Thursday, October 29, 2009


My mom has often referred to Wal-Mart as the "gettin' place" because you can get just about anything there. Gettin' place, indeed. I was listening to a news program on the radio yesterday on my way home from work. One of the news items they mentioned is that Wal-Mart, corporate giant extraordinare, is now selling caskets online. Yes, you read correctly - - the nation's best known big box store is now hawking specially priced coffins for those discount-minded folks that want to lay their love ones to rest without blowing the bank.

I visited Wal-Mart's website and browsed through their selection of caskets which range in price from $895 to $2,899. The "site to store" option is not available for have to have it shipped directly to your home. I suppose it would be awkward to go to the service desk to pick up a 250 pound steel coffin anyway. How embarrassing to have to wheel out Grandma's final resting place past the softener salt display and the people buying their groceries. Knowing my luck, I would probably get the cart with the janky wheel and end up accidently smashing it into the shampoo display outside the Wal-Mart Smartstyle Hair Salon.

I was also curious about shipping time. The Wal-Mart site says that it can take 24 - 48 hours to process the order before it is shipped, and it quoted total time until delivery as anywhere between 2 - 5 days. Some questions come to mind:

1) Where does the dearly-departed hang out until their burial chamber arrives?

2) How would you make funeral arrangements if you are unsure when the casket will arrive? Does the newspaper obituary read: "Funeral time TBA, pending casket arrival."

3) Often when someone dies, the loved ones are so grief-stricken that they have trouble putting together the arrangements. In order to facilitate the soonest arrival possible of the casket, do they have to dry their tears, get online, pick out a casket, then resume grieving?

4) Some people make their own funeral preparations ahead of time which saves money, expedites the process, and doesn't leave loved ones having to deal with arrangements while they are racked with grief. Would it be considered odd to order your own casket from Wal-Mart and keep it in the basement until needed?

Finally, I am wondering what others would think of you if then knew you ordered the dearly departed's casket from Wal-Mart. Would they think you as prudent and savvy or cheap and callus? Would they applaud your decision to be budget conscious in these lean times, or would they whisper viciously to each other during the funeral service about what a skinflint you are?

Oh yes - - and would the casket have one of those sunshine yellow happy faces emblazoned on the side?

If you would like to check out Wal-Mart's casket

selection, here is the link.


papadale said...

Grandma Mary wants to be cremated, and, I really have no preference, so, I'm guessin' you COULD run down to Dick Van Dykes' and cabbage a couple of refrigerator boxes, and have us covered, oh, and the keys to my truck are usually in my left front pocket, and the wheel barrel and shovels are in the shed along with the starter fluid and matches. Always did love bonfires!!

Ms. Hill said...

I think it would be cool for the Wal-Mart casket to have "Made in China" etched in the side of the black lacquer.

And, it would be nice to have the Wal-Mart guarantee with that product. No receipt needed and you could get a gift card for your refund! I wonder if the casket would have to be empty?