“Walnut, definitely walnut” declared Sylvia Klein. “Look what is says in the brochure”:
• Honor your loved one by choosing an exquisite solid wood casket. The strong, stately Elite Walnut is a timeless casket that comes with beautiful platinum swing bars and a secure locking mechanism. Like most of our funeral caskets, the Elite Walnut features an Eternal Rest Adjustable Bed and matching pillow. The luxurious silk velvet lining makes this casket an excellent choice: $17,000 •
“Doesn’t that sound ideal, Lenny?!” Sylvia exclaimed to her husband.
“$17,000?! What else is in there – the Crown Jewels?! Who pays that kind of money for a casket?! Sylvia, for that amount we can give our grandsons a bar mitzvah feast fit for a king!”
“Did you see the part where it says ‘adjustable bed and matching pillow’? Oh, Lenny, think how comfortable I’ll be.”
“Comfortable?? For crying out loud, Sylvia, you’re gonna be dead. D-E-A-D dead! This isn’t a week at the Ritz Carlton! Adjustable bed my ass!”
“Lenny, why are you acting like an old tightwad? You always said money is just a number. This means a lot to me!” Sylvia exclaimed tearfully.
“Sylvia, calm down. When have I ever been a tightwad? Our daughters had extravagant weddings. You wanted that chandelier for the dining room which, I’ll remind you, cost a pretty penny. Then there was the Steinway mahogany baby grand and you don’t even play the piano! Then the Jaguar with all the bells and whistles and so many cruises I’ve lost count. Everything you ever wanted I happily gave you but this – this is just a big waste of money!
“Leonard Klein, how can you say that?! My final resting place and you’re calling it a waste of money! Sylvia wailed.
“Sylvie, I’m sorry. Calm down. Can we please discuss this later?” Leonard pleaded.
“Wait, Lenny. You haven’t heard the best part. This is a special for Rosh Hashanah – buy one, get one at half price. That’s only $25,500 for two – one for me and one for you!”
Leonard sighed deeply. “Oy vey, Sylvia, I don’t need all this stuff! Put me in a plain pine box and toss me off the yacht. You can even write on it ‘Leonard Klein sleeps with the fishes’!”
Sylvia started sobbing. “Oh, Leonard, how can you say such a horrible thing? The thought of you being nibbled on by fish and crabs and God knows what … I could die!”
“Sylvia, please stop crying. I was just making a little joke. If you want this Elite whatever we’ll get it. Ok? You feel better now?”
Sylvia sniffled and nodded her head. “Oh yes, Lenny! You’ve made me very happy! Now one last thing: I can’t be buried. I’m terribly claustrophobic. The thought of being underground – I’d die! I want to be cremated.”
“Cremated?!” Leonard yelled, pulling his fingers through what little hair he had. “Now you want to be cremated? Are you meshugenah, Sylvia? $17,000 for a piece of firewood?!”
“$25,500, Lenny” Sylvia replied.
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