The hair on your head (or lack thereof), your eyes, your teeth, the whorls on your fingertips and the smell of you are all unique.
Even if you have a twin, there are infinitesimal differences between you and your womb-mate, enough so that your mother can tell you apart.
There’s nobody like you. But even so, you share one thing in common with the other estimated seven billion people on Earth.
You, like they, are going to die.
So what goes on in that Last Frontier before your mortal remains are displayed and dispersed? Find out in “Mortuary Confidential” by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra.
You might call him an undertaker. Perhaps you think of her as the funeral director or mortician.
No matter what you call them, their job is the same: they get their paychecks by caring for the dead. Many people might shudder at the thought of it all, but it’s ancient work.
Unless you know a funeral director well, you probably have preconceived notions about what they do, based on what you’ve seen on TV.
The authors say that this book is meant to dispel television’s perpetuated myths by letting fifty undertakers tell their stories.
“Instead of… Hollywood, this time it’s from the front lines,” they say.
There’s good advice in “The Fly Swatter Saga”, for instance: when picking up a body for preparation – or any time, for that matter – it’s always good to keep your keys in your pocket or have a Plan B.
It’s rarely advisable to bolster your tasks with liquid fortitude. In “The Man Who Cheated Death”, a first-time undertaker wonders if that after-work martini had him seeing double or seeing ghosts.
Sometimes, caring for the dead is only half of what an undertaker does. In “The Prodigal Son”, a mother lays to rest more than just her child. She buries a lifetime of problems, too.
In “The Gay Man in the Wine Bottle”, a funeral director listens to his client’s last wishes, despite what the family’s wants.
And does it matter what we look like when we meet our Maker? In “Buried in the Nude”, it does, but only halfway…
Are you dying for an interesting, browse-able, made-for-killing-time book to tuck in the car this summer? With fifty short, quick-to-read chapters, “Mortuary Confidential” is a good choice.
Authors Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra gathered together a wide variety of stories that they felt were representative of the industry and the people in it.
Aside from the brevity of each individual offering (the lengths of which are just right), I liked that the authors didn’t allow the book to descend into the gruesome or macabre. There are no urban-legend-type tales here; just a bunch of workin’ stiffs, working on stiffs.
If you’re looking for something quirky and a little bit different for those times when you’ve only got five minutes to spare, I think you’ll like this one. For you, “Mortuary Confidential” is a book to dig up.