BY CHRIS WRIGHT
If, as seems increasingly likely, the body of Ted Williams is finally thawed, the question remains of what to do with the Red Sox great’s remains. After all, we can’t just have any old sendoff for the Splendid Splinter, now can we? It has to be big, bold, and brash — like the man himself. And, when it comes to funeral ceremonies, there are plenty of big, bold, brash options out there.
A site called cheekyfunerals.com ( " Putting the ‘FUN’ back in FUNerals " ), suggests a theme funeral: " Imagine, Uncle Tom walking the plank, blindfolded, dressed as Captain Pugwash ... " Though the site doesn’t explain exactly how Uncle Tom — who is, presumably, dead — might walk that plank, it does promise a funeral " that no-one will ever forget. " For a more ... erm ... dignified trip to eternity, Cheeky Funerals suggests an Egyptian-themed affair, complete with " mourners dressed as Egyptian slaves. "
" Mummification has much to offer us, " proclaims an outfit called Summum, which bills itself as " the only organization in the world to offer the service of Modern Mummification. " Using ancient techniques, Summum will extract a beloved’s innards, give them a quick scrub, put them back, pump the body full of " certain liquids, " wrap it in polyurethane-treated gauze, and shove the whole shebang into a bronze ( " or stainless steel " ) casket for all eternity — all for the very reasonable price of $71,000. If we propped the casket up in Fenway Park and put a Coke logo on it, it’d pay for itself!
Then again, what is mummification other than an archaic (and warmer) form of cryogenics? Perhaps Ted simply needs to get away from it all. A company called Celestis offers " A Celestial Journey to Space for Departed Loved Ones. " For the shockingly low price of $5300, an encapsulated loved one — in this case, Ted Williams — will be thrust into orbit around the earth, where he will remain for an undisclosed period ( " the memorial satellite re-enters Earth’s atmosphere and harmlessly vaporizes, blazing like a shooting star in final tribute " ). If the Williams clan can bring itself to stump up $12,500, Ted’s ashes could end up on the moon. For the same price, Celestis will shoot him into deep space.
But that’s a bit depressing — poor old Ted, all alone, drifting around some godforsaken galaxy far, far away. Perhaps we need something a little more upbeat, a little closer to home. A Web site called cemeteryshop.com — with its " ‘F’unerals " — might be just the ticket. The site suggests all manner of zany departures: Fancy Funerals and Foolish Funerals, Freaky Funerals and Funky Funerals, Festive Funerals and Frivolous Funerals — the latter " designed for those who ... would love to see themselves remembered as an easygoing person who was Frivolous. "
While Ted Williams may be remembered as many things, chances are he won’t be remembered as an easygoing person who was Frivolous. And there’s been talk of cremation from the beginning, so what better finale for the baseball legend than a Fun Funeral? We could put his ashes in a Wiffle ball and have a slug-fest before a sellout crowd at Fenway Park: Pedro pitches to Nomar, Nomar hits a fly ball to right field, Trot comes in for the catch, misses, gets a face full of dust ... Or not.
Issue Date: July 18 - 25, 2002
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