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Human Decency

February 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Baba has it all figured out. Her cremated remains will join Jiji’s and their mingling ashes will be divided between two desktop sphinxes formerly filled with cheap whiskey and presented to my grandfather for being a damn fine Mason. There’s already fake gold nameplates glued to the bases, no muss no fuss. My mom would get one, Lindy will get one, and Sugie… Well, Sugie didn’t make it to the family Christmas gathering this year so she’s shit out of luck.

Not everyone has their final resting place sorted out, but this is America and we’re a nation of innovative entrepreneurs. Convenient Pre-Purchase is a company that specializes in mail-order burial real estate, except when they’re specializing in ‘Pre-Pruchase’ as stated in the introductory paragraph of the letter. Which immediately follows my landlord’s misspelled name.

What locations! Convenient Pre-Purchase is partnered with over 250 franchise boneyards across half of the country. Gleaming mausoleum or eternal rest beneath a row of maples? Ordering your space today avoids the cost of inflation tomorrow and spares your idiot children from overspending to compensate for taking advantage of you their entire ungrateful lives. Everyone is pre-approved for a payment plan and you’ll never have to meet with a cemetery representative, unless you choose to. Twelve months of interest free financing will get the ball rolling. Perpetual Care Grounds Maintenance! Happy families beam at the camera, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be forced to make difficult decisions when Granny kicks the bucket.

‘If you are prepared in advance, you are not at the mercy of strangers during a difficult period in your life’ says Wendy B. from beyond the grave!

There’s checkboxes for veterans and folks who have family planted in the local grounds—no mention of a discount but no harm in asking. Unfortunately they don’t offer a 30-Day money-back guarantee (mail back the unused portion of your grave and keep the digital egg-beater as our gift to you), just their absolutely no obligation, free Cemetery Space Pre-Planning Information Kit.

We sincerely apologize if this mailing has come during a time of bereavement. Read more…

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Lunar Timeshares

December 12, 2008 2 comments

Werewolves will be out tonight for the largest moon in fifteen years. The elliptical orbit of Luna brings it as close as it gets to our Earth and sky-gazers in the northern hemisphere will find it high in the sky, cresting about our heads around midnight. Rain or shine you should check it out; it won’t appear to be this large for another eight years.


Copyright, David Haworth

Perhaps this is why Romanian scientist Virgiliu Pop is pounding the pulpit insisting that the moon will best serve mankind by being parsed apart by space-faring superpowers instead of the free-love Common Heritage suggestion that has left us with Antarctica bereft of mines, immigrant staffed factories and armed squads of dogsled teams patrolling lines in the ice.

Pop sees a future where the surface of the moon will undergo a market-driven transition similar to that which transformed the United States into a sprawling mass of rustbelts, landfills and tract homes. The established pace programs have an advantage but Pop’s egalitarian idea suggests smaller nations band together and form regional space agencies to participate in this 21st century landgrab. In his recently published book, “Who Owns the Moon?– Extraterrestrial Aspects of Land and Mineral Resources Ownership” Pop explores pre-existing legal definitions of property ownership and uses what precedent he can find to encourage a system of ownership beyond escape velocity. His cunning eyes have also settled on less traditionally daydream inducing rock of ice floating through the solar system, namely asteroids and comets.

Looks like Gene Roddenberry’s concept of an egalitarian future will have to wait a couple more centuries. Scramble now to assemble your moon colonization team and be sure you’ve got a team of space lawyers back home to keep the courts locked up until you can ring your lunar lot with electrified wire and get the gun turrets up.

Thanks to New Scientist and Space Magazines for the stories, io9.com for bringing it to my attention.