Thursday, March 24, 2011

What will they think of next?


It was only a matter of time. We have wedding planners, party planners, cuisine consultants, and life coaches, why not funeral planners?

That day has come. Shiva Sisters is here!

Shiva Sisters is (in their words) a full service company, which lightens the burden for those who have lost a loved one. Our company creates meaningful receptions, shivas and memorials.

This is a service geared to baby boomers. Drugs didn’t get all of us in the ‘60s. We have disposable cash, and who wants to give up an afternoon of golf to make funeral arrangements? Ugh!

A recent article about this boasts such memorial tributes as releasing balloons that are the favorite color of the deceased, special non deli menus (deli food is so…obvious), providing an opera singer at the grave site (I guess to prove it really is over), a marching band, and my personal favorite – for an extra $200 or so mourners could take one final ride in a special hearse towed by a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

It’s one thing for weddings and bar mitzvahs to have “themes” (and even some of those are absurd). How soon until I attend a “Star Trek” funeral? The immediate family is given Spock ears to wear and the service is done entirely in Klingon.

I also see the rom-com possibilities. How many wedding planner movies have there been? Now comes Jennifer Lopez as the “Funeral Planner”. Good at her job but always complaining that all the good men are taken. Along comes Mark Ruffalo whose wife was crushed to death in a car wash accident. He comes to her planning the “King’s Speech”-themed funeral. There’s an immediate attraction. But there’s always a zany complication. In this case it’s that Ruffalo’s dead wife isn’t even cold yet.

So they don’t date. Jennifer becomes depressed. She’s not having fun planning burials anymore. But they bump into each other at other funerals she arranges. They dance together during the “Romancing the Stone”-themed memorial. Take a surfing lesson together at the Gidget-grieve. And finally kiss at the Spongebob Squarepants cremation ceremony. They fall in love, and in a touching finale they combine the unveiling of his late wife’s headstone with their wedding reception. Add some vintage Motown hits and you’ve got the feel-good tear jerker of the summer.

Then come the reality shows, and finally THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF FOREST LAWN.

If this doesn’t make you want to live forever I don’t know what will.

16 comments:

Phillip B said...

From the 2004 film "Undertaking Betty," Christopher Walken and Lee Evans plan a Star Trek funeral -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r7EmZNQ10E

Alfred Molina and Walken play rival funeral directors in a small town in England. There are lots of dance numbers...

Leslie said...

The funny thing is I can SO imagine a Star Trek funeral. Complete with sending up the person's ashes on a home made rocket. Oye.

TheEnginesCantTakeit said...

Actually, the ashes of James Doohan (he played Scotty) were scheduled to blasted into space by SpaceX but unfortunately the rocket didn't achieve orbit. I believe there are companies out there that are planning on adopting an "orbit your ashes" funeral business plan.

Gnasche said...

I foresee a lot a funerals like the one in Serial, with Martin Mull. Everybody will just remember the arbitrary (and recent) stuff about you, and pretend that's who you were.

We recently had a horrific incident here where a tow truck driver was killed. The funeral was overwhelmingly tow truck themed. And I thought how horrible would it be for the funeral remembering my life to be all about my stupid job.

Please Don't Eat Me said...

"Four Funerals and a Star Trek Convention" - with High Grant and Natalie Portman starring - a Star Trek nerd meets the love of his life when her first husband dies in the nerd's comic book store.

"Bring Me the Head of Dr Spock" - to honor their mother's dying wish, her sons go on a quest to find Dr Spock to he can give the eulogy at her funeral.

The Return of William Shatner - a William Shatner look-a-like is mistakenly buried alive, he returns from the dead and targets a funeral director and terrorizes a small town.

AlaskaRay said...

Sounds like a great service. I'm going to reserve my date now. I wonder if April 1, 2125 is taken?

Ray

Groucho Marx said...

“I intend to live forever, or die trying.”

I'd pay to see that movie said...

Ken: Your parody is still better than 98% of the movies that actually get made.


VW: metra - adjective to describe a straight woman who dresses like a lesbian

Anonymous said...

The opera singer line was one of the funniest things I ever read.

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

If the funeral is Star Trek-themed, complete with a service done in Klingon, then it means the deceased is eligible to enter Sto-Vo-Kor, also known as Klingon heaven.

I almost feel embarassed to actually know that kind of detail.

Cap'n Bob said...

Apropos of nothing said here, I listened to your broadcast of the M's game last night, Ken. A few things jumped out at me: 1) You sound very young, 2) I recognized one of your anecdotes from your book, and 3) I loved it when you said, late in the game during wholesale player changes, something like, "No one knows these guys and they won't be here long anyway." I can only assume you guys get all the ballpark beer you can guzzle, and by the 8th inning you're shitfaced. It was a great, fun time even though the M's lost yet again. One other thing--I tried to watch the game on Tv while listening to the ESPN podcast and the time delay was about half an inning.

cshel said...

The idea of an actual fat lady singing at a funeral is hilarious! I want that!

Ken Levine said...

So is sounding really young a good thing or a bad thing?

RCP said...

When the time comes, I'll be left on a beach somewhere and carried out on the tide. That's what we did with Uncle Fess - we knew he'd want it that way.

Cap'n Bob said...

Sounding young isn't bad, Ken, it just took me by surprise. Not that I was expecting a Walter Brennan soundalike.

Pete Grossman said...

"providing an opera singer at the grave site (I guess to prove it really is over)"

Ah Ken, a thing of beauty. Thank you for the laugh.