It’s not just Donald Trump who gives Americans an undeserved reputation for dangerous lunacy. Restrictive practices in the US funeral industry have been doing that for years.
In Alabama the owner of a natural burial ground is currently fighting the state law that allows only licensed funeral directors to sell coffins. The burial ground owner, Sheila Champion, said: “I could make you a cedar chest and sell it to you all day long as a piece of furniture; however, if you call me and ask me to make you a coffin using the same pattern, I could be prosecuted.” – here
Fighting her corner for her is the fearsomely libertarian Institute for Justice which, in 2013, fought for the right of St Joseph’s Abbey to sell their monk-made coffins to the public. It took them 6 years – here.
Over in Poland the coffin maker Lindner – famous for its naughty calendars – has brought out a naughty flat-pack coffin and it’s (according to the Telegraph) been damned as unethical by the Polish Chamber of Funeral Homes on the grounds that “Treating a coffin like an ordinary piece of furniture or a DIY-cupboard from a shop undermines respect for the deceased.”
Here in the UK hardly an undertakerly eyebrow is raised any more if a client says they’re buying their own coffin on the internet. Some of them are paying more than the FD would have charged them. In Nottingham, AW Lymn charges nothing (zilch nada) for a cardboard coffin.
Last week here at the GFG-Batesville Shard, where we’re all working our butts off to impress the new gaffer, we received an email from someone who can’t get hold of a woodchip veneer coffin for anything like as little as £150. We’d like to help her, and anyone else who wants to buy an inexpensive veneer coffin. What’s the cost price of these nowadays? Sixty, seventy quid? Any coffin maker out there willing to keep us supplied, please get in touch.