Turn on, tune in, drop out – for funeral contest

It’s not the kind of prize that one picks up in person. Germany’s undertakers, embalmers and grave diggers are up in arms about a radio competition that offers listeners the chance to win a luxury funeral.

All the contestants have to do – and some 650 have already entered – is compose the most original or witty epitaph for their gravestone.

The lucky winner of a grand euros 3,000 burial – complete with marble headstone, wreath, gratuities for the grave diggers and transport from church to cemetery – will be announced on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent and is traditionally a sombre day.

Radio Galaxy from Aschaffenburg in southern Germany, dreamt up the idea after a pupil died in a school bus crash.

“We talked about how to tackle this with our younger listeners,” said Jens Pflueger, 25, a presenter. “We realised that it was our duty to get people talking about death.”

So alongside the usual tracks by Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, the station started to play Chopin’s Funeral March, and – with the help of newspaper advertisements marked with a black cross – announced the contest…

The Association of German Morticians is now taking the station to court…

Church leaders have described the contest as tasteless, and said that it may encourage people to commit suicide. Konrad Hilpert, a Munich University professor of moral theology, called it obscene.

Church leaders, no surprise, haven’t a clue. Those of you who know how seriously I take questions like this will not be surprised to learn that my epitaph – if I had a tombstone [because I won’t] – will be, “Hey, you kids – get off my lawn!”

One thought on “Turn on, tune in, drop out – for funeral contest

  1. exult49 says:

    I think that in our “progressed” society the old balanced concept of Eros&Thanatos is unfortunately lost.
    That’s why living without the daily thought of diyng it is more difficult to achieve. Thinking of our own death is a wonderful way to positevely exorcise it.
    Well as far as I am concerned my epitaph will be the Ghandi’s thought:
    Leave as you were to die tomorrow.Learn as if were to live forever.

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