Halloween Is Early (Or In Case Of Premature Demise) by Maggie Millus



This blog is a little strange, but because Halloween is on its way, I decided the topic was fair game.



I got another cemetery ad in the mail today. What do I need a cemetery for? I think it’s a little premature. But then, a person never knows…Could be today, tomorrow, or never if I’m immortal.   In any case, the backyard will do just fine. No, Howard won’t be digging a hole 6 feet deep. He won’t have to, I’ll just be cremated. In a regular crematorium. No backyard barbeque… It would be hard to explain the smell. I can see it now:

Neighbor: Don’t you smell that awful odor?

Howard: Well, something’s a little ripe.

Neighbor: My god…what could it be?

Howard: Probably something dead…

We live in Florida and Florida has a low water table. That’s bad for cemeteries.   Dig three feet and you hit water. It’s worse if you live next to a canal, water fills the hole even faster. Heavy rains turn caskets and concrete vaults into floaters.   So if I wasn’t cremated, in a bad rain, my body would come popping out of the ground like a piece of burnt toast from an incontinent toaster.

Now I bet you’re thinking, hey you can’t bury a body in a backyard. But Florida has no laws against this.  In Florida, you may be buried in your backyard (body or ashes) assuming you haven’t been shot, stabbed, garroted, poisoned or some other way murdered. As long as you do the paperwork. In other words, Howard’s going to get off cheap and boy, are the plants gonna bloom!

Another nice thing about Florida, you can keep ashes anywhere – but not a body. Keeping a body in a freezer in this state will get you in a peck of trouble. And forget about keeping it in an attic. Florida homes do not have functional attics, so that is out. And then there is the heat of the summer. And the odor – embalmed or not. Besides that would be just a little sick. No, make that a lot sick.

If you don’t want to sprinkle your beloved’s ashes on the begonias, you can display them. Anywhere. Preferably in an urn or fancy metal box. Since most Florida homes don’t have fireplaces, a fireplace mantle is out. But there is always the coffee table. Two urn bookends would be nice and a lot easier to explain as in: “Oh. Those? They are pretty, aren’t they?” … ”Ohhhh, you mean the urns!…” followed by “Those are Mom’s…” And finally, “Two urns? Well, Mom had good days and bad days…”

If you are dropping your beloved’s remains from the air, they must be in the form of ashes, not the whole container. The ashes must be dropped without their container. You don’t want to hit someone down below because it’s unlikely that they will hear you when you yell “Fore!” The ashes alone won’t be a problem, because whoever is down there will think it’s just Sahara dust.

I guess there's not much sun today...

This ashes thing in the backyard is a bit worrisome too. What if the cats are out of fresh cat litter? The variation in consistency and bone fragments might be irresistible. And I won’t be in any shape to stop the inevitable outcome. And then there’s always the dog…

I guess I’ll think outside the box and check out a cemetery anyway. One with a very expensive, above ground crypt where my relatives can sit and contemplate how much money they’ve spent on putting me in a better place.



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