If you’ve visited before, you may know that I have self-published a few books. When you self-publish enough books, you get noticed. Some authors get noticed by readers, but I find that I get noticed much more often by aggressive marketers, trying to sell me their publishing platforms. These platforms usually come at a high price for very little useful platform, so I disregard the advertisements.
When this marketing piece appeared in my mailbox, I assumed it was from a fly-by-night, vanity press that had bought my name from a mailing list in the hope I possess three important characteristics:
- I am ignorant of publishing scams.
- I harbor dreams of penning the autobiography of my quietly fascinating life.
- I do not know what the word fascinating means.
Before tossing the piece into the recycle bin, I turned it over to make note of the name of the publishing company trying to take advantage of my feeble-minded sense of self-importance.
That’s when it hit me. Publishing companies, even the shady ones, don’t have Memory Gardens in their names nearly so much as cemeteries do.
I am not being recruited by a shady publisher, but by a shady plot in a peaceful meadow. They’re not trying to sell me a two-bit book layout for my memoirs; they’re trying to sell me a hole to bury my carcass.
This is disturbing, because nowadays these marketers know more about you than you do. Last year, AARP was all over my 50th birthday like flies on sheet cake. What does Memory Gardens know about me that puts me on the same prospect list with Great Depression Babies? Should I take heart that it’s addressed to me OR whomever took up residence in my death trap of a home after my demise?
I guess the best thing is to find the humor in it, of which there is plenty. I do enjoy the Resolutions theme: A new year is a time for resolutions. Why don’t you resolve to die this year?
I also like the appeal to the control freak: By planning your final arrangements in advance, you can still tell everybody what to do even after you’re dead. After all, you wouldn’t want them to grieve in any way but the one that suits your departed ego.
But the best laugh is reserved for the smallest print:
“Our sincerest condolences if this was received during a time of mourning.” In other words, “We hope we’re not too late, but if the next of kin need to throw something together right away, we are such considerate people, and by the way, we still do have plots available.”
Having considered all this, I’ve decided I’m not writing my autobiography or resolving to die this year. I’m hoping to keep my story to myself for a while longer.
It’s funny AND it’s sad or
It’s funny because it’s sad?
I agree. It’s difficult to find the appropriate combination of funny and sad to describe it.
Glad to hear you plan on living this year. Crazy adds.
Well, that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes.
Fingers crossed! lol
I shall leave the person nameless, Scott, but she exhibited so much control before she died that after she died, everything had to be done according to her. No one was allowed to even know where her ashes were released, or buried, or are being kept except for only a few. I requested to have a small amount of ashes to be buried in my gardens and I was told um, sorry, but this person left explicit directions and that’s not an option. I learned a great lesson from this …. Live life NOW. Who CARES what happens afterwards? That’s not to say however, that my treasures will be designated to those who I consider true friends and family. I encourage you to write your LIFE now in all you do! I read somewhere lately (the Tao) that when you act selflessly and in Love, those actions never perish. Huh. I like that! As for those ads …. circular file please! 😜
Wow, Amy, that’s pretty tight control. I’m thinking about writing a self-glorifying song that all my mourners will be required to sing at my wake.
Yes I agree that is crazy control. But that is what this person’s entire life was all about basically. I have yet to decide what I’m going to do and I’m crossing all my fingers that I have plenty of time to figure things out. 😉
Plenty of time. Relax and enjoy life.
Well, Scott, you’ve now disparaged the proprietress of my final resting place…Eastlawn, but not the one at 1600 Pennsylvania. My final chapter will be written by MSU Medical Sciences. I requested of them internment -or ash sprinkling- on the banks of the Red Cedar, but those holding my “last rights” say it will be East Lawn Memory Garden, not the shady banks across from Spartan Stadium. That’s what I resolved many years ago.
I vote for the Red Cedar. Who cares about all the duck poop?
I loved this post! I wish WordPress had the little emojis like Facebook so I could have hit the “Wow” or “Haha” face instead of just Like. I personally have always told my loved ones that I don’t care what they do with my carcass after I’m gone — bury it in the garden, burn it, stuff it, whatever. Now that I’m on the shady side of 50 myself, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t consider pre-planning at some point, not to control anything but to save folks trouble. Then I think, “Oh, yeah, like anybody’s going to take any trouble over me.” Then I think maybe I WILL be controlling by forcing my family to make ALL the decisions about my corpse. I can always come back as a ghost and haunt them if I don’t like what they decide.
Face it: there’s gonna be some reason you’ll want to come back and haunt them. You might as well just add the tacky funeral they threw for you as supplementary motive for rattling your chains at them.
I was unsure where this was going at first… the scam that actually WASN’T a scam? I too like the appeal to the control freak: “By planning your final arrangements in advance, you can still tell everybody what to do even after you’re dead.” LOL! The small print about “Sorry if you happen to be in mourning” was too much, like they don’t want to come off as preying on the bereaved. I don’t really care what happens to me after I die. The cheapest and most efficient way to dispose of your body? Donate it to science, be a cadaver for medical school. No, really. They will do all the work, pester the county to hurry up with your death certificate (which will help your family cash in on your life insurance faster), arrange transportation, preserve you in formaldehyde, and dispose of you in a discreet and sanitary manner when they’re done chopping you up and looking inside. Being dead solves the problem of shyness while lying naked in front of a group of strangers. My second choice, an organic burial pod where I’ll simply rot and return to dust. Not that I’ve thought about it extensively… heck no, I’m not even AARP eligible yet. So keep calm and blog on, Scott! 🙂
You’ve got a lot of really good ideas here. Just imagine what you’ll come up with once you start thinking about it. Maybe you can do the Spock thing where they shoot your pod onto a regenerating planet. Something to think about, you know, when you start thinking about it.
This is my favorite one yet. I laughed out loud several times. You managed to make something hysterical
out of a piece of junk mail.
Thank you, but the junk mail was pretty hysterical already.
I found this amusing thanks for the chuckle/
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