The wife was chuckling at a commercial on the TV the other day. It was one of them Insurance commercials where the lady was sayin that her friend was left with a ten thousand dollar bill for her mother’s funeral expenses. That was what struck the wife funny. She says, “Who would pay ten thousand dollars to give somebody coffee and a piece of cake?” Well, she’s got a point. Ten grand for a nice lunch and some kind words said about you when you’re not even there anymore – that seems a bit rich.
You got your embalming costs to make you look nice for the party, then you need a fancy coffin. The minister or priest who sends you off don’t come that cheap anymore neither. I don’t know – maybe that’s bribe money for him/her to say fine things about the dear departed, and probably make up some story as to where he/she goes in the spirit world.
Of course, the caterin’ don’t come for nothin’ neither. All them rolled up baloney sandwiches and little squares of cheese, with coffee or tea (if you want to call it that) pretty well takes off an arm and a leg. And who knows who might show up for the funeral? Dollars to donuts there’s people linin’ up for a free lunch, like at a high-class food bank.
Oh and don’t forget about the interment neither. I swear they price them plots out by the cubic centimeter. The opening and closing of the grave is about twenty minutes with a backhoe, but they have a special rate for that too.
It’s easy to see how ten grand goes down the hole in a matter of minutes while the poor dear departed lies in the waterlogged ground awaiting the arrival of the maggots that will make short work of him/her. The wife is right. It’s a lousy investment.
Now there’s a place in Tibet, way up in the mountains, about as close to heaven as it’s possible to get while still havin’ your feet on solid ground. They got a special way to deal with this funeral stuff, and they don’t need no undertaker or nothin. It’s strictly a family affair. Well of course they make lunches and things for everybody to eat. They also got their own way of washing and preparing the body respectfully. Well, when all the rigmarole is said and done with, they load up the body and begin a trek up the mountain, even higher than where they live. They’re joined then by a man who is not a family member. He’s armed with a small axe that looks something like a tomahawk and he traipses along behind them.
Well, they hold another small ceremony up there above the clouds and start their hike back down the mountain, leaving the corpse right there on the ground for the guy with the tomahawk. He of course, hacks it all up into bite size pieces for the host of giant vultures circling overhead, and takes off himself. By the time they all get home, there’s no body left to worry about.
And that’s a pretty tidy way of gettin’ things done without a whole lot of expense or diggin’ holes in the ground. The Insurance companies would have a tough time sellin’ their policies in that society. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.