Now almost age 92, I get frequent offers from people eagerly interested in my business. They include nursing home owners, sex enhancer makers, denture suppliers, hernia relievers, constipation pill peddlers and others wanting to cash in on this almost-dead oldster.
One of the most often repeated TV commercials is for a cremation organization. I won’t name names, because this essay is a not-ready-for-the-oven, fired-up rant. I’m ridiculing the half-baked idea of what the cremation promoters call pre-planning.
However, as much as the spooky idea of cremation freaks me out, I must admire the sales pitch. By responding to TV and newspaper ads, potential customers are invited to free lunches at local restaurants to learn about a future trip to the oven.
I spent 50 years in the ad racket, so it’s no surprise to me that the intent is to pump free-lunch seniors full of hard-sell pitches. Attendees are urged to pre-pay for cremation rather than wait for traditional, more expensive burial plans after they shuffle off this mortal coil.
There’s nothing new about the cremation hard-sell promotions. Other businesses, such as time-share vacation peddlers, use the same pressure-cooked tactics with free meals and other creative pitches.
I assume cremation organizations are legitimate business enterprises with required permits and licenses to provide a necessary service. I’ve never attended any of the free lunch promotions, but if I ever did, here are some questions this nonagenarian cynic would ask:
Is it OK if I 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? No, no, I didn’t mean THAT oven!
If one of your late customers has a wooden leg, does he burn brighter than the others?
For your next TV commercial, star the kardASHians, hire a FLAMEnco dancer or quote a Robert BURNs poem to promote your cremation service?
May I choose that my ashes be scattered over a busy Las Vegas street corner where smoking hot hookers work their fiery trade?
How much money will you urn by stuffing me into your earn? Well, you know what I mean.