francisco alvareze

Photo by Francisco Alvarodo

My dad was a crazy old codger. He was opinionated, superstitious and downright strange. Somehow even with all this he managed to marry a young girl after he had become quite old. He had some of the strangest ideas I ever heard. He believed that once you were dead, you were dead. There was no reason to spend good money on a funeral or a fancy place to dispose of the body.

By the time, he had died he had convinced his much younger wife that if she buried him in a cemetery or performed anything remotely considered normal, he would haunt her for the rest of her life. Turns out her church had superstitions that were stronger than his, and they assured her that if she did not spend $15,000 on a funeral which included a delightful expensive plot in their cemetery that God would haunt her for the rest of her life. As far as I know she has had no problems with he or God ever since.

Secretly I had believed this too. When I first understood that death was out there looking for me and that he would eventually find me, I wondered why it had to cost so much when he finally did catch me. I mean, good lord; you’re dead what’s the big deal?

I think the average funeral now costs over ten grand, ten grand for what is essentially ruining a good meal for the worms or fishes. Once I’m gone, I don’t want to see any of you again, and I’m pretty certain that none of you will want to see me again. I don’t feel or look so hot now, imagine what a few months in the dirt will do to me. They don’t make deodorant that will cover death, but maybe they should. What would it be called?  Imagine the commercials.

Anyhow imagine my joy when I read an article in a recent Free Times. There is an only slightly dubious dude in Coconut Grove who will bury you at sea for only $500 bucks. At last I can afford to die. Only problem, there is still that little thing called the death tax. See, that’s what we get for running around running our mouths about death and taxes, the I.R.S. was bound to hear it. When they did, they immediately went about the business of figuring out a way to tax death. As with all their endeavors, they did an excellent job of it.

Shit, I still can’t afford to die. I’m getting my wife to drop me in the mail with insufficient postage and no return address, that’ll fix em.