"The Funeral Profession is Generally Not a Bag of Laughs"

the funeral profession is generally not a bag of laughs

Although fans of Six Feet Under might disagree with that statement, much of the series-inspired chuckles were of the "laughing at" rather than "laughing with" variety. And it was a TV show. Back here in the real world, where the only thing that's certain is death and an endless stream of automotive press releases desperate for a news hook, we learn that Ewan Scott, UK spinmeister for Aardvark Associates, brings a bit of personality to the job of promoting… death. "Dealing with bereaved families requires compassion, empathy and a sense of dignity. So, funeral directors planning on making an attempt on a Guinness World Record might appear to be a bit of a stretch, you might think. However, that is just what the British Institute of Funeral Directors (BIFD) aim to do at their annual conference at the Croydon Hilton on the 24 – 26th October this year." That's when the organization will stage the world's largest funeral hearse parade (cortege?). "The BIFD wants to open up the profession and its suppliers to their market to make the whole process less intimidating," Prez Adrian Pink reveals. "The hearse cavalcade is an event that puts us in the public eye, it lets the public and the funeral directors see the range of vehicles available from the carriage masters. A visit to the conference’s exhibition allows the public to see the wide range of options available to them, without being under the immediate stress of a bereavement." Unless, of course, they are.

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  • Blautens Blautens on Sep 02, 2008

    Hearses can be good for a laugh - back in 1984 my friend bought a mid 60's hearse (a Pontiac, believe it or not), painted it pink, and turned it into a surf car of sorts - it would hold a ton of boards and gear, and no worries about roof racks exposing your gear to theft.

  • HarveyBirdman HarveyBirdman on Sep 02, 2008
    blautens, I saw such a hearse (mid-60s Pontiac) yesterday afternoon; it looked to be in great shape. I tried to talk my wife into letting me buy it, but she was all creeped out because "there used to be bodies in there." I assured her that any bodies which had been in the hearse were dead at the time, but that didn't seem to help. Regardless, props to the funeral directors for thinking outside the casket. While I don't know how well this will work on the marketing level, it's good that they're trying to have their own brand of fun and shedding the solemn faces for a few minutes (though I expect they will all still be in suits). And as a final note, does this article make anybody else think of Harold & Maude? Great film.

  • Raymond Hieber Raymond Hieber on Sep 02, 2008

    There's a person in the liberal little town of Yellow Springs in Ohio who always had at least 2 black Cadillac Hearses in his driveway for at least 20 years... I know when I was younger, he'd have skeletons (assuming fake) in the windows. Good laugh. Actually, what he has in the back window of the one closest to the street makes me laugh the most now: a plain spare tire leaning against the glass. I'm not sure they are driven anymore.

  • Cicero Cicero on Sep 02, 2008

    Usually hearse owners don't bother with bumper stickers even though they have a guaranteed captive audience being at the front of the procession. Even so, years ago I saw this on a shiny Cadillac final ride: "Help Put the FUN Back In FUNerals"