Well, I guess I’ve lost my crown as “The Most Famous Funeral Director.” This is a cut throat industry and I just knew that someone would come along with something more prestigious than “Most Popular Article of RELEVANT.com in 2011.”
Here are three legit contenders who are obviously much cooler than me:
I found out about the beautiful model AND mortician Laura Flook, who not only stars on Discovery Channel’s show “Oddities”, but also has her own clothing line and is a DJ.
Then I found out about the beautiful Shawntel Newton, who is a licensed mortician from California that was not only on two seasons of “The Bachelor”, but also just released a book called “Final Rose.”
Apparently this is what transpired when Shawntel took Brad to meet her parents on “The Bachelor”:
She took him to her family owned funeral business. Took him to the morgue. She had him lay on the metal embalming table, where dead people would be embalmed, and she pretended to examine Brad with scary looking utensils.
And she wonders why Brad didn’t give her the rose? NOTE TO BACHELORS AND BACHELORETTES: if your significant other ever takes you to an embalming table and asks you to lay down on it, you don’t listen like Brad the bachelor. You run. And while you are running, you call 9-1-1.
And as if my competition wasn’t stiff enough with Laura and Shawntel in the race to funeral famedom, I found out about a girl who has a killer blog AND a video series called “Ask a Mortician”; the latter of which is receiving critical acclaim from the Huffington Post, who write:
If, as “Our Favorite Mortician” says, her fundamental goal is to simply get people talking about death, that’s working out pretty well indeed. And it’s pretty obvious we’re juuuuust getting started.
Our favorite mortician? Really, Huffington Post? You hand out that title just like that?
Like I said. Stiff competition in a cut-throat business.
How can a funeral fellow be famous when all my competition are beautiful chicks? Not to mention, I bury all of my work? I don’t know … maybe I’ll eventually send in my question to “Ask a Mortician.”
Today I’m taking my continuing ed. courses.
Every two years we Pennsylvania licensed funeral directors need six hours of continuing ed. and it’s boring. Like watching 500 pages of dull, default PowerPoint pages boring.
I don’t think there’s one person who wants to be at these things. Maybe the casket salesmen enjoy it. The organizers of the continuing ed. events — in order to keep the cost down — allow funeral merchandisers to rent space and pitch their wares.
The thing is … these events are so difficult to enjoy that I’d actually rather talk to casket salesman than have to think about wasting six hours of my life listening to a speaker wax eloquent about how the cremation rates are rising and all of us are going to become much poorer in the next couple decades. The casket salesmen know how much we dislike this required event and they exploit us. They have all their discounted casket specials ready to go and here at this place — and only here — we listen intently.
We do get free coffee. But no matter how much coffee I drink, I just can’t stay awake. Caffeine is rendered impotent from the six hours of nearly useless information. The only benefit of drinking copious amounts of coffee is that eventually, after you’ve drank a couple cups, you have to pee. And when you need to pee, you can get up, go to the bathroom and take a break from the sadistic PowerPoint presentations about death.
Yes. I’m ranting. I’m laying down a big stinky rant. But, I’m trying to be positive. I am a funeral director. Funeral directors have found a way to make a positive out of society’s biggest negative. So you’d think I’d be able to find something good about this whole event.
We do get to look at all the other funeral professionals who have to come to get their credits.
We get to measure ourselves and categorize ourselves against our other competitors.
I always struggle with what I should wear. A suit? A sports coat with khakis? I don’t even know if I’ll shave.
Some guys roll up with their best suits, their diamond studded cufflinks, $500 Italian shoes and a $200 tie. You know this type. They’re in every business. The guys who want to prove that they’re better than you by the amount of money they can wear on their body.
My hoodie is extremely comfortable, so I’m thinking I might rock that with my Nikes.
The hoodie, if worn properly, allows for a significant chance to sleep without anybody noticing. But, in order to use the hoodie properly, you have sit in the very back. The back is prime property. And everybody knows it … cause in the back you can sleep, or look at your phone or count the hairs on your arms and nobody will know. And I’ll gladly arrive 15 minutes early in the conference hall to grab me a piece of that prime property where my hood can be slipped over my head and I can close my eyes while the 500 page PowerPoint presentation chugs along.
There’s got to be some joke in this whole thing.
How ’bout this: “Where are two places you’ll see a bunch of funeral directors? At a continuing ed. conference and a train wreck.”
Here’s another: “What happens when a bunch of funeral directors take continuing ed courses? The get bored to death.”
Come to think of it, it is kinda fun to get a group of funeral directors together. The stories that we can tell. See, there’s simply a lot that we won’t share with the public. Stories that we CAN’T share. Some absolutely funny, others sad as hell and some that are weirder than you can imagine.
Stories that go with some of us to our own graves. But when we all get together, it doesn’t take long and our weirdest, most funny and/or saddest story gets told. And soon it’s like a tennis match. Back and forth. Back and forth.
So, yes. There is something positive about tomorrow. Maybe I won’t wear my hoodie so people will actually talk to me during the intermissions. I’m looking forward to the stories. And the free coffee.
But seriously, if funerals are THE most depressing events in the world, these continuing ed. courses come in at a solid second.
- He could act more gay. Christians are homophobic … they love to push, shove and bully people they see as less manly; so any added gaynnerism exhibited by Mr. Bell would give a good 10 hate points.
- Rob could love Jesus more than the Gospel. Christians love the Gospel more than Jesus … the Roman’s Road, the Four Spiritual Laws, the TULIP and the Gospel of the Ten Commandments. It’s always a major disappointment when some young guy comes along who likes Jesus more than the Roman Road. 15 hate points for hating the Gospel.
- He could be successful in reaching young people. Christian young people need to act like Christian old people, think like old people and seek to please old people. 20 hate points awarded to Mr. Rob Bell for trying and actually reaching young people without being like an old person.
- Be more successful. Only God should be successful. 100 hate points.
- Christians love people who don’t do their homework … like scholars who call a book heretical before they’ve read the book. Rob is actually a smart, well-spoken Christian who does his homework and attempts to love Jesus with his mind. 5 hate points for having smarts.
- Martin Luther represents what Christians like: he was hot-headed, often rash and could feed humble pie to his critics with his mad rhetoric skillz. Rob Bell, on the other hand, has been kind towards his critics, hasn’t acted rashly and has willingly listened to his critics, allowing himself to be humbled by their suggestions. Bad on you, Mr. Bell for not acting like Martin Luther and Jesus! And if you do it again, you’ll get 25 hate points!
- Did I mention he dresses like he’s gay? 99 hate points!
- He’s kind of distanced himself from the emergent village, et al. So, go and sleep with some of those guys, Rob and then people could call you “postmodern” and actually mean it. 25 hate points for being moderate.
- Love Wins. Who wants love to win? Seriously, Rob … we Christians want people to go to hell … it really makes us feel good to know we’re “in” and the others are “out.” We need people to go to hell so we can feel good about ourselves. Hate Wins would have been much more appropriate. If you write “Love Wins 2″, you will get 200 hate points for fail lovie-dovie title redux.
- He could change his name to Robert Bobert Belius (Rebbelius for short). 6 letters, 6 letters and 6 letters or 666. If you want more hate, change your name. Infinity hate points.
- He could question thousands of years of Christian doctrine instead of just questioning the last 100 years of evangelical theology. Question long standing Creeds, in the company of other reformers: extra jewel in heaven. Questioning evangelical theology: deserving of hell.
- He could address the culture (and maybe be influenced by it). The Church has never done this. Seriously, none of the church fathers addressed and were influenced by Hellenism; Augustine never addressed or was influenced by Platonism. The early American Christians never thought about the Enlightenment. Evangelicals didn’t give a toot about modernity. In hell next to Origen and Hitler because you addressed the culture and may have been influenced by it.
Hate is what we do to people we disagree with … we’re Christians … we love to hate … we especially love to hate our own.
Did I miss anything? What else could Robert Bobert Belius do to have us hate on him a little more?
I just saw the news that Universal Studios plans to make a movie of Captain Planet (remember the “Go, Planet, go!” chant and the “By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet” mantra?).
In the Midwest, where the heat index climbed to 130 and on the East Coast, where we’re supposed to rival the Midwest in the next couple days, I’m hoping the Captain is real … cause I’d love him to open up a can on this oppressive weather.
In fact, it sort of feels like hell moved to North America … that could be the plot for the new movie! Oh, oh … hey Universal Studios … I’ve got a winning storyline … the Devil crawls up to North America, set’s up hell in the Midwest and East Coast and Captain Planet has to come and vanquish the killer heat wave unleashed by Satan!
Seriously, though, this heat makes me kinda miserable. Especially as a funeral director, who too often has to park cars out in this stuff, while I wear my black suit, with dress shoes. I’m a sun magnet. The best part is when the sweat starts dripping down your back.
As you can tell, I’m more of a moderate temperature type guy. Give me San Diego.
How bout you? Here’s SIX QUESTIONS:
1. What’s the temperature supposed to be today in your area? If it’s below 90 degrees, you can’t take the rest of the test. In fact, I’m so jealous of you, why don’t you stay away from my blog for a couple days so that I don’t have to see your happy, cool and non-sweaty face poking it’s happiness around here.
2. Do you work in this stuff and like the soaked clothing, sweat in your eyes feel, or do you stay inside with the AC and ice cold water and complain about how you can’t wait until winter?
3. Do you get light headed (like I do) with this kind of heat, or does this heat clear up your mind and allow you to see all that’s good?
4. When it’s hot like this, do you roll your windows down in your car and enjoy the summer air, or do you have the AC on full blast?
5. Is your dream house somewhere in Northern Canada, or is it somewhere near the Equator?
6. If you can honestly say you love this heat, are you also mentally deranged?
Okay, you don’t have to answer number six, but you should answer the rest so that I can make fun of you crazies that like the heat and find solace in knowing there’s more like me, who might be willing to unite our powers and bring the Captain to North America where he can vanquish hell.
I’m grumpy. Too much school work. Too much work work. It just happened that my finals coincided with one of the busiest weeks on record at the funeral home. Eleven funerals and 10 death calls in one week coupled with massive amounts of memorization are a recipe for major life suckage.
At times like this it doesn’t take much for me to get in touch with my inner grouch. So, here are some things that bring out the Oscar in me:
1. I’m going to say it, so shut your eyes if you don’t want to read the following curse word: The people at Westboro Baptist are asses. Picketing the funerals of those seven children that burned in the house fire … that really peeves me. I am all for raising money to send them on a mission trip to North Korea where they can picket Kim Jong-il.
2. Cowboys, Yankees and Lakers … in that order.
3. Am I the only one who – after lying in bed for about 20 minutes waiting for sleep to come – has to get up again to pee? You’re all nice and warm and then the pressure starts to build ….
4. I get peeved at myself for unconsciously exaggerating when I’m engaging in small talk. I do it all the time! … Arg!!!
5. I get one weekend off a month. Monday, for most working adults, is the day when you leap out of enjoying the freedom of a weekend and into work. For me, Mondays don’t mark anything, except it’s the day that reminds me to be jealous of everybody else who gets a weekend to enjoy life. So, I get peeved at Mondays too.
6. Did anybody’s Church forget to mention Japan yesterday? Yes? No? Well I’m really peeved at any church that missed that bit. A little concern for those outside America is always nice.
7. I really don’t like stink bugs. Shouts out to my fellow alien killers!
8. People who DO NOT pay their funeral bills. It happens A LOT!!! And for every one person that doesn’t pay their bill, it takes about five people who do for us to break even … that’s how small our profit margin is. For a great article on this “epidemic”, check out this piece that was in Sunday’s Lancaster Paper called, “Funeral Directors Deal with Deadbeats.”
9. I don’t like shaving my face and if I had the money I would do electrolysis, or, if my job didn’t require a clean shaven face, I’d grow a mountain man beard that could house homeless critters that don’t go by the name “stink bug.”
10. I don’t like mean people … and ironically, when I’m peeved, I become a meany. It’s funny how not liking something can sometimes bred self-hatred. Oh well, tomorrows Tuesday and I think tomorrow’s going to be a better day.
Aside from blogs where people rant about their peeves and use curse words, is there anything you want to rant about today? Give your pillow a break and scream into this blog.