Naughty Neighbors & Fire Station Funerals | 4M #76
Welcome to the seventy-sixth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #76, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!
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Mortician on a mission
No one can say William Main isn’t determined. For the last 10 years Main, a Scottish funeral director, has carried out a campaign of harassment against his neighbors by “setting off fireworks, shining a torch into their home and firing an air rifle towards their garden.” He also in “deliberately used power tools in his home despite knowing neighbor Linda Thomson was on nightshift and made false reports to the police about their conduct.” Needless to say, the neighbors filed charges against Main, who was found guilty earlier this month and was sentenced to 280 hours of community service and was ordered to not contact his victims for 12 years.
Pundit on preneed
Dave Ramsey has gained a strong following as a financial expert who recommends strict savings regimens, deleting debt, and no-nonsense budgeting, but his take on the prudence of purchasing a preneed might be a bit harsh, even for him. According to MSN’s finance publication The Motley Fool, Ramsey recently told his TikTok audience, “If you hate the people in your family, leave unclear instructions and no will. Because they will all fight (for) the rest of their lives over your crap.” While deathcare the deathcare community most likely agrees with the recommendation, you probably wouldn’t put it that way. However, if you’re ever in need of a tough-love/guilt approach to selling preneeds, feel free to quote Ramsey.
Quite the ultimatum
Several outlets are reporting the results of a recent survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Titan Casket — including the eye-opening statistic that “seven in 10 Americans would ‘rather be buried in a cardboard box’ than have their family overspend on a funeral.” Other findings include:
- 81% have given some thought to what their memorial service will be like,
- Millennials are 61% more likely than Boomers to have thought about their memorial,
- More Americans have planned funerals than have planned baby showers or weddings,
- 41% considered themselves “very knowledgeable” about deathcare, and
- 59% want to participate in planning their own funeral.
Pole or no pole?
We’ve written before about the interesting ways folks have transformed former funeral homes into homes or businesses, but here’s a new one for you: A fire station transforming INTO a funeral home. A shuttered fire station in Ulverston, a town in England, was sold at auction for £327,000 last year. The new owners’ proposal to turn the property into a memorial chapel and full-service funeral home was recently approved, so there’s only one question remaining: How will the directors incorporate the fire pole into their design?
From the “Why is this a story?” file
Maybe it’s a British thing we Yanks just don’t understand, but should anyone really care if Boris Johnson’s sixth great-grandmother died of syphilis? (Spoiler alert: She didn’t.) Grandma Johnson’s mummified remains were discovered in 1975 in a Swiss church, but it wasn’t until 2018 that they were identified as those of Anna Catharina Bischoff, the former prime minister’s ancestor. Scientists found high levels of mercury — a common treatment for syphilis at one time — in her body and assumed that she had died of the disease. This month, though, they retracted that assumption, stating that she died of a “bacterium previously unknown to science.” So now you know.
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