Recently, I attended the Convention of ARIMBSFA (Association of Remains Internment Manufacturers, Bereavement Specialists and Floral Arrangers) to get their spin on the competence of the Bush Administration. While there, I spoke to Barry D. Korpi, head of the Remains Interment Manufacturers; Morton "Mort" U. Cherry, president of Bereavement Specialist of America; and Fauna Panzegrau, head of the Floral Arranger Society. What follows is our conversation.
Lew: Good evening persons, hows business?
Barry: Very good, business is picking up, especially in New Orleans.
Mort: People are dying to do business with us. Sorry, that's an old industry joke.
Fauna: We're trying hard to keep up with demand.
Lew: Did any of you contribute to the Bush campaigns in the past two elections?
Barry: ARIMBSFA gave to both the Bush campaign and to the Republican Party.
Mort: I'm a Bush Pioneer!
Fauna: You know, some of our members were concerned when Bush and the Republicans adopted the pro-life plank. But I explained that they just meant white babies, of whom we send a large amount of bouquets to new mothers, so they calmed down.
Lew:Don't you feel, I don't know, evil exploiting death for profit?
Mort: hey! Everybody's gotta die some time right? Do you know how much an obituary costs in a large metropolitan newspaper? We're just easing people's guilt that it was a loved one instead of themselves that crossed over.
Lew: Barry, has your busines increased lately?
Barry: Why, yes, one member just received an order for 40,000 burial internment units to be shipped to Lousiana. Plus, with all the brave soldiers getting greased in Iraq, we're doing a booming business, although some members are complaining because Bush won't allow the bodies being shipped home to be photographed. Nothing sells product like draping it in an American flag. Look at Fox News!
Lew: I try not to. How many units have you shipped to Iraq?
Barry: Officially, it's only a thousand, but off the record, closer to ten thousand with units shipped to Germany for soldiers who died ther or enroute to their from injuries sustained in Iraq. Plus we've sent over 100,000 'economy' units to inter the collateral damage. Saddam would have just buried them in a mass grave, this way, they get a decent Christian burial.
Mort: We're sending people over there to train Iraqi civilians to be grief counselors.
Lew:Fauna, how does your society fit in?
Fauna: Well first, when a soldier dies, the mother and/or widow receives flowers from all their friends and co-workers in condolence. Then of course, once the remains are interred, they usually send a nice arangement to the final resting place.
Lew: So you're all profitting from the war?
Mort: Best money I ever spent.
Lew: So you don't see any incompetence-
Barry: It's his incompetence that makes him right for the job!Who'd have thunk that it would translate so well in to his appointments. We couldn't have asked for a better choice than Michael Brown. I'm giddy about the prospects of future disasters.
Lew: So you're not worried about the possibility of another terrorist attack?
Mort: Yes I am. If the next terrorist attack is nuclear, everybody'll be vaporized.
Barry: No remains to be interred. At least in New Orleans, there is a lot of bodies to be buried.
Fauna: Can I just say that the Floral Designers will do okay after the next terrorists attack. Americans will send lots of flowers to the makeshift shrine, it'll be the best thing for us since the death of Princess Di.
Lew:okay. Well what can we expect from the funeral business in the future?
Mort: We designing a Hummer hearse, for those people who want to feel bigger than everyone else, even after they've gone on.
Lew: But Hummer is already so swamped with orders from people that they don't have enough to build the armor plated ones for the troops.
Barry:You see that's good. If they don't get killed, well, we're going to lose a lot of money. I just bought a villa on a lake and want to build a panic room in it.
Fauna:Can I just say this? New Hampshire Teddy Bear Co. has just come out with it's "Katrina Survivor Bear". It comes with it's own set of alligator bite marks. And only in one color. We can ship them over night to the Superdome for those people who feel guilty about voting for Bush and really would like to apologize to the citizens of New Orleans. It's 8" tall, cuddly as ever, and only $14.95.
Lew: Well, we must be going now.
Mort: See you soon!