Just stop it!

  1. Passed. When somebody dies, say they died. When you tell me they passed, I think they’re in the fast lane or they’re went past GO and collected $200. 
  2. Kick the Bucket: Yes, say this if you want, but nobody says this any more so if you say it people will look at you funny. Of course, if they’re already looking at you funny, then you’re on your own.
  3. Dirt Shower. This is gross. Just stop it.
  4. Lost her Battle: Hmmm. Needless to say, everyone loses their battle sooner or later, but if somebody fights as dread disease for a long time, they get special treament in the obituaries when they take a dirt shower. However, don’t say, “Dirt showers for $100, Alex.”
  5. They met an untimely end. This presumes there’s such a thing as a timely end. 
  6. Lived a long and happy life. Aw, isn’t this sweet? This is just another way of saying that being dead is okay because the guy/lady who kicked the bucket did a lot of good stuff, had fun, made money, had great sex, wrote twenty bestselling novels, &c. If you’re talking about a person who’s my age or younger, I don’t want to hear the long and happy life euphemism. Makes me think it’s time for me to do.
  7. Bite the Big One. The big what?
  8. Bought the Farm. Sometimes, people actually buy farms, so this leads to confusion. Just stop it!
  9. Number was up. I’ve always wondered where these numbers come from, like what is there a big lottery wheel or cosmic game of craps? The only good thing about this, is that if your number isn’t up, you can do any dangerous thing you want without worrying about biting the big one.
  10. Shuffled off the mortal coil. My goodness, are people still saying this who are (a) sane, (b) not perforning in a Shakespeare play, or (c) haven’t already passed? 
  11. Was called home. I hear this at funerals which is one reason I avoid the kind of funeral where somebody’s likely to say this. 
  12. Gave up the ghost. Look, this is pathetic and starts people talking about going to a conjure woman and getting protection against haints. Paint your door blue and old uncle Bill won’t haunt your ass.
  13. Got struck off the Chrismas letter list. Fortunately, fewer and fewer people are sending out Christmas letters these days and those who still do make the recipients wish the senders had been called home at the beginning of the year before they had time to do stuff to brag about in the letters. 




Who gave my e-mail address to the Neptune Society?

Okay, people, I know that the Neptune Society is a reputable organization founded in 1973 to take the fear out of cremation. But seriously, if and when I need their help, I’ll call them. I didn’t really need to find a link to a free creamation planning guide in my inbasket. (I think the guide was free, not the cremation.)

Cremation Preplanning Guide - Neptune SocietySure, it’s like writing a will. Smart people take care of it when they’re twenty years old so that if they kick the bucket, everything’s taken care of. Look how happy the people in this graphic are. But seriously, I’m not ready to be that happy, so I’m considering e-mails about this guide to be SPAM. Quality SPAM, perhaps, but TMI for now.

I’ve graciously added a link to this graphic to that if you want to “Create Peace of Mind by Planning your Cremation in Advance,” you can take the necessary steps before it’s too late.

In general, I consider cremation a good idea, but think it works best for people who have died (aka “passed”). I don’t believe assisted cremation is legal in most states except, perhaps, despair and maybe Florida.

When I find out who sent my name to the Neptune Society, I’m going to send his or her name to the funeral home in their town so they can have peace of mind and maybe even 50% off on a mahogany casket with WiFi and a bell you can ring if they’re buried before they’re ready.

Those of us who remember seeing “Diamonds are Forever” (1971) still have nightmares from the scene in which James Bond is stuffed in a casketed headed for the cremation facilities. So, getting an e-mail for this planning guide creates unusual and unwanted PTSD episodes along with dreams about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (That’s not a rock group.)

Sure, I know the good die young. That’s why I’ve done my best not to be good.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of the satircal novel “Special Investigative Reporter.”