Bury Me Not


Happiness Is a Functioning Urinary Tract ... Part 1

Happiness is reaching an age
when you can say to anyone ...
humor me, I'm at that age ...

by Doral Chenoweth, the old one

The very day of my 65th birthday, the one Social Security folk sell to used car salesmen, the first phone call was from a Mike, no last name. He congratulated me as if it was some wonderful achievement on my part. Then he said he was calling on behalf of AARP. He wanted to know if I had made arrangements for the excessive costs my family would have to get me six feet under in a lead-lined vault.

Asshole. Permit me. That is uttered at the end of all telemarketing calls. By everyone.

Well, he didn't use those specific words, but I quickly sucked in the message, a troublesome habit of mine when it comes to telemarketers. My Susie says I encourage telephone peddlers to saturate some sort of perverse pleasure. She is so right. That was the day I kept questioning Mike for details of what he, or AARP, had in their plans for body disposal. Just little details for a burial was my line of questioning. One, I recall, could AARP make sure I was buried in my Boy Scout uniform? His reply centered on what he was reading from a prepared script. "You do know that funerals can cost your family from $6,000 to upwards double that…" When I inquired about a burial in Arlington Cemetery, Mike answered by saying Social Security death benefits were only $300. When he asked me where Arlington Cemetery was, I knew it was time to let him go. Just for record, I have refused to affiliate with any outfit seeing a profit in my demise.


And over these several years of refusing to die on their schedules I have created a stock form letter I return to all churches, mortuaries, ambulance companies, burial plot peddlers and crematories seeking my still-warm remains.

That form letter to whom or what ever under the business name is loaded with stuff some may consider profane. Therefore, this intrafamily edict comes from an eldery student of Maledicta, the 1977 edition of the International Journal of Verbal Aggression.

Just for stronger response, I am a proselytizer for an Ivy league philosopher, one of those Ph.D sort, Harry G. Frankfurt. To understand and appreciate Dr. Frankfurt and my infatuation, best I suggest a Google search. The title of his best work would be bleeped on this newsprint. But, this is an elongated explanation his writings...he has a proven ability to shovel through the debated meanings of life based on his concept of higher order volitions. Simply put, he digs into the moist muck of life. Read into that, his page 43 one-liner telling me that "excrement is a representation of death that we ourselves produce..." There is sufficient reason that after death I should no longer create problems for the living.

In death, my remains should not consume energy of others. I should no longer take up earthly space. I should limit any grieving, albeit traditionally short lived by all. My exacting instructions are to save ink and newsprint by not embellishing details of an ornery life. Humanity will survive without having to know my place of birth or the names of cousins who passed on a half century ago three states away. The purity of confusion in my life has been made so by managing to avoid all preachers. That purity shall continue. I have instructed my son to save bronze or other metals used in casket manufacture.

In my perverse reasoning I am avoiding use of any Middle Eastern gasoline needed to tote my lump from some ornate funeral home to an AstroTurf-lined hole six feet deep. Instead of that picture using a Caddy hearse and at least one limo loaded with family, my ashes are to be picked up by my son at the oven. The dust and forged metal parts presently in my body are to be placed in an empty circular oat meal container. I always liked Quaker Oats. Under a cover of darkness he is to spread those ashes, not to the wind but to public soil. That earth, I reason, will not be disturbed for decades. It would be disturbing to me if a burger joint or, for certain, an evil empire coffee house scattered my toasties.

To Hallmark, the marble etchers and bronze tablet makers, keyboard your outrage to this newspaper. My Internet is down. Again.

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The Last Shovel