GRAVE NEWS: Some time ago the Sunday New York Times ran a front page piece on the problems of burying Americans now that we’ve all grown so obese. As we grow fatter and fatter it is becoming harder and harder to bury us after all of that fat finally kills us off. The standard size coffins of a generation ago, as well as the standard size cemetery plots that went with them, are now too small for many people, and many operators of crematoria find that they can longer reduce several hundred pounds of human flesh to a pile of ash in an economic manner any more; cremations now take too long, use too much fuel, and if you weigh more than five hundred pounds, are simply not possible. How does your funeral director, itself a euphemism for undertaker, itself a euphemism for grave digger, in these politically correct times tell the bereaved that Grandma’s put on a few pounds in her last years and will not fit in a “normal” casket without having to say that Grandma was fat as a horse’s ass?
There is an answer to this phraselogical problem: just say that the deceased “does not look comfortable” in the standard size coffin. This lets everyone off the hook. Of course, the reality here is that Grandma is not resting comfortably; Grandma is dead. You could take a crowbar and pound away on Grandma’s shins for an hour and a half and she won’t say a word about how uncomfortable you’re making her. That’s because Grandma, as previously noted, is as dead as the metaphorical doornail. The perfect solution to this new problem afflicting the American overweight body politic? Equally simple: the industrial sized wood chipper. It’s quick and convenient and you can reduce Grandma down to a couple of Hefty bags worth of meat and bone chips. And if she didn’t leave you anything in the will, well, you can always feed her to the dog.