Evidently, the latest fad in funerals is to pose the dearly departed in some natural manner that will typify a familiar part of the deceased’s life, to their friends and family. I came across this eerie new practice on the internet last week and, as morbid as it is, I was intrigued. According to the funeral directors’ magazine, this craze was started in New Orleans, but is expected to spread throughout the country over the next few years. As usual, I began to wonder…

The two examples I viewed (yes, they had pictures – which are encouraged at the services) one young man who had died as a result of an accident and there he was, sitting in his favorite recliner, wearing his favorite basketball jersey and shoes, holding the controls to a video game attached to the TV in front of him – all in the viewing area of the funeral home. I must admit, it was tastefully done.

An older lady, who was known as quite a character throughout her neighborhood, was posed at a kitchen table, dressed in her housecoat and seated in a chair, with an open can of her favorite adult beverage in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. I think I would have liked to have known her.

Logically, I threw open this idea of new-fangled funerals to my buddies at the coffee shop and, surprisingly, they were enthusiastic enough to start mulling over poses they might want at their last get-together. One of the guys suggested that he might be leaning up against a shovel, pointing his finger towards work that other guys needed to be doing. I’ll let you guess as to what he did during his working life.

Another one of the men, who seems to always have a piece of farm equipment in his shop for repair, thought that he could be posed on a garage creeper, underneath whatever was torn up at the time of his death, with a Crescent wrench in one hand and a pair of Vise Grips in the other.

“Don’t forget a roll of duct tape lying on your chest,” one of the other guys added.

When the discussion rolled around to me, I thought I had it all figured out. I wanted to be dressed in my boots, hat, Wranglers and Carharts, with my right arm up the business end of a cow. I know it would require a taxidermist to have already stuffed one of my cows, but that just takes a little bit of pre-planning – I’ve already got plenty of candidates.

The oldest guy in our group was smirking the entire time of our discussion, obviously disgusted with the whole concept.

“Well,” he began, “I guess I’m just ahead of my time, because I’ve been saying for years that I want to be placed belly-down in my casket.”

“Belly down?” I asked.

“To make it easy for the rest of y’all to kiss my @#$.”

Jerry Crownover is a farmer and former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University. He is a native of Baxter County, Arkansas, and an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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