from January 15, 2005
The Myles Junior Think Tank has done it again.
Our subsidiary, the MJTT Cremation Services, has handled the delicate question of what to do with our recently-deceased colleague and editor, Art Unknown, with grace, dignity, and to the grudging satisfaction of all concerned, including his colleagues, quick or urn-bound, his fellow barflies, the MJTT, and Mr. Unknown himself.
Our growing band of happy readers will recall that after we cremated Arthur, we placed his remains in his customized urn for a month-long stint atop the bar of the Pueblo Watering Hole, located on the ground floor of Hôtel Adios in Large Southwestern City.
We at MJTT then gave our habitual great deal of thought to the vexing question of what to do with him after his cremation.
Our initial brilliant flash from On High (Yes, Virginia, there is a Higher Being!) was to use the services of the former Celestis Inc., now Space Services Inc. of Houston, to launch Arthur’s remains into orbit. (For Irene Mona Klotz’s short piece on this innovative service, Google “Space Race 2: Rest in Space.”)
Space Services, reports Ms. Klotz, regards their ingenious plan as “a good sound business because it can grow incrementally.” The thinking behind this entrepreneurial scheme is that the baby boom generation has grown tired of the traditional burial ritual, has embraced the practice of cremation, but now seeks more innovative ways to honor and dispose of their loved ones. The members of that generation are also thinking of their own demise, as did, presumably, their ancestors.
The price is also right. Space Services Inc. will stash seven grams of a former person’s cremated ash into a capsule the size of an antique lipstick tube and send it into orbit for a mere $5,300, less than the average traditional funeral, with its cemetery plots, fine coffins, blocks of engraved stone, black umbrellas, all-in-a-day’s-work morticians, and solemn clergy.
That is for the deluxe model. For the frugal or bankrupt away-passer, Space Services will cram a gram of his or her ash in a container approximately the size of a watch battery for a mere $995. This price includes the sendoff.
We broached this possibility with Mr. Unknown, emphasizing the less expensive model.
Our delicately-worded proposition was met with scorn; we were forced to suggest the deluxe model.
His scorn did not abate. He would have nothing of it. He was emphatic.
Asked for a reasoned case against our brilliant flash from On High, he replied that he wished to remain editor of DQWA. Besides, he went on, he enjoyed the company of his colleagues and fellow barflies, regardless of their wavering opinion of him.
There was much we could not say. After he urged us to read the fine print in our contracts, we quickly consented.
As the CEO of the MJTT, I am pleased to report that Mr. Arthur Unknown (1938-2004) will continue as editor of DQRA for the foreseeable future. And, as the COO of the MJTT Cremation Service, I am equally pleased to report that the urn of our astute, oft-equally-brilliant wit and former man-about-town has been equipped with a state-of-the-art robotic body.
N.B. For a full description of Unknown’s personal appearance, see his current column.