Sunday, February 11, 2007

Things We Do to the Dead

My department’s secretary Lindsay returned from a funeral on Tuesday where the body of the deceased was on display wearing his Oakley sunglass, NASCAR racing jacket, wrangler jeans, ostrich skin cowboy boots, and a can of Skoal tucked gently in his hand. That my friends, is what white trash is all about. Apparently there was originally a bottle of Jack Daniels in the casket, but it was stolen during the viewing the night before.

Another friend of mine works at a funeral home. Now, he himself doesn’t do anything particularly exciting like embalming the corpses or fixing their hair and make-up; he’s just an admin. That was true until last week, when he was asked to press the feet of a stillborn fetus onto his desk Xerox machine. No one had provided the funeral home with the deceased’s birth certificate, which is the origin of the footprints so popularly printed on the memorial programs of babies. The day before the funeral, drastic measures were needed to ensure the timely printing of the programs. And thus, in a back office of the administrative wing, my friend, with his assistant, juggled the lifeless corpse, pressing its tiny feet onto the freshly cleaned class of the copy machine. The resulting image revealed not only the footprints, but also the hands of the men holding the baby, which had to be edited out, not with Photoshop, but an entire bottle of whiteout. Ultimately, the prints were made, the family was pleased, and that’s all the really matters I guess.

1 comment:

blythe said...

ok, i do remember this story now. sort of... i'm sure i was appalled.