I'm not a planner.

But I got a letter from my local funeral home, asking that I plan a funeral.

For myself.

I tried not to be insulted.

I mean, do I look that bad?

I might, since I just finished a draft of my next novel, and the truth is that daily showers, nutrition, and grooming go by the wayside when I'm on deadline.

Of course, deadline takes on a whole new meaning when your funeral home is sending you love letters.

The letter offered to save me 44 percent on funeral or cremation costs.

This would be the ultimate final sale.

But to take advantage, I have to decide right now if I want to be buried or reduced to ash.

Are we having fun yet?

The letter said that the sale price was "guaranteed, no-increase pricing."

To which I thought, "You're darn tootin'."

Try to collect after I'm dead.

Oh, wait.  Maybe you can.

The only things guaranteed are death and taxes, and there are taxes after death, so why not a price hike?

I just wish they'd hike me out of the ground.

Maybe that should be my epitaph:




The letter said I should take the deal because it would "protect positive memories" for my family.

That's my kind of sales pitch.

In other words, Buy this so your family won't be miffed that you left them holding the bag.

You old bag.

The letter called it a Prearranged Funeral Program, which I have to admit appealed to my vanity.

It's not a funeral, it's a show!

The Bye-Bye Lisa Show!

Unfortunately, there's only one episode.

The premiere and the finale are the same thing.

Bring a lot of popcorn.

It's not a surprise ending.

You might even cry.

At least, you'd better.

You guys, when I die, I want you all there, sobbing your eyes out.  Saying how wonderful I was.  And also what a smart shopper.

"Her books are great, plus she got a deal on the casket!"

But I'm not sure I want a half-price deal on a casket.

Maybe you don't get a lid.

You get a tray.

Or maybe you get only a lid and they flip you over like a cake you just took out of the oven.

If you follow.

None of these jokes apply to cremation, which is inherently unfunny.

I don't even like hot water.

Or a sunburn.


Cremation goes against our natural instincts, doesn't it?

We tell every child, "Don't put your hand in fire."

But someday you'll get a letter that says, "See that fire?  Jump in!"

Really, the letter is offering a fire-sale price on an actual fire.

How meta.

This is the best part of the letter: "In short, don't put it off.  As more time passes, the more your loved ones could end up paying for this kind of security."


Tick-tock, Scottoline.

Don't delay because you could die any minute.

And it's going to cost somebody 44% more.

You selfish bitch.

I mean, that puts the fun in funeral.

But in the end, I'm going to take advantage of the offer.

I can't pass up a sale.

And I like to clean up after myself, so to speak.

So maybe I'm a planner, after all.

I've become one, after a lifetime.


Plus, I have loyalty to the funeral home, since they buried my father and mother.  And when they came to pick up my mother the morning she passed, there were tears in their eyes, and they actually said, "Is this the famous Mother Mary?"


So you know they have my business from now on.

Because they read me.

People who read my books are my second-favorite people on the planet.

My most favorite are people who buy my books.


Who do you think is paying to put me in an ashtray, at a date yet to be determined?

I sincerely hope it's you.

You'll be happy to know I got you a deal.

Thank you for your support.

Now, and later.

Look for Lisa and Francesca's new humor collection, I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool, and Lisa's new Rosato & DiNunzio novel, Exposed, in stores now. lisa@scottoline.com