Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Crazy Coffins"

As salaamu alaikum

We are made of earth and that's where we'll return. The only thing entering our graves with us are our deeds; not money, fame, family, or friends. And some people want to have a "memorable sendoff" by creating "exotic caskets to be buried in to reflect their passions in life".......


We're going to be dead and decaying...and our souls are either going to be punished or rewarded. We'll have so much to worry about no matter where or what we are buried in...why add to that? Yes that includes the ballet shoe, boat, aircraft, guitar and all the other kinds of "coffins".

"Crazy Coffins" A New Booming Business In England
Taken from:

There's one thing they always say about money - you can't take it with you.

So before you go, you can at least arrange for a memorable send off.

One company in England has taken that directive quite literally to heart, creating a bizarre new business that sits on the tentative border between creativity and extreme bad taste.

Vic Fearn and Company is a 160-year-old entity that makes coffins. That doesn't sound terribly exciting, but recent customers may make you think twice about that impression.

They've been coming in asking for exotic caskets to be buried in to reflect their passions in life.

It started with an odd request from a woman who was a big fan of the Royal Air Force's acrobatic team the Red Arrows. She wanted to be interred forever in a model of one of their fighters.

"So we constructed this plane with folding wings like they have on aircraft carriers," recalls company director David Crampton. "The cockpit of a plane is more or less coffin-shaped so that made life easier."

Once word spread about the custom casket, more people decided to plan for their own demise and do it Frank Sinatra-style - my way.

What other requests have they been asked to fill?

One man wanted to be laid to rest in a canal long boat. "That caused friction with his wife so we had to build one for her as well," Crampton reveals.

Then there's the hospice nurse who's having a pink ballet shoe made for her final exit.

A town crier will be buried in a coffin shaped like a bell. "He wants to go out with a bong," Crampton jokes, a punchline in an industry not known for its humour.

Another client is having a scaled down model of a 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost built. It comes with wheels so pall bearers can simply push it along.

Then there's the one in the shape of a giant electric guitar - with strings attached.

Another resembles a large sports bag (top left), a demand from a cricket fan. (It includes its own wickets.)

There's a box-kite shaped coffin that puts the dearly departed in the middle.

A skateboard container, complete with a skeleton-like rider on its surface, appeals to the crowd who may be too young to die.

The "egg" is self explanatory, although it might be hard to carry.

One that Canadians will no doubt appreciate is a giant beer can with a corkscrew on one end.

A sledge coffin comes with fake feet sticking out of the end of it.

And in the height of questionable appropriateness, there's even a coffin shaped like an industrial garbage container.

You'll pay a lot extra for these final resting places, of course, but they've become something of a sensation in Europe. So much so that many have been put on display in touring shows at art galleries.

And they've brought light to an industry normally filled with solemn gloom.

"Making an unusual crazy coffin is great for the staff," agrees Crampton. "It gives them a chance to test their skills and joinery expertise. It can create some fun in the shop."

Which just proves nothing is sacred any more - even in the coffin making business.

"We are less lugubrious nowadays,' the director admits. "It is a changing profession and I like to believe we are fashion-driven."

And it's one business that will never die.

To see some of the 'crazy coffins' for yourself, click here and here.

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