05 September 2010

Dead People Storage

I have no intent to turn this blog into a chronological diary, so I might as well start at the end. Someone else's end of course.

The biggest cemetery around here is Saint-Pierre. Nice scenery, no doubt, although I doubt that the customers appreciate it. Nice orderly well-maintained rows of marble tombstones, with pretty flowers. The flowers are made of porcelain, which probably cuts down on maintenance a lot. I saw very few real flowers, or other visitors. Many tombs have little stone tablets with gaudy pictures of the dear departed, usually grinning zombies that would make you cross to the other side side of the street if you'd meet one. I wonder who picks those pictures? Better put one in your testament file now, and write "use this one" on the back.

The cemetery is big but the customer list is bigger, so there is a shortage of space. But the French are never afraid of solving a problem with large amounts of concrete, so they built a huge parking garage where they park their dead relatives. No ramps but the typical elevators, dark corridors, broken flourescent lighting, and tasteless concrete facade. There are no cars, just concrete shelves, big enough to stuff a body in and affix an engraved slab of marble. Very efficient. There is still space, reserve now!

Now I am an atheist like pretty much everyone I know, and I don't care if they stuff my body in the recycling bin after I die. (Timing matters.) I won't be needing it anymore and nobody is going to row me across the Styx. Now I understand that the family may want a place for grieving, but then why rent a slot in a parking garage, nail some plastic flowers to the lid, so they never need to actually show up? Kind of defeats the purpose, n'est-ce pas? Deferred for further study.

Cemetière Saint-Pierre, first class.

Final parking at Saint-Pierre

Inside the garage. Vacant economy-class bins in the back.

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