The perils of cremation company advertising

From the desk of friendly neighborhood Paragraph Stacker Daniel P. Finney of Des Moines Iowa:

I’m trying not to take it as an omen that the first piece of mail after the end of my job at the local TV station was from a cremation company.

The brochure boasts over 20,000 Iowans have placed their trust in the company. I’m not sure how to take that statistic. Read another way, it could say: We’ve burned the bodies of a lot of dead Iowans – and you could be next!

A cremation company is a tough thing for to advertise. If cremation were laundry detergent, they would add a different color to the powder and call it “new” and “improved.”

But it might be bad for a crematorium to boast about it’s “extra strength” 1,800-degree furnace.

I joke here, but I plan to be cremated. I would do a traditional funeral, but I’m an obese man and I don’t know six guys strong enough to carry me.

I want my ashes mixed with buckshot and I want my buddies to have a spread with buffalo wings, Tasty Tacos and steak fries with all the Diet Mountain Dew and Coors you can drink. Whatever’s left in the Folgers can can be mixed in with some fireworks, you know, for the kids.

I want my buddies to take turns blasting my mortal remains into the sky while having a good time and listening to some boot-stomping music with their shit-kickers on.

Please don’t think me maudlin. I am of sound mind and body, although body is a bit rickety.

I’m just amused to be getting the cremation solicitations. The brochure especially impressed me with its “48-state Travel Protection.” You drop dead in the lower 48, these fellows will come get you and burn your corpse.

That’s dedication.

Not only will they cremate your remains, they’ll do it with “Iowa Values.”

That’s good. I don’t want some sumbitch with Tennessee values disposing of my remains. For all we know those bastards use the metric system down there. By God, my husk will be burned by people high on ethanol fumes and high fructose corn syrup the way my ancestors always imagined.

I mentioned the cremation brochure was thoughtful. There’s a small disclaimer at the bottom of the page: If this advertisement has come to you at a time of illness or sorrow, please accept our apologies.

I see where the company is going with this, but I think they’re missing their mark. These fliers ought to be going out to the hospices and ICUs. This is where your potential customer base is.

I’m 45. I’ve got a few dents in the side and the engine burns oil, but I’m still on the road for another few thousand miles. Hell, I don’t have a job, but I’m not ready for the cremation negotiation.

But I’m going to fill out this note cart asking for “FREE” information about cremation if for no other reason that it’ll give me a reason to walk out to the mailbox each day looking for new angles on this cremation situation.

Daniel P. Finney is journalist in transition. What that really means is he needs a job. is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification. I’m freshly unemployed and have a big tax bill to pay. All donations are greatly appreciated and needed. Visit

1 Comment

  1. droll53 says:

    Cremation is a good choice. And the wake to dispose of the ashes is good too! I plan on cremation; but I’m gonna torture my brothers by making them figure put what to do with the ashes. ✌️😉 (Good to hear from you.)


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