Sunday, May 18, 2008

One Of Us Is Unclear On The Concept

...maybe it's me.

I live just down the road from a rather large cemetery. I can't exactly see it from my house, but I drive past it on one of two routes out of my subdivision.

With Memorial Day coming up, the cemetery is apparently gearing up for an influx of visitors. As I drove past the cemetery yesterday, I saw a series of 5 signs set up Burma Shave style only larger (for those of you too young to remember Burma Shave signs, I can only imagine how empty and unfulfilled your lives must be... you probably don't even have a "contrast" knob on your television).

Anyway, the first three signs seemed innocuous enough:




Pretty somber stuff, huh? Keep in mind that there's a large field of gravestones behind these signs. Cars are already turning into the cemetery at a faster rate than usual. Even a left-wing, anti-war, aging hippie like myself can't help but feel a slight tug at all those people and their memories of lost spouses, relatives and friends.

But wait, there are two more signs:



Um... Huh?

At some level, I'm sure it was inappropriate for me to laugh out loud as I drove by, but I have to wonder a few things:

Was it less appropriate than the carnival-like atmosphere that these signs introduced to my mind?

What are the great prizes? Do you get a plot? A headstone? A good view of South Kings Highway for all eternity?

What do you need to do to win the great prizes? Do you win the ring toss game with hula hoops and the Virgin Mary statue? Do you find the most objects in some sort of really ghoulish scavenger hunt? Do you have to be present to win? Do you just.... die?

And what exactly am I joining if I join them today? Are they asking me to be buried... today? Are there any enrollment qualifications? Is there a sign-up fee? What if I change my mind later, am I locked in for some specific term?

I decided to pass on (get it?) this. If you go, let me know how it was for you.

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