The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Put me out with the rubbish!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Posted by Vale

We’ve all heard people say it, but now an extensive survey carried out by a major national chain has confirmed it: 61.5% of adult males over the age of 60 really do want to be put into a black plastic bag and thrown on the rubbish heap.

In response to what they see as an overwhelming vote amongst the target demographic a new bag based service is currently being planned. A spokesman said today ‘we see it as another choice for our customers. If it’s what they want, who are we not to try to exploit them’.

In spite of the demand no launch date for the new service has yet been set. ‘It’s taking longer than we thought it would to agree collection arrangments with local councils. They’re just not as customer driven as we are and are raising all sorts of objections to picking up the bags with the weekly collection.’

One option being considered to overcome Council objections is the the coffin bin which, being wheeled, will better fit with modern collection methods.

Here at the GFG Batesville Tower, we can see that this informality is part of the same trend that is shaping the direct cremation business – but shouldn’t there be some thought about the bagging process? Come on you celebrants out there – if we have to ‘bag and tag’ what sort of ceremony could be held as grandad is being popped in? Or, if that is being done by the funeral director, how do we ritualise the journey, by bag or in wheeled bin, to the kerbside?

11 comments on “Put me out with the rubbish!

  1. Jehdeiah

    Monday 2nd April 2012 at 1:02 pm

    @ David Holmes who said it has to be in one piece?
    @ Kingfisher laughed out loud – very Dad’s Army,
    We love a good dripping tale, sorry gripping….. I mean gripping, we love a good gripping tale.
    And I’m afraid my mind is boggling rather inappropriately at the headline imagery, I may indeed have to reach for the salts…

  2. Sunday 1st April 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Paging a colander? That would be very draining, and holey impractical Nick. I saw an FD paging a hearse and a cortège of 400-odd bikers once. It made the local paper the next day, and the headline under the photo proclaimed “Sex Pest Strikes Again”.

  3. Sunday 1st April 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I once saw an FD paging a colander … or there again it could have been a Daimler DS420 hearse. Very little difference with some of the earlier specimens!

  4. David Holmes

    Sunday 1st April 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Bearing in mind the date, I take this survey result with a pinch of salt. The idea has some merit thou – but I think we’ll need larger food caddy’s, as the average bloke wouldn’t fit into the ones my council supplies for my kitchen waste 🙂

  5. Sunday 1st April 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I want to see a FD paging a bin.

  6. Jehdeiah

    Sunday 1st April 2012 at 1:56 pm

    i fancy a rather tart lemon skin cover wrapped round the bin to see me out, (should I ever get to 60 that is….)
    http://www.binskins.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/lemonpanels1.jpg

    I reckon I would offer the bin operatives a tenner each to shoulder the bin to the truck, tip me in, a tenner more to hum/whistle ‘Always look on the bright side’ and get a fab photographer like Rachel Wallace to take some tasteful photos and present the family with an online album linked to Genes Reunited for posterity …

  7. Sunday 1st April 2012 at 12:53 pm

    ….or even “Sammy the Sack”….

  8. Sunday 1st April 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Does this mean that “Carl the Coffin” is about to be gazumped by “Billy the Bag”?

  9. Vale

    Sunday 1st April 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Some important points Jonathon. I haven’t seen the survey myself, but I expect the 61.5% is a post mortem wish.

    If not, early bagging would certainly be a novel approach to pre-need planning. I think this is worth following up. A pro-active approach in this area might be part of a radical but helpful solution to some of the difficulties our aging population is currently posing.

    Cost is an issue too. Off the record the GFG was advised that bagging was not likely to be much cheaper than the standard funeral ‘because we will take exactly the same care of both bagged and unbagged clients’.

    They are tight lipped about the cost of the bags they plan to use – which will not of course be directly available to the public.

  10. Jonathan

    Sunday 1st April 2012 at 11:33 am

    “61.5% of adult males over the age of 60 really do want to be put into a black plastic bag and thrown on the rubbish heap.”

    I presume, Vale, they mean after they’ve died? I for one would prefer to be exsaccine until then; and don’t start talking about wheeled bins for the purpose or they’ll start making them out of cardboard with pretty pictures on and charging the earth for them.

    As for appropriate ceremony to render the dead kerbside ready for collection, I think the idea behind this kind of thinking is unceremoniosity; half=empty pizza containers, baked bean cans and unsolicited mail should be stuffed into the sack and the lot tipped from a wheelbarrow, splitting the bag and encouraging crows and seagulls to feast on Grandad’s rotting remains – “he’d have loved it” – until someone quotes loudly from ‘Poems to Shout Across the Street’:

    “Don’t stand and cry by the road, or
    we’ll be overcome by the odour,
    get your arse in gear
    and ship him out of here.”

    But of course by then you will, according to his wishes, have forgotten he ever lived.

  11. gloria mundi

    Sunday 1st April 2012 at 11:29 am

    I feel bags are just a step too far. The wheelie-bin (dressed as a coffin for the day) is the only way, and for a reduced fee (negotiable) I will:

    ensure that the deceased is placed in the right colour bin (particularly important in areas with alternate week collections)

    stand by the bin – front or back door, garden gate or drive, any area, rough middling or exclusive

    set up a video camera so family members don’t need to attend at all

    draft a suitable ceremony of at least three minutes, including a few (brief) thoughts about the way being recycled is another way of joining the flow again, becoming part of the great chain of life

    guarantee to get the name right

    play any music chosen, as the truck drives off (I have suggestions, of course: “One More For the Road,” “On The Road Again,” “Lead, Kindly Light” for those winter early-morning collections; further suggestions are welcome)

    oh, and have a tissue ready in case the recycling operatives are overcome by the profundity of the occasion.

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