Story Go Round 10/28/2005, round 1, #3

Hearse Happy

or The Rise and Fall of Death Culture

Orange and black. Black and orange. Blorange. Orack. No. No no no. I don't like any of it. And what's with the orange, anyway? Red would be much better. More refined. If you're going to revamp a hearse, it pays to plan well. There's the rear view ornament, the occupancy indicator light and the tinted windows. Yes. Yes yes yes. Red was the new pink, it was in all the fashion mags. And it masked all the right blood stains. I mean, who ever heard of a hearse with blood on it? You'd think the corpse was dead or something, but usually they weren't. Too inefficient. Get 'em while they're still breathing, that was the boss's directive, and she would know, with her degrees and certificates and letters before and after her name. Yep, she was the genuine article, a real can do person. When reports of second round humans came in, she knew what that could do to business. How could you even hope to stay in business when rejuvenation was within reach. 'Second Rounds' was a term coined for the process, only possible off-world, of restoring a person's health to its peak. It was expensive, and you did have to die first, but benefits were immense! And here we were, so "old school." Supporting proper burial and such. We would be ostracized. If we were going to provide a little "death insurance," we had to be seen as the best. Be so hip and cool, that people would WANT to die just to be buried by us. We needed new marketing people - someone to help with decisions like these colors - someone who had a sense for the flair and fashion that went along with death. We started with black eyeliner and lipstick for teens - crazy, I know - and moved into goth and vampyr looks for the other corpses. It was a scream. Well, some people did, but on the whole it caught on nicely. Attendance at funerals were up. We'd had calls from Time and People, and now needed security just to hold off the throngs of death fans People were stage diving into the coffin. They started a bottomless mosh pit. It was so big, that Mike Meyers made his next movie about a character based on me - a me with a transylvanian-Scottish accent of course, and I would never be caught - - dying, in those gaudy hospital gowns, but at least that shouldn't be an issue. I had just filed my notarized Death Plan at Bottom Feeders, Inc., and knew that I would not go slow. My death would be quick and action-packed. Hmm. Maybe we could add a turbo to that hearse...

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange