On Monday of this week, I received mail from an organization called the “Neptune Society.” My first thought is that because of my interest and involvement in fly fishing that it might have some connection with fly fishing for bonefish or permit in the flats of the Caribbean. Okay, I thought, I’m intrigued and I’ll take a peek.
I guess I should have been a bit suspicious because it was postmarked from Kutztown, Pennsylvania, a town I had only heard about because of a rugby team my NMSU squad once played in a collegiate tournament. As I recalled, the town (and Kutztown University of Pennsylvania) were hopelessly landlocked somewhere in eastern Pennsylvania, nowhere near an ocean.
Upon opening the mail, I discovered it was a solicitation for cremation services.
“We provide simple cremation at an affordable price without any of the unnecessary services many people don’t want,” it proudly announced.
This triggered many questions. How “affordable” would it be to ship my body to Kutztown? What are “unnecessary services”? Return of my ashes to loved ones once you’re torched? A container other than a Ziplock bag to hold what’s left of me? Burning my corpse over a buffalo dung fire to save the expense of gas or electric utilities?
What was also concerning is how they had somehow identified me as someone close to kicking the bucket. They had my correct name and address and got it from some mailing list that I suppose was labeled “Persons ready to check out at any minute,” or “Has been in the hospital fairly recently for heart surgery,” or “Anyone over 70 who lives in an area with a high COVID-19 infection rate.”
They offered to send me their “latest version of our cremation book” which I think I’ll skip. I’m not that desperate for reading material right now. I do, however, appreciate the mailing because it gave me something to write (and think) about.
Stay safe, and I hope you don’t get any mail from the Neptune Society. Your number could be up soon.