Thursday, February 21, 2002

ABOUT THAT GEORGIA CREMATORY GUY: So far, all we've heard are the facts. Where's all the wild speculation? So far, the Blogosphere seems to be ignoring the story en masse. C'mon, folks! You've got upwards of 300 rotting corpses strewn about the premises! What -- you need evidence of cannibalism or necrophilia before this story gains any traction? You'd all rather dash off another 1000 words on anti-American sentiment in Lichtenstein? Gimme a break.

Okay. I guess it's up to me. I figure, it must have happened like this:

Anyone who's ever run a small business knows. Some days, it all comes down to damage control. You can't keep up with the workload. The phones won't stop ringing. You're short-staffed. You've been working 22-hour days non-stop for a week, so tired that that you're literally walking into walls. Then the equipment breaks down.

What to do? The incinerator service technician comes in, gives it a quick look-see, and says he'll have to special-order a replacement part. No, it's not a stock inventory item -- might take three or four days to arrive from the factory.

Four days? That's too late! The Fnurd family is expecting to pick up the remains of Great-Aunt Zelda tomorrow morning! If I don't deliver on time, my reputation in this industry will be ruined! What to do, what to do...?

Eureka! Crematorium Guy rationalized, "Just this one time ... I'll bury the body in the back yard and give 'em an urn full of sawdust. The Fnurds will never know the difference. It's not like they'll ever have the contents inspected and spectrum-analyzed. Yeah ... that's it ... I can get away with it ... just this once."

But the trouble with "just this once," is that once you've taken a little ethical shortcut and gotten away with it, it's just that much easier to do it again. And again. And again... The stakes keep rising -- turns out, there's a son who expects to inherit the family business, but he doesn't know the awful secret. Finally --as in all great screenplays with ratcheting body counts -- the imperfect protagonist is the agent of his own downfall. He's got one more body to bury, and then he'll retire gracefully -- but something goes horribly awry. Though the endgame was completely unforeseeable, Crematory Guy still comes to an inevitable, ironic end -- BURIED ALIVE IN A TOMB OF HIS OWN MAKING!!!.

(Naaah. Pass. Say, how about that cannibalism and necrophilia angle?)


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