2018-01-24 / Editorials

Looking good

Other Voices
Mitch Clarke

We are a society, for good or bad, obsessed with beauty. We all want to look good and feel young. And we’re willing to do just about anything to achieve it.

I certainly had this in mind when I started exercising and eating healthy last year. I’ve lost more than 50 pounds, and I feel better than I have in years.

Some people, though, go a step further. Statistics show that cosmetic surgery is at an all-time high. We spend good money having things that are wrinkled stretched, things that have fallen lifted and things that have sagged boosted.

So it really shouldn’t have been a surprise — but it was — that the newest trend in cosmetic surgery happens after you die. Yes, even the dead are getting in on the desire to look their best at their final public appearance — their funeral.

According to an article I read last week, funeral directors say people are increasingly asking them for face lifts, liposuction and Botox injections so that they’ll look good laid out in their casket.

I guess for some people, it’s as important to look as good in death as it was to look good in life.

Of course, undertakers have always been called upon to make the deceased look as lifelike as possible. In fact, I suspect some morticians know more makeup tips than the girl at the Estee Lauder counter at the mall.

But if it’s just the same to y’all, when my day comes, you can just put me in the coffin of your choosing — a pine box is fine with me; I’ll be dead — and close the lid. I don’t want people coming to my funeral looking at me if I can’t look back.

I understand that viewings are popular at funerals, especially in the South. Families want to be sure that Aunt Gladys is at peace and looks her best for her trip to the Great Beyond.

So they open up the casket and let the whole town come in and look at her.

“Don’t she look good?” the nice ones will say.

Not everyone is so charitable, though. There’s one at every funeral.

“I can’t believe they’re burying her in that floral print dress. Gladys always said she wouldn’t get caught dead in a floral print.”

To be honest, the idea of open caskets has always been a little creepy to me. I don’t want someone coming up to my casket and saying, “Don’t he look good?”

You know why? Cause I don’t look good. I’m dead. Have been for two or three days by the time you see me.

Of course, closed caskets cause controversy, too. Southerners are suspicious of closed caskets. We think something’s fishy, that maybe the authorities should have conducted an autopsy.

Or worse, maybe Uncle Elmer ain’t even in that casket. Maybe he faked his death so he could run off with that cocktail waitress from the lounge at the Ramada Inn.

So I guess it makes sense that, if you’re going to have an open casket, you should look your best, the fact that you’re dead notwithstanding. So go ahead and get all that last minute work done.

I intend to stick with my original plan. I don’t need any work done when I dead. Just plop me in the casket and close that sucker.

Because whatever happened between me and that cocktail waitress is none of your business.

Mitch Clarke, a native of Blakely, is the editor of AccessWDUN.com in Gainesville.

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