THE PLOT THICKENS

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THE PLOT THICKENS

A man parks his nondescript SUV along a curve on a residential street and crosses the street. He is Delivery Guy. He walks up to the house and rings the doorbell. No one answers the door. Delivery Guy sticks a small piece of paper on the door, crosses the street, gets in his SUV, and drives away.

A woman and a man are inside the house. They are Kristi and Callaghan. They watch Delivery Guy leave from their living-room window. Callaghan opens the door to get the piece of paper stuck to the door.

Callaghan brings the piece of paper to Kristi. They see that it’s a pre-printed form note that looks like it came from a quirky gag gift post-it pad one can buy at a hip independent bookstore. The note is printed with: DELIVERY NOTICE! Important Time & Date Sensitive Material

Kristi sees her name hand-written on the note. The note does not feature the names of either the sending company or the shipping company. The note is printed with: Please call within 24 hours to reschedule your delivery

CUT TO FIVE DAYS LATER

Kristi calls the number on the note. A funeral home voice mail recording picks up.

We see Kristi’s face. Her expression is wondering what Time & Date Sensitive Material a funeral home would need to deliver to someone’s door.

We see her face remembering that she received in the mail an invitation to purchase a cemetery plot.

We see her face realizing that it’s the same funeral home.

CUT TO THREE HOURS LATER

Callaghan walks into the house.

KRISTI

They REALLY want to sell me a cemetery plot. But why does their note say Time & Date Sensitive? Do they know something I don’t? Am I on their list of people who are going to die, like, tomorrow?

CALLAGHAN

It’s time and date sensitive for them. They have to grab you first, and before you die.

[/END SCRIPT]

(Sorry, I don’t know how else to show that I’m done writing in screenplay mode)

So here’s the punchline: I finally got the funeral home person on the phone and found out that the delivery guy was trying to deliver the funeral home’s “complimentary gift.” The one they said they’d include with any promotional info I’d request. Remember how I filled out their form just to see what they’d send as a complimentary gift?

“Please share your name and address to receive your complimentary gift and any information you requested.”

I asked the guy, “What’s the complimentary gift you were trying to deliver?”

He said, “The complimentary gift is a brochure.”

Er, right.

 

File this under “Things no one tells you about aging.” (Mortuary letter WTF.)

Have you ever received a survey asking whether you’ve made your final arrangements? If you’re 50+, you probably have, because evidently you’re ripe for the picking.

I’m turning 50 this year, and I’m now being solicited by mortuaries (in a letter sent by an umbrella mortuary corporation) whose promotional mailing wants to know all kinds of intimate details about my death plans.

My jaw dropped in disbelief and amusement last week when I opened the mail addressed to me (not to Callaghan, who’s 14 months younger) and read this letter and survey asking the following questions:

  • Have you already arranged for a funeral in advance? If no, would you like more information?
  • Are you aware that you can lock in your costs at today’s prices by arranging for a funeral in advance, no matter how many years it is between commitment and use?
  • In the event of your death, who is responsible for making your final arrangements?
  • Are your loved ones aware of your preference in funeral arrangements? If yes, have you provided detailed written instructions to them about your arrangements?
  • Have you already purchased a cemetery plot? If no, would you like more information?

I have a question for them: Really?

First of all, if you’re struggling with depression, it is – at the least – darkly hilarious to receive a mortuary corporation’s sales pitch. It’s not every day Callaghan walks into the kitchen and finds me laughing over a random piece of junk mail. 

At the worst, this sort of mail could be awful should it reach a person at the wrong time, during the wrong circumstances, depression or otherwise.

Secondly? Everything.

But it gets better. Beneath the survey, the letter says, “Please share your name and address to receive your complimentary gift and any information you requested.”

I’m tempted to send in the survey just for that, because I would LOVE to see what a “complimentary gift” from a mortuary would be. In fact, I think I will. Seriously.

We’re all on their list, my friends. THEY are waiting for us to reach their target demographic. They’ve decided that 50 (49.5!) puts you in the shadow of death’s door. These mortuary corporations have your birth dates, names, and addresses, and they’re waiting.  

So here we are with my minor gripe: AARP forgot all about me, but the mortuary people did not… and they’ve wasted no time in attempting to sell me their wares.

I want DISCOUNTS, not a cemetery plot.