Going out in style

“Mom always said she wanted a parking meter with ‘time expired,’ ” explains Barbara Sue’s daughter, Sherri Ann Weeks, who along with brother Terry crafted this charming tombstone in Oklahoma. “And she wanted to be on the front row of the cemetery so she could see what was going on. … We gave her what she wanted.”

Some suspected Phtotoshop tomfoolery, but the tombstone has been verified by several newspapers and today by Snopes.com. “These are true pictures,” wrote son Terry in response to a blog discussion where the validity of the tombstone was called into question. “Notice that she passed away on her 64th birthday, so the meter reads 64 year time limit. It is located in Okemah, Oklahoma. I KNOW she is loving the attention. She wanted to make people smile even after she was gone.”

Me personally, I can’t imagine I’ll ever have a tombstone of my own, though I can appreciate a work of art such as the above. By the time I die (if I die of natural causes), I imagine that the world will be so over-populated that spending on a grave plot is going to be something way too expensive and frivolous for me to ever inflict on my loved ones. Plus, I’m sure eventually someone will build high-rises over it which means that I’ll have to go back and haunt them,  a pain in the ass for me as a ghost. No, I’d much rather be buried in a forest somewhere, so that I can turn into trees. Or bird poo.

But you guys! How would you like to go? Karaoke funeral, anyone? Internet gravesite? Tell all.

21 Responses to “Going out in style”

  1. ampersandpilcrow Says:

    For awhile I was convinced that I wanted a simple cremation and a riotous drunken wake — with only a small marker somewhere where friends and family could come to pay their respects, adorned with an appropriate quote or piece of poetry to add a touch of individuality.

    Then I got older and decided to go for broke. So now I want to be entombed at the center of a massive ziggurat extending 20 stories deep into the earth, replete with the most vicious death traps imaginable. Furthermore, on my deathbed I will spend millions to spread rumors about the priceless horde of treasure alongside my corpse, insuring a steady stream of unfortunates to run afoul of said devices. Thus I will keep looming over the landscape for centuries to come, and send countless others screaming to their doom.

    And for the wake? Someone better sack a city, that’s all I’m sayin’.

  2. Eev Says:

    I’d want to be cremated and have my ashes scattered in various places, but I’d like a little house or statue or something to have a memorial place. Maybe a gargoyle sitting in some public place– that’s it, a gargoyle in Forsyth Park.

  3. six06 Says:

    i wish to be cremated and my ashes fused in with paint on the palette of george yepes and a portrait painted of me. i hope he’s still around by then … and i hope my insurance funds will cover it. :P

  4. Mark Says:

    Full-on taxidermy. Stand me at the foot of your stairs with a tray of cigars in one hand and a carafe of red wine in the other. I’ll be a convenient and fetching drinks cabinet, hat stand, loyal friend and conversation piece for generations to come. I’ll also inexplicably migrate around your house at night.

  5. Elusive Says:

    Pine box, six feet under. Simple.

    Somewhere back in the mountains would be nice. I want my body to go back to the earth. Dust to dust. The funerary business now is all about preservation of the remains. You buy a metal casket to keep out decay as long as possible and then that’s put in a concrete box to further keep decay out. All of that is against nature. We’re supposed to rot. I’m against cremation as well, for the simple reason that you’ve burned all the nutrients out of your body so you don’t give anything back to the earth. How selfish.

    My (over thought) two cents.


  6. Skerror Says:

    I want my body rocketed into space and then annihilated in an omni-directional explosion…sending my DNA dust hurtling toward every corner of the universe. Then maybe an advanced alien race or future humans will build a clone…bring my memories back, and I can hang out in a sweet zoo exhibit (as my primitive mind will be unable to deal with the complexities of the world I will find myself in).

    Making this plan a reality is going to require serious investment capital…so far, the most promising firm I’ve spoken with has only made a financial commitment to a “single burlap sack”. When I pressed them for more, one of the guys just shook his head and mumbled something about “borrowing a shovel from his brother-in-law this weekend”. They said they’d think my proposition over for awhile and that they’d come to my house with a final answer next week. I’m optimistic. *Fingers crossed* :)

    @Mark…You might want to think about having your taxidermist install a trophy case in your chest…cuz you’re going to clean up at the posthumous feng shui awards. Bling that shit! Aww yeah!

  7. Daniel Says:

    If I had my choice, some sort of Viking ship burial. But doing a sky burial like the Tibetans, and being fed entirely to vultures seems perfectly reasonable to me, too.

  8. Anon E Mouse Says:

    My friend thought of an even better addition to his wish for taxidermy – get a dry-erase board thought/quote bubble attached. Now you’re furniture, a conversation piece, and something useful for when your family needs groceries!

  9. EPtrauma Says:

    While i am terribly intrigued by the idea of embalming, truthfully i think i’d prefer cremation. I am always, always cold, so going out warm would be great. And also, then i can be sure that my body will return to some sort of natural state, and not sit around all waxy and stiff and half decomposed for years and years in a cement block.

    Hopefully i’ll have a significant other who would miss me enough to get my ashes turned into something cool like a glass pendant or something. that’d be neat.

  10. Skerror Says:

    “a dry-erase board thought/quote bubble attached. Now you’re furniture, a conversation piece, and something useful for when your family needs groceries!”

    My god…the possibilities for hilarity (and abuse) are staggering :) Everyone is going to want their own dead guy/dry-erase board! I’d probably have to stock mine with Buddhist quotes most of the time to maintain sanity though…

  11. Lauren Says:

    i’m not going to lie.

    this was probably the last thing i needed to see today. we’re going to be pulling the feeding tube on my grandma sometime soon.

    nothing against coilhouse. on any other day, i’d love this entry. but today it was just too close to home.

    sorry i needed to say that.

  12. Brock McCoy Says:

    Waves crashed round the pirate ship
    But aboard no man creaked a board
    Gazing with zombie albatrosses’ glazed eyes
    The crew knew one man would swim
    Counting the leagues as countless kin
    Down until darkness closed a second time
    Swords were drawn and words were dim
    Back and forth eyes guessed the attack
    Katanas crossed leaving a chime
    Throughout the universe’s energetic flow
    Another round sent chips of steel flying
    Crows overhead heard the ring
    Every wing stopped to hear the two sing
    A final swing cut through time
    And relinquished one to sea divine

  13. Mark Says:

    Dear Mr McCoy,
    I represent the estate of Neil Sedaka, and we’d appreciate it if you’d avoid leaking the lyrics to his next single until we’ve secured an official release date.
    Lionel Hutz, attourney at law

  14. Vulgaire Says:

    I’m suprised no one has mentioned this. there is a procedure that you can have your body cremated and the ashes sent away, in 5 years this company can compress the ashes to make…. DIAMONDS!!! i’m not sure if they can make other stones… but when my mother and i talked about her passing (hopefully in the very distant future) i told her about this procedure and we fell in love with it. what a great way to keep someone close to you, and get a piece of beautiful jewlery that represents your loved ones body. they have rings, necklaces, LOCKETS (fuck yeah- this is what we’re doing), bracelets, etc etc. There was a little convorsation about what we should do if the locket gets lost or stolen… not to worry, its the memory that we keep alive… talk about goin out in style!


  15. paul blume Says:

    Me, I’m thinking either a small under-lit (as in illuminated from below, not as in murky) dance floor adjacent to a crank-operated Victrola engraved with the words “THIS SPACE FREE FOR DANCING” or oneof those old disco dancer cages…as seen in equally old ’60s movies…only, instead of a frantically frugue-ing Goldie Hawn type in a miniskirt, it would contain a skeleton.
    In a miniskirt.

  16. Paul Komoda Says:


    From front to back, I want my corpse to be frozen and sliced into thin, translucent sections, and have these anatomical membranes individually displayed in sheets of glass . These mounts would then be arranged like stained glass windows on every side of a shrine-like room, so visitors and loved ones could bask in the weird pinkish-orange glow of me.

    That is, of course, if don’t get blown up, crushed into mulch, or gruesomely burned into a condition unworthy of public viewing.

  17. gooby Says:

    Am I really the only one who wants to be thrown into tropical waters with concrete slippers on my feet and chicken wire wrapped tightly around my body so that fishies will dine on me and mollusks make my empty sockets their homes? In a hundred years could be a thriving new ecosystem?!

  18. Nina Says:

    I like the thought of sky burial and the diamond thingy would be cute if I didn’t have to consider my offspring complete assholes because they will without doubt sell me some day.
    But in fact I couldn’t care less. My loved ones may decide because they are the ones who may need some memorial place.

  19. Ben Morris Says:

    The ultimate fate of my corpse isn’t something I care all that much about, but provided technology was to the point that it was cheap (exceptionally unlikely) I think it would be cool if my corpse & casket were put on a collision course with the sun. Solar cremation I suppose.

  20. Io Says:

    That’s wonderful that people are able to maintain a sense of humor about death, if a loved one of mine had a memorial like that, I couldn’t help but smile and remember them fondly whenever I visited.

    As for myself, I want as much of me what can be used to be donated to science/organ donation programs/ etc., then I want to be cremated and scattered across all the places I loved the most, whether near or abroad. It’s simple, but ideal for me.

  21. Io Says:

    Though not something I’d choose for myself for the sake of my relatives and the potential uses my body could have, I also like the idea of Tibetan Sky burials. There, pieces of you are cut off and fed to birds until nothing is left and your physical remains have gone on to directly sustain life elsewhere.