In the same day I saw two signs that got me thinking. One read “Motivational Services,” and the other read “Funeral Alternatives.” Since I have a twisted mind, all sorts of thoughts regarding these signs laid eggs in my head.What in the world could each of them mean?
Here are some “motivational services” I dreamed up:
- Motivational Service #1: this one is to motivate weight loss. It’s essentially the old “carrot and stick” routine, only using a Big Mac instead of a carrot. You are placed on a treadmill set at top speed, trying to catch up to the Big Mac before you fall, hurt yourself or throw up.
- Motivational Service #2: in order to reach your goal in business, you have to broad jump over a flaming pit. No fair cheating, and if you’re burned, you have to drive yourself to the hospital.
- Motivational Service #3: the goal for this one is to see just how much you are willing to do in order to beat all others in business. Along with several others, you line up like a horse on the race track. A tiny jockey hops up on your back, and the goal is to run as fast as you can to the finish line first without passing out or puking.
- Motivational Service #4: you sign up for an office get-away for you and your staff for “relaxation and renewal.” During the get-away, there are certain “trust” exercises in which you must take part, including the *Trust Fall. Only this time you have to do the fall entrusting yourself to your team, which includes all the people you’ve screwed over in business. Good luck!
- Motivational Service #5: this one is highly recommended for those who procrastinate. In order to encourage reaching your goals, you are told to climb the ‘rope of success.’ You must climb a long rope hanging from a cliff, and at the top of the cliff is a big sign reading, “CONGRATULATIONS! You have achieved success! Welcome to a high-paying, low-effort job in the corporate world!” As you start climbing, the person at the bottom lights your rope on fire. As you are literally forced between a rock and a hard place, you’d better hustle.
Now the “Funeral Alternatives” really got me thinking: I could picture someone coming in to plan their funeral; nothing traditional–something really different that “fits” that particular person. Before I list some ideas, just let me tell you that the Crankee Yankee has asked me to give him a Viking funeral. The man really thinks that I am going to stuff his lifeless body into a boat, cover him with kindling, and set him on on fire before I push his dead butt out to sea. Sheesh.
Now here are some alternatives to your really alternative funerals:
- Funeral Alternative #1: “The Chilly Willy” – this one calls for you to be freeze-dried. Once you’re frozen solid, someone hits you on the head with a mallet, and you crumble to pieces. The pieces are then carefully collected and placed in a tasteful urn of your choice. (This is a great choice for those of us who abhor heat and therefore do not wish to be cremated.)
- Funeral Alternative #2:“The Hans Solo” – for those of you who are Star Wars fans, you will remember Jabba the Hut having Hans Solo suspended indefinitely in carbonite. Now, for an extra fee, you can have your carbonitized body placed in a tasteful frame to hang in the room of your choice.
- Funeral Alternative #3:“The Harry Houdini” – for those who prefer a more dramatic ending, this may just be your cup of tea. Your dead and still-flexible body is neatly folded and placed in an attractive trunk, which is then locked and draped in several heavy chains. From there, you are taken out to sea and dropped into the ocean in a latitude and longitude of your choice. The best part? Someday some deep sea diver may haul you up, pry open the barnacle-encrusted lid and SURPRISE!
- Funeral Alternative #4: “The Museum Piece” – this is a great idea for those who have an exhibitionist side. For this one, your body is carefully arranged in a pose of your choice (please choose something tasteful–after all, you’re going to be in it for all eternity). Your body will then be prepared in the same manner as beef jerky, and, when dry, will be transported to the museum of your choice to be part of an exhibit with others similarly prepared.
- Funeral Alternative #5: “The King Tut” – a classic! This is an excellent choice for a person with an over-inflated sense of self (it’s also the most expensive choice). Your body is prepared by a special team straight from Cairo, Egypt, who are experts in the arcane art of mummification. Once your body is steeped in Colonel Akbar’s dressing of eleven secret herbs and spices, you are wrapped in handmade linen strips in the old pattern of the great kings of Egypt. You are then placed in a sarcophagus made from your choice of stone (granite, sandstone, or marble), and the lid, painted with your image and decorated with gold leaf and lapis stones, is placed over you and sealed for all eternity. For an additional fee, you can have real Egyptian workers build you a tasteful pyramid in the cemetery of your choice. As a free gift, they’ll throw in a nicely-framed plaque reading, “I win, losers!” to be put on display at the entrance to the pyramid.
If anyone from these two businesses are reading this, sorry!
*The Trust Fall is an exercise in which each person takes a turn in standing on a platform and falling backwards into the arms of their team.