A Sales Pitch from a Funeral Home Director


The caskets are as opulent and beautiful as a fleet of limousines. The top-tier models sell for upwards of $5,000, but Holland begins his sales pitch to prospective clients with a humble gray container in a far corner of the room. “I bring ’em to this little $995 jobbie right here. I say, ‘Okay, this will get you from point A to point B. Now, water and worms will get in there, and if you read the Scripture it says “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust,” and that’s what this is really all about. What you are buying is $995 worth of dignity to keep me from tying a rope to your heels and pulling you into the hole, which would accomplish the same thing.’ Then they’ll come buy this shit over here.” Holland indicates a box that retails for $3,495. “And ka-ching-ka-ching-ka-ching. Forty years I been doing this. It’s fucked! I mean, the [funeral] services are incredible. I love the services, but all this merchandising-pagan-ass-crazy-certified-lunatic-damn bullshit—it’s so fucked. God bless America!”

Wells Tower’s GQ story about the man who allegedly sent highly toxic ricin laced letters to Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker, Mississippi Judge Sadie Holland, and President Obama is pretty incredible mostly because of how eccentric the people allegedly involved are. Rep. Steve Holland, the son of Judge Sadie Holland, and the political rival of Everett Dutschke, the man who allegedly tried to frame another man for sending the letters, has this part in the story where he talks about his funeral business that probably could have been cut out by the editors. I’m glad they decided to leave it in, if only for Holland’s brazen honesty in the above passage.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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1 Comments / Post A Comment

BellaLincoln (#4,056)

M. Dang, you might like reading Jessica Mitford’s “The American Way of Death”. It’s got it all: funny funeral directors, the in’s and out’s of how funerals get priced, what happens when “big box” (haha) funeral companies push out family-owned funeral homes, British v. American funerals…the whole shebang.

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