April 30, 2007
Selling the Life Out of
the Dearly Departed
The latest millionaire indulgence is to spend up to hundreds of
thousands of dollars buying oneself a trip into outer space. Except for
the tragic inevitability that these people will eventually return to
Earth, I suppose there is nothing wrong with this.
you want to spend that much money going into space, fine by me. You
earned it. It’s your choice how to waste it.
While blasting off into space isn’t exactly my cup of Tang, I guess I
can see why it would appeal to some people. It would be pretty cool to
see the Earth from space. I’m just as happy looking at it on Google
Earth and avoiding the nausea, but the eccentric Mr. Moneybags who wants
to make the trip is welcome to his jollies.
What I can’t quite make sense of, however, is the appeal of being
blasted into space when you’re dead. Not just dead, but burned to a
crisp and reduced to a dusty concentrate that when properly colored
would blend in nicely with any infield in America.
Let’s just say you’re in the sort of condition where you’re not going to
enjoy the view very much. A tough sell? Not for UP Aerospace! They’ll
blast your ashes into space for $495. And since you’re already dead by
the time someone has to write the check, what do you care? When you look
at it that way, it’s free for you.
The latest “customer” of UP Aerospace is James Doohan, who played Scotty
on “Star Trek,” and at last report was decidedly still dead and reduced
to approximately 438,324,432,002 pieces. It was only fitting, of course,
that a few of those pieces be sent into outer space. He was accompanied
by similarly charred pieces of an actual astronaut named Gordon Cooper,
who presumably went along as Doohan’s tour guide – as it might be a
shock to Trekkies to learn that Doohan wouldn’t know his way around
outer space if he had an asteroid belt map.
And here I think of myself as an entrepreneur. Yet not once have I ever
considered exploring the services-for-the-dead market (and I don’t mean
funeral services, dipwad). Apparently dead people need a lot of things.
We all know Walt Disney is frozen somewhere, along with Ted Williams,
waiting for the inevitable medical breakthrough that will produce the
cure for death.
will be awfully complicated to come up with a cure for cremation, but
did you see Terminator 2? It’s been far too long since this column
mentioned T2, so you may need to be reminded of how the T-1000 was
blasted into thousands of liquid nitrogen crystals, which collectively
staged a reunion, went on tour throughout North America and Europe and
then landed a role on the X-Files. If liquid nitrogen can do it, I
believe in ashes!
What else can be done for dead people? Someone should explore a
Weekend at Bernie’s line of services that give the dearly departed
one last shot at a wild night of debauchery – or maybe a month. It seems
the best test market for this would be communist dictators with really
long beards. Indeed, I suspect some industrious Cuban may be
test-marketing this service right now.
Perhaps dead people would be interested in many other services.
Certainly a voter registration assistance service would be a big hit in
Chicago. A lot of really rich dead people put their last will and
testament on video. Who is going to handle licensing for the DVD
I’m ashamed of myself for not having thought of this before. The dead
marketing is exploding. New people are dying every day, and the number
of dead people never goes down. There are many more dead people than
living people, and they have lots of disposable cash. They don’t need to
buy food. Life insurance is obviously a non-starter. And I can’t imagine
their housing needs are very extravagant.
What’s more, they’re not high-maintenance customers. They never call you
and yell. They don’t change their order on a whim or argue about a bill.
The dead market offers almost endless possibilities for the living. It’s
a successful enterprise just waiting to be born. It’s a plot in which
you should invest. Any team of entrepreneurs who wishes to dig in to
this idea? I am in favor of its execution.
© 2007 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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