Blog: Hold the Mail

Burt Ross

I don’t get much mail nowadays, and the little I get I could do without. Sure, like everybody else, I get letters — mostly reminders from different governmental bodies informing me that I owe them more money.

I haven’t gotten a love letter with lipstick on it since seventh grade, and most of my bills I pay online. But I still get mail, and most of it reminds me that I am on a slippery downhill slope.

Just the other day I received two pieces of mail — one soliciting money for Alzheimer’s of Los Angeles, and the other from the Neptune Society, where “cremation is today’s sensible choice.” The former displays some photos of demented elderly folk surrounded by loving family members. 

It is obvious to me that I am on the mailing list for people in God’s waiting room, as if I need to be reminded. I am happy to report that so far I recognize most of my loved ones, although there are times where a little dementia could come in handy.

I especially like getting mail from the Neptune Society. The envelope proclaims, “Time waits for no one.” Well, as far as I am concerned, it might as well wait for me. My parents each lived exactly 91 years and 20 days, and I have no intention of leaving the scene earlier than they did. (When you live in Malibu long enough, you start referring to death as “leaving the scene.”)

Inside the envelope comes the real sales pitch: “Cremation is dignified, inexpensive and has less impact on our environment.” I don’t see the great dignity in being roasted like a marshmallow, but I do like that part about inexpensive. As for helping the environment, I might as well croak today so my ashes can rejuvenate some of my rose bushes, which are having a tough time. 

I have nothing against cremation, but I have instructed my estate to get a second opinion before they light the match.

I have to go now. The mail truck is in front of my house, and I can’t wait to read all about adult diapers, walk-in bathtubs, and assisted living.