38 Comments

It’s so funny I was writing about how in the future New York even cemeteries would charge rent space for the dead as a gag at inflation

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I'm surprised some of the small cemeteries in Manhattan haven't been developed yet since there are a couple I remember that are in pretty prime locations.

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I’ve always felt like this is an inevitability.

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At the funeral home I worked at that's what they called the gurney for transporting the dearly departed.

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Ahhhhhh shit. I have a WIP that involves funeral homes. Good looking out Professor P!!! This should be fun. Haha

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Have you read Mary Roach's book 'Stiffed'? It's good background.

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I have not. Yet…

Again, much obliged, good sir. Invaluable knows from the man himself. Bitchin 🤙🏼

See you next week, guys.

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I got it for Christmas and it's actually next on my reading list.

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I recently saw a job advert in my town:

Wanted: Embalmer

Competitive pay

Driving license essential

No experience necessary

If I could drive I definitely would have applied.

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I never got to watch the whole series, but 'Six Feet Under' was a wonderful show.

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I cried so much at the last 15 minutes of the last episode. So beautiful, one of the best TV show ending in my opinion

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That was very emotional.

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That show!! Loved it. Was in an online group that would discuss how much we disliked “Brenda.” Uuuuugh.

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Aha yeah she was that kind of character

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Chuck, you just messed up our YouTube search algorithms in one fell swoop. All the more reason to focus on writing, right? You sly dog!

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Finished a draft of the radioactive writing prompt from a few weeks ago tonight in Study Hall. Looks like I need to pick up the pace a bit. Next time someone asks if I want to go canoeing I might do a double take.

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I wanna read the "zombie" story!!!

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This could be chapter 3 of my essay! LOL There is a Life after death!..Getting evicted from your urn and/or burial plot! HA! About as wonderful as getting eaten by feral cats on the body farms!

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The witch story reminds me of a Vice documentary which talked about Romanian witches. Young and old and rich and poor seek their skills. Apparently the elite, well-educated politicians don't mess with the witches and they do all kinds of business. Its a family business passed from one generation to another.

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In 1990 I was a probationary constable in the police. We had to attend a post mortem as part of our training. The slabs were occupied by bodies in various stages of examination. One was hollowed out just as you’ve described.

In what would have been the chest cavity was a brick size square of tinfoil. I thought nothing of it until we were told there’d be a break for lunch. A mortician lifted the parcel out, opened it, and ate his sandwiches.

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I love that!

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Thought you'd appreciate it.

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Makes sense. Keeps them nice and cold.

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Was it tuna sandwiches? I just want them to be tuna sandwiches haha

Or egg salad.

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They were egg. This part of our education was as much about not throwing up as what to expect if we had to attend a PM. The smell of boiled egg will take my mind back to that time.

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I love this newsletter! Chuck's book on writing 'Consider This' has some real gems. If you want an English perspective on writing ( are they different? Discuss..) do try timlott.substack.com

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Reanimator+capitalism.

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= The Deadfellas

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‘Frankenstein 2: Deadbeat’

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You’re hitting home again, Chuck. Sometimes funeral homes are so jam packed with dead bodies, like during coronavirus, that they’ll wait at nursing homes for days. Longest I’ve seen is 72 hours before pickup. Till then well dressed administrators come sniffing around for information in a single surgical mask while the rest of us were in hazmat suits.

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Ugh. I hear you. My mother-in-law died during the lockdown, and we had to wait six or seven weeks for the funeral/interment.

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Don’t think Ive said it yet but sorry for your loss. Yeah, that’s just it. Even after the loved one was taken, I knew they’d be on ice for a long assed time.

During lockdown I found this lovely channel that covered everything from where the body of the Boston bomber went to the pileups in funeral homes. https://youtu.be/hy507E8TN_w now you’re addicted too.

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The man who runs that funeral home in the video isnt that far from us and takes lots of our residents. Even with his mistakes, I still appreciate his work.

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Oh man this is so SO weird. The short story I finished last night involves a witch and corpses in cemeteries that come back to life. I won’t say all of it because I don’t want to spoil it, but it plays a quite a bit on some of the stuff you’ve just laid out here. All of these things are very intriguing by the way. I did not know this about funeral homes and had always wondered how funerals, especially for unexpected deaths, are paid for in poor communities. Yikes... Looking forward to bringing this short story to your next ‘Call for Stories’.

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By the way Chuck I used to work with someone who was had previously worked for a coroner removing bodies from wherever. He told me two things that stuck.

The first was that a lot more people die from autoerotic asphyxiation than the public realizes. And he said that while some families will take down the body and cloth them before calling the police, others don’t touch it and immediately call the police. He said that the folks who don’t touch it very often would have a quick funeral or no funeral at all and would not even notify friends and family or put in an obituary. They would just put them in the ground as fast as possible out of total embarrassment. It’s odd to think of someone feeling like others would somehow know that’s how they died, but I don’t know according to him it happened a lot.

The second thing he said was that it was extremely common for families of a suicide to not believe that their loved one committed suicide. They would go through multiple autopsies that all came to the same conclusion. They’d push to have their loved one’s bitter enemies investigated. Anything they could search for in a drawer or on a computer to validate the idea that this person hadn’t really killed themselves. Very heartbreaking to hear and an understandable, human reaction. As American Beauty put it: Never underestimate the power of denial.

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