The Art of Letter Writing: Following Dinosaurs into Extinction

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It seems letter writing is a dead art. Or at best it’s on life support. The things we receive in the mail are 99% political petitions for money, ads for various services, or just plain junk.

Every once in a while, it would be nice to get a letter.

brown envelop on table
Photo by John-Mark Smith on

Desperate for such an occurrence, I jumped at the chance to read a (kind of) letter from the National Cremation Society. Who knew such a thing existed? Or that they would have a society focused on cremation. It said it was personal and confidential and contained important information.

My first reaction was, hmm, do they know something I don’t know? Is there a reason they spent money to send me a letter?

But then I decided, what the heck. It was at least different from most things I find in the mailbox.

Of course, it was just an ad for cremation services, which I knew from the beginning, but I wondered if there was an actual society with membership lists, annual gatherings, or perhaps even cool T-shirts or beer coozies.

Something like a huge raft aflame in a lake with a slain Viking Warrior and the caption,

I Know How I’m Going, Do You?
Burn, Baby, Burn
Twenty Minutes Per Pound, Turn Gently

Turns out you can join the National Cremation Society and, if your dues are fully paid up, you get a free cremation when you check out. Not actually at the cart checkout, but the final one.

The last checkout is with no delivery date and not eligible for return.

And of course, there are many levels to the membership. Deluxe ones included viewing services for those not yet “checked out” who wish to watch the conflagration and other valuable and important considerations for those left behind.

I wonder if they’ve ever considered a marshmallow roast? I’m not a fan of S’mores, but a nice Saugy farewell would be okay with me. Lots of onions and relish. They could call it A Saugy Farewell, Toast Your Buns While We Toast His.

Since it turns out the National Cremation Society is nothing like the National Geographic Society, The Humanist Society, or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelties to Animals, I decided not to join at this time.

However, in case you are interested in the “I Know How I’m Going, Do You?” T-shirt or any other Cremation novelties, I will be accepting orders soon on my new website

(Did you really just try to click on that link?)

P.S. Right after I finished this piece, we ran out for a few errands. On the way back we stopped to check the mail. Normally we’d walk there, but the heat has been exceptionally dry lately (it was 114) so we went with the air-conditioned car.

Lo and behold I had a package. Hand addressed to me and containing some newspaper articles (so nice to get articles carefully cut from a print newspaper and not some impersonal link with the inevitable targeted ads) about a book I am working on with Andy Thibault, an investigative journalist, professor at the University of New Haven, author of the book You Thought It Was More about Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio a Rhode Island counterfeiter who took the casinos for millions, and Freedom of Information Act warrior. (To find out more about Andy, check and you’ll be hearing more about the book project soon.)

So there is still hope left in the world. It restored my faith. Write me a letter. It will do wonders for you as well. Might be fun to see how many people actually take the time. I’ll let you know.

Joe Broadmeadow
23497 S 212st St
Queen Creek, AZ 85142

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