The above hearse seems to have it all: the right amount of utter gaucheness, complete lack of taste and no dignity whatsoever! The above vehicle’s most prominent feature however is that it is a complete fake and a fraud – just like the infamous four!
It started off as a Lincoln Town car (a Ford) and took the enterprising Floridian owner a year to complete its transformation into a Rolls Royce Phantom II lookalike. This enterprising gentleman makes a good living hiring it out to the local funeral directors whose clients are looking for something different.
The one irony is that the person at the centre may not be aware of things!
Note, I state MAY not be aware of things. Allow me to relate the happenings surrounding the death of my own father. Note: Christians may well disagree with my actions – apologies for any offence caused or injured feelings. I have not disclosed the following before and certainly did not disclose them to my late mother (who died some three years after her husband) as a Christian herself, she would not have been happy with my actions to say the least.
My father died seven years ago, at quarter to midnight on Friday, 11th July, 2003 to be precise. He had been in hospital at the time and when I saw him for what was to be the last time he was feeling very low. I asked him if he wanted me to read from “my book” which was an unpublished work – which will remain unpublished. He said no.
Following his death and as executor of his estate I set about the tasks that are necessary in such circumstances. The first tasks were the funeral arrangements. Thankfully, these were going to be straightforward. My mother was of the settled opinion that she wanted a brief committal service at the crematorium and then a memorial service afterwards at the church. My father had been of the very firm opinion that the absolute minimum of money should be spent with the undertaker! This meant the cheapest coffin and service possible. So charged, I rang around asking for the cheapest deals!
The undertaker we booked was located in Bradford and offered me a choice of coffins: we could opt for their standard lowest cost casket or a new service – a reusable coffin! The undertaker explained that this was a variant on “the green funeral” chosen by such as Greenpeace activists who did not want their passing on earth to jeopardise the planet’s continued existence by adding that heinous gas, CO2, by cremating their remains. These “greenies” desired to be buried in an unmarked grave in a cardboard box – albeit a large strongly constructed cardboard box. Manufactured from recycled materials of course!
The deal this undertaker offered was that the deceased would be placed in such a cardboard casket but on the day this casket would itself be placed inside what they termed a “coffin cover.” This was in effect a coffin that was collapsible. It worked thus: on the day, the deceased would leave the undertaker carried on the “top deck” [Hearse’s have two “decks”. The top one on which the casket is on public view and a lower one below this which enables the hearse to be used as “a private ambulance” a.k.a corpse carrier.] The deceased would be carried into the crematorium and coffin cover, cardboard casket and deceased would remain on the catafalque until the end of the committal when they go through the curtains. After the mourners have exited the chapel the undertaker then goes into the room behind the curtains and removes the cover which collapses as a “flat pack”. This is then placed in a large canvas cover and placed on the lower deck of the hearse. The deceased (in this case my father in the cardboard casket) is cremated sometime after the event. [Unlike James Bond in Diamonds are Forever, the deceased does not go from the catafalque to the oven directly].
The committal took place in the morning which was “an off peak time” as most opt for the funeral service and subsequent committal making afternoons more expensive than mornings. Dad’s memorial service – which we regarded as the actual send off – took place the following day.
A few days after this, following a search on the internet, I contacted a medium who lived some four miles away. This experience proved most revealing. The medium – a pleasant fellow in his middle years – lead me into his lounge and asked it this was following a recent bereavement. I confirmed this and he asked:
“So you are wanting confirmation of continued existence then?”
The fellow asked no more questions.
After a while the fellow said, “There is a lady…”
“No, it’s a man, I’ve come about…” I answered.
At this point sceptics will suggest that I gave him everything he needed to know, but read on:
“There is a man here. He is holding a book. Does that mean anything?”
I gave a non committal response not wanting to give him any more clues.
“This is strange…” the fellow said, “I see a hearse going into a crematorium and I see a coffin going in and also going out. Does this mean anything?”
At this point I decided to give the fellow some actual details and told him about the coffin cover.
What the fellow related next could not be gleaned from “common knowledge.”
“I am seeing a [object not revealed] and a [object not revealed] does this mean anything?”
“Yes.” I said. I did not explain the significance of these two objects that will not be named.
Dad knew the password of my computer. This password is a word made up of two objects, objects that would not normally be grouped together. There is no way that the medium could have had access to my computer or its password.