A Burning Desire for Free Lunch Could Land You A Cremation Deal

https://www.theblot.com/a-burning-desire-for-free-lunch-could-land-you-a-cremation-deal-7740865
An 89-year-old writer is being courted by people interested in his business — including a cremation company with a burning desire to offer him a free lunch. (© Rainer Holz/Corbis photo)

An 89-year-old writer is being courted by people interested in his business — including a cremation company with a burning desire to offer him a free lunch. (© Rainer Holz/Corbis photo)

Now staggering too quickly to age 90, I get frequent offers from people eagerly interested in my business. They include such senior-seeking enterprises as nursing homes, sex enhancer makers, denture suppliers, hernia relievers, constipation pill peddlers and others wanting to cash in on the still-breathing elderly.

For example, among some of the most often repeated TV commercials is one for a cremation organization. I won’t name names, because this essay is a not-quite-ready-for-the-oven old guy’s rant ridiculing the half-baked idea of what the cremation promoters called pre-planning.

However, as much as the spooky idea of cremation freaks me out, I must admire the organization’s sales promotion method. By responding to TV and newspaper ads, potential customers are invited to free lunches at local restaurants to learn about the service.

I spent 50 years in the advertising and sales promotion racket, so it’s no surprise to me that the intent is to subject free-lunch seniors to hard-sell pitches. Attendees are urged to pre-pay for cremation rather than wait for traditional, much more expensive burial plans.

There’s nothing new about the cremation hard-sell promotions. Other businesses, such as time-share vacation peddlers, use the same pressure-cooked tactics.

I’ve not heard otherwise, so I assume cremation organizations are legitimate business enterprises with required permits and licenses to provide an honest and necessary service. I’ve never attended any of the free lunch promotions, but if I ever did, these could be some of the pre-planned questions this nine-decade-old cynic would ask:

Is it OK to smoke during the cremation sales pitch?

Is that background music we hear “Light My Fire?”

If my free flame-broiled lunch is served undercooked, may I send it back to the oven?

If one of your customers has a wooden leg, does he burn brighter than the others?

How much money will you urn by stuffing me into your earn? Well, you know what I mean.

May I suggest that on your next TV commercial, you hire the KardASHians to promote your service?

May I choose that my ashes be scattered over my favorite hooker’s street corner in Las Vegas?

Gosh, I’m getting all fired up! Do you mind if I pre-plan to bring my @#$%^&! congressman to your next free lunch?


Ted Sherman is a contributing journalist for TheBlot MagazineHe will turn 90 on Aug. 8. He’s a U.S. Navy vet who served in World War II and the Korean War, and after a lifetime of writing for other people, he’s now sharing his opinions with the world at large for various publications and on his blog 90 Is The New Black. It’s a daily rant on current news, sports, health, travel, careers, entertainment, sports, relationships and, of course, problems of advanced age.

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