Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Pre-Planning

I very seldom open direct mail that comes to my home. It’s like a little game I play. If I even think it may be a piece of junk mail, I toss it without opening it. This policy may have something to do with the fact I have claimed to have “never received” my pharmacy card from my health insurance company, my last three car insurance bills, or any magazine subscription renewal. Those were undoubtedly thrown away with hardly a glance. However, yesterday I couldn’t help but open the hard paper stock Memorial Gardens offer of a free cemetery plot, a $650 value the brochure breathlessly exclaimed! If I would just respond to this offer, I would also get an absolutely free “Pre-Planning Guide”.

My “pre-planning” is pretty much relegated to insisting that no one dresses my corpse up in a 1972 Oakland A’s uniform for a wake, and not having any Jethro Tull played at the service. This is because I am a practical man with good taste. I’m not really too concerned about a grave site, as I have a hard time envisioning a grieving widow or my brother swinging by after the box was dropped in the ground. That's not so much a reflection of me though. There’s just not a lot of action at Memorial Gardens. Maybe they should put some sand volleyball courts and a tiki bar in over there. That would greatly improve visitation I would imagine. “Hey, let’s go visit Greg’s grave, play some volleyball, and have a mai tai! Losers buy!”

My favorite part of the whole direct mail piece was the smiling family. The parents were elderly, yet still active. The children are middle aged, ghoulishly looking on with a grin. “Hey Pop! Why don’t we make sure you and Mom are buried together, and while we’re at it let’s update your will. Carol and I would hate to see any confusion with your estate if you were to die unexpectedly. Heaven forbid…” Meanwhile the kid is clearly running plans through his head about turning Dad's workshop into a man cave with 53 inch high def TV. I also liked the photo in that it subtly implied that if the kids were to pass away (insert “Heaven Forbid”), the parents would remain their upbeat smiling selves. It's all good at Memorial Gardens! Plan now and laugh it up later!

Still, it does point to an existing problem for me. I really need to get a will together. That way I can handle "pre-planning" my own way. Off the top of my head, I will have myself cremated while my "estate" pays for Roky Erickson to play "Fire Engine" live. I'd even let him sell merch afterwards to help defray costs. "Dude! Killer Roky Erickson shirt? Where'd you get it? Greg Miller's funeral! Kickass! I read about that in Scene!" Well, who am I kidding? That might be out of my "Estate's" budget. Maybe getting a Jimi Hendrix impersonator to play "Fire" would be more pragmatic. Still, that's better than a bad cassette recording of "Amazing Grace" tinnily warbling out of two wall mounted speakers. Nobody is buying merchandise at that gig.

I would then insist my ashes be scattered in a series of horrifyingly inconvenient places by "dear friends" as indicated in my will. My lawyer will contact people I was once close to, and send them on wild missions across the Globe with mini Glad sandwich bags filled with my ashes. It's almost like I would take these select few on a mini vacation to a place they never would have gone to otherwise. If we remained close up until the last revision of the will, I'd send you out to the Cinque Terre in Italy , St Emilion in France, or Horseshoe Beach in Bermuda. Hell, I'll pick up the tab and put you and a guest up in a nice hotel. You can make a long weekend out of it.

However, let's say I have an axe to grind. If we might have fallen out of touch, or perhaps had some unresolved conflict, I would send you to a Godforsaken town in Uzbekistan or maybe someplace equally horrifying like Daytona Beach during Bike Week. In that case I would make it contingent that you stay in a pop up camper or discount hostel in the case of Uzbekistan. I am envisioning the kind of hostel where even if you wore boots in the shower, your toes would get a black fungus just because you were in the general area. (You may not want to cross me in the next few weeks while I get this Last Will and Testament together. Unless you enjoy the splendors of the Mexican City ghetto that is...)

There are probably some key details I have forgotten about in making all this happen after my untimely demise. That's why I am going to be just like the .03% of Americans that respond to direct mail and send away for my Free Pre-Planning Guide. It is for my convenience and piece of mind you know... While you have that nagging feeling in the back of your skull that not everything is just right, I will be serene. Thanks to my Free Pre-Planning Guide that is.


At February 28, 2011 at 12:46:00 PM EST , Blogger Cannon said...

I want you to know that I have always held you in the highest reguard.


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