though, we’ve noticed two eerily similar, tragic incidents at cemeteries that should give cemeterians pause. In October 2021, a 53-year-old woman died when a large headstone fell on her in a New York cemetery. Then, just last week, a 10-month-old baby sustained a skull fracture when a headstone fell on her in a cemetery in Detroit. Both events have resulted in lawsuits alleging poor maintenance and neglect on the part of the cemetery owners. Sadly, both cemeteries have been plagued with staffing shortages.
Dominance, disgrace, drama, and deathcare in Denver? Yes, please!
In yet another installment of “Deathcare at the Movies,” we bring you “Grave Affairs,” a five-year episodic TV series concept that just won Denver’s “Pitch-A-Thon” competition. Denver native and two-time Emmy winning TV producer Harold Abroms hopes that by winning the contest, he’ll receive backing for his show, which is described as follows:
“A disgraced funeral planner who returns home to reclaim her dominance in the sometimes funny death industry. A quirky, behind-the-scenes look at a Black mortuary as seen from the point of view of a middle-aged woman trying to reconstruct a satisfying life? Yes, please!”
A $1.5 million funeral
Apparently, super lavish funerals are a thing in China — and they don’t get much more lavish than the $1.5 million extravaganza that recently took place. A wealthy business owner threw a final farewell for his father that included fireworks, heavy drinking, a “superb feast,” and fancy cigarettes for the guests. The host spared no expense, serving bottles of Mou-tai baijiu liquor ($499 a bottle at Total Wine, which says the drink’s aroma is “reminiscent of soy sauce and pears” [eww…insert vomit emoji here]) and passing around boxes of Chunghwa cigarettes — a favorite of the late Chairman Mao and, with a price of $53 a carton, an expensive habit. As photos of the fete floated around on social media, villagers weighed in on the extravagance. Some were jealous that they weren’t invited, while others commented that as long as the money was legit, then why not spend it? Our only question? How much did he spend on the casket?!
As long as we’re talking about Chinese funerals …
In the same article in South China Morning Post (see above), the author explains that while lavish funerals are a custom, the government is trying to get mourners to spend less money on final farewells. In 2017, one official entity published an instruction manual to get the public to develop new cultural customs and “promote sustainable financial habits.” In 2016, another department called on local authorities to curb “extravagant” funerals and “encourage frugality” n rural areas. So … in the United States, the government thinks deathcare costs too much, but in China, families spend too much. Interesting.
Just what we needed … more funeral criticism
So last week we heard about a new book by Renald Iacovelli called The Funeral Critic. The release states that, “Formal criticism has a long and honored history as applied to the arts, politics, and social trends. Now, for the first time, it is applied to funerals.” If you were (un)lucky enough to have to take a literary criticism class in college, you know how dry and brain-boggling formal criticism can be. This book, which is oddly described in one paragraph as a “novel,” promises “higher criticism” that “calls out” funerals for the “counterproductive, psychologically harmful, and vulgar exhibition of ‘doom and gloom’” that they are. It also calls traditional funerals “so depressing as to have sunk to the level of social faux pas.” Think you’ll read this book? We’ll expect your 20-page expository APA-style essay on our desks by Friday.
“No more boring rides to the cemetery …”
Please try to refrain from pulling out your debit cards long enough to read through this last 4M snippet. Just know, it will be difficult. Because …. Drum roll please …. The Loved One Launcher is now available! Yes, you, too, can now shove cremains down a tube and shoot them more than 70 feet in the air with the power of not just one, but TWO CO2 cartridges! And … wait for it … for a “dreamy, visual effect” you can even add biodegradable or standard confetti and streamers to the mix to create a “beautiful, joyful scene that sets the perfect tone!” You could be the only funeral home or crematorium in your community to offer the option of a “daytime fireworks display” to cap off the perfect memorial service. All of this for only $375!! That’s enough for two shots! Get Yours Today!
Here’s the fine print:
- The Loved One Launcher should not be aimed at funeral directors or guests as its blast is powerful.
- It should only be handled and operated by an adult mourner.
- Avoid shooting into oncoming wind (ugh).
- Note that it will take two shots to disperse all the ashes of an average adult.
- It will take more shots if more confetti is desired.
- Your results and coverage will vary depending on cremains and wind conditions.
Fake news, misinformation, opposing viewpoints, call it whatever you want- it’s everywhere! In fact, we’ve even heard people say, “live streaming funeral services is so difficult!”
Well well well, Get some mustard and a little bit of bread, cause that’s bologna!
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