Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

December 7, 2013

What's your favorite funeral?


Hendricks County Flyer

---- — Do you ever get those little trivia questionnaires in e-mail or on social media? “What’s your favorite movie? What’s your favorite book? What’s your favorite memory? Who’s your favorite celebrity? What was your favorite funeral?”

Just kidding. Nobody has a favorite funeral.

Or do they?

Recently, a friend of mine passed away. I was planning to attend the funeral and asked several other friends if they were going as well. Oddly, the answer I received several times was, “I don’t want to go. I hate funerals.”

My answer to that was, “That’s a perfectly ridiculous statement. Nobody likes funerals.”

Turns out I was wrong. I found out the other night that a lot of people really do like funerals and in a big way. In fact, they like them so much that there is a new reality show on TLC titled “Best Funeral Ever.”

To say that the premise of the show is in bad taste is like saying that Miley Cyrus would like some attention; it’s a huge understatement. But what’s new? There aren’t any reality shows that are in good taste.

Let’s face it; the American viewing public craves tasteless drivel. And if any station is willing to feed it to them, it’s TLC, who has given us such quality programming as “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Sister Wives.”

“Best Funeral Ever” follows the adventures of Golden Gate Funeral Home owner John Beckwith Jr. and his staff as they stage unique “home going” celebrations for the eccentric dearly departed.

The show began as a special, but was then developed into a series. Apparently ratings were good. Why does that scare me?

Monday’s episode featured the casket of avid bowler Judy Sunday being rolled down a bowling alley, the casket of Olympic gold medalist Ronnie Ray Smith doing a 100-meter dash (he won by the way), and my personal favorite, a breakfast-themed funeral featuring a gospel choir singing the praises of bacon and eggs and mourners actually wearing bacon and egg costumes. The deceased obviously loved his breakfast.

As an added bonus, a deceased coupled were married. How is that possible? Simple; you cremate them both, put them in urns, dress the urns as a bride and a groom, walk them down the aisle, pronounce them man and wife and then comingle the ashes.

The deceased, Darrell and Terria Jenkins’ son Michael was the brainchild behind this funeral. If you get a chance to watch the clip on the Internet, make sure you do. It’s just the most disturbing and creepy thing you have ever seen.

An average funeral can cost between $7,000 to $10,000. But what’s the price tag on the “Best Funeral Ever?” An hour-long service can go for as much as $50,000. I guess that’s the going rate for a gaudy, garish funeral party that will get you on television.

No word on whether TLC picks up any of that tab, but somehow I doubt it.

Personally, I do not have a favorite funeral. But then I don’t have a favorite book, movie, or celebrity either.

I don’t plan on watching “Best Funeral Ever” in the future. Once is more than enough. I guess I’m just boring. Fortunately, I like it that way.

— Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book “What’s the Point?” available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.