Selling Fire

I sorted the large stack of mail on the counter: Jeff. Janet. Janet. Junk mail. Jeff. Junk.

My eyebrow raised involuntarily on the last piece. Janet, or junk mail? 


I was wrong. Junk.

She opened it, shook her head, and laughed while tearing it in two. 

It was an invitation for a free Italian meal at a local restaurant!  Of course at first, I thought cheap date.

The catch though, and there’s always a catch, was you had to listen to a pre-pay your own cremation sales spiel!

No joke! 

Cremation is both a legit, and best option, for many. Recent studies show 50% of Americans and 70% of Canadians opt for cremation. In fact, it’s usually one-quarter to a third of the costs compared to a traditional funeral. I’ve had family members cremated. You probably have too.   

But selling cremation over a free meal, well that burns me up!

They even included the menu of “free” Italian entrees!

To keep in step with the delightful cremation dinner conversation, 6 of the 8 meals were “sauteed”, and a 7th was fried.  Kind of figures, huh!?

What would’ve been cool, or better said, a hot item, is if they served banana foster flambe for dessert, or maybe flaming crepes souffle. Extra crispy, please! 

Dessert, however, wasn’t on the menu. They probably don’t want you to gain weight because it would cost them more to, well, you know.

To top it off, the personal reservation code for this free meal and fiery presentation was at the bottom of the page — 1313136.  Three 13’s in a row! The unluckiest number in the world! That’s over the top CREEPY!!  

Why not just add two more 6’s at the end to send us into melt down mode with the 3 thirteens AND the mark of the beast!?

Anyway, I kind of wanted to go, not for the free high temp cooked meal, but to watch everyone’s reaction while eating during the meeting!!

How do you even start a presentation like that?

“Welcome! Today you’re going to learn how to get the smokin’ hot body you’ve always wanted!”   

The salesman would turn up the heat to make a sale.  “You know, just think of it like turning your favorite blue jeans into dryer lint.” 

He’d probably eyeball someone a little ashy in color. “Come on, sign up now! I mean dude, really, you look like you may not make it out of here!”   

Their brochure wasn’t just selling cremation.  It was advertising “smart cremation”.  I’m just guessing that means head, not feet first.

And just in case you think I’m making this stuff up, below is a scanned copy of the ad I taped back together!

I even thought about getting a bad sunburn at the lake beforehand.  I could just sit there sweating profusely, fanning myself for extra effect, asking the waiter for more and more water.  

The real fun though would be the question-and-answer session!  Imagine acting really excited, like you just found all of life’s answers, and then firing off a series of questions about the details.  

Can I get a little discount if I’ve never used hydrating skin lotion?

And what about my ashes?  Could you put me in a goldfish bowl instead of an urn so my expensive dental implant would shine on the edge of the glass?

Do you have a non-smokers plan?

And me oh my!! I see here on your brochure you have a relocation program!  Can you send me to New Zealand? It’s on my bucket list, even if I’ve kicked it. 

Is there extra insurance to make sure I’m not sprinkled like fertilizer over my neighbor’s tomato plants?

It would be a true fun spree to see how everyone there reacted! 

I imagine the salesman, probably named Igor, getting a burn in his belly when he realized I wasn’t serious.  He’d start getting anxious about poor sales and getting fired.  

What’s more, the ashy looking guy would’ve had time to start worrying too. He’d tell me in a panic to shut up because he didn’t have time to be messing around.  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I really thought about going, but it just seemed like a dead-end evening.  Now, I really regret I didn’t RSVP. 

It would’ve been so much fun! 

Instead, I simply stayed at the lake a little longer to soak up more sun.  

Just getting a head start. 


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