Now age 90, I get frequent offers from people eagerly interested in my business. They include nursing homes, sex enhancer makers, denture suppliers, hernia relievers, constipation pill peddlers and others wanting to cash in on the still-breathing elderly.
For example, there’s the TV commercial for a cremation organization. I won’t name names, because this essay is a not-quite-ready-for-the-oven old guy’s rant. It’s my half-baked rant of what the cremation promoters call pre-planning.
As much as the spooky idea of cremation freaks me out, I must admire the organization’s sales promotion method. By responding to TV and newspaper ads, potential senior customers are invited to attend free lunches at local restaurants to learn about the service.
I spent 50 years in the advertising and sales promotion racket, so it’s no surprise to me that the intent is to subject free-lunch seniors to hard-sell pitches. Attendees are urged to pre-pay for cremation rather than wait for traditional, much more expensive funerals and burials.
There’s nothing new about hard-sell promotions. Other businesses, such as time-share vacation peddlers and financial services, use the same pressure-cooked tactics at free lunch meetings.
I assume cremation organizations are legitimate business enterprises with required permits and licenses to provide an honest and necessary service. I’ve never attended any of the free lunch promotions, but if I ever did, I submit pre-planned questions this nine-decade-old cynic would ask:
Is it OK to smoke during the cremation sales pitch?
Is that background music we hear ,“Light My Fire?”
If my free flame-broiled lunch is served undercooked, may I send it back to the oven?
If one of your cremation customers was a pirate, does his wooden leg burn brighter than the rest of him?
How much money will you urn by stuffing my ashes into your earn? Well, you know what I mean.
For your next TV commercial, would you hire the KardASHians, BURNie Sanders or the COOKie Monster to promote your service?
May I choose that my ashes be scattered over the busiest hookers’ street corner in Las Vegas?
Gosh, I’m getting all fired up! Do you mind if I pre-plan to bring my favorite politician to your next free lunch?