Attention Costco Shoppers

So Costco (search) is selling caskets? I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. But lest you think this is a tacky thing, I think it's a good thing.

I know the funeral home industry thinks it's awful. One operator says it will only mean he'll have to hike his costs. I have no idea why. I mean, you can shop for cars and computers and compare. Why not caskets?

You might really love Aunt Sophie, but when she leaves this world, who says she has to go out in a $5,000 box? Especially, when you can get the same box for thousands less?

I don't mean to be crass, but if we're dying to save money when we're alive, we should be dying to save it when we're... well, dead.

I have nothing against funeral homes. But let's face it, they're doing business with people at their most vulnerable time. I've been there myself and you're generally in no mood to comparison shop. Oftentimes, you just want to get through it. And I suspect funeral operators know it.

So here's what I say: When we're alive, plan on being dead.

I knew a business guy who made all the arrangements for his goodbye years before he said his goodbyes. The casket, the mass cards, right down to who he wanted to speak at his funeral! He even pre-arranged no flowers!

We have hang-ups about death in this country and that's partly why it's become such a big business in this country. Oftentimes people shell out as much for a funeral as they do a car. The difference is, the car goes places. That casket only one place.

I say competition's good. You might love Aunt Sophie a lot, but that doesn't mean her funeral should cost a lot.

Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean throw old Sophie in a cardboard box and make the funeral a drive-through. But it does mean preparing. And, if I know Aunt Sophie — prudent in her life — I bet she'd appreciate you being prudent in her death.

Me? I want to be buried in a big Wendy's wrapper. And, just this last time, hold the sides!

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