The Money Shot - final send-offs and an eel good time

mourning lady
A mourner, yesterday
"£8m is quite a lot to spend on the funeral of Britain’s foremost pre-Martin Lewis exponent of thrift"
  • | by Kristian Dando

An elderly, frail lady who ran the country during testing times and upset quite a few people along the way died this week, in case the news hasn’t reached you yet.

As a result, there’s been quite a lot of discussion about burials, funerals and that sort of thing. See, the lady-who-passed-away’s ceremony will result in the spending of lots of public money – something she was famously averse to in life.

It’s debatable whether the old girl would have wanted all this fuss anyway - £8m is quite a lot to spend on the funeral of Britain’s foremost pre-Martin Lewis exponent of thrift.

Anyway, it looks like the sort of funeral planned for Margaret Thatcher is, like, so last century. An entirely coincidental bit of research carried out by insurer CUNA Mutual which was published this week found that 77% of British people would rather keep their own final send-off sustainable, simple and affordable with a new-fangled eco funeral. With bargain biodegradable coffins coming in at under £200, it certainly makes financial sense.

While we’re on the subject of funerals, the same research from CUNA found that 60% of us want a secular funeral, 87% want it to be a celebration of life rather than a sombre event, and 57% would choose rock and roll classics (Chuck Berry’s ‘My Ding A Ling’, for instance) over traditional hymns. Meanwhile, 72% of people surveyed would want people to leave the black garb at home and come to their final send-off dressed casually.

While we expect Maggie would have found this sort of thing a bit much, these type of arrangements aren’t a patch on some of the more ‘out there’ funeral ceremonies from around the world. Take the Tanatoraga region of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. When a local dies, his or her body is preserved and kept in the family home whilst funeral preparations are made. The deceased is propped up in a seat at the dinner table with friends and family as if he or she were still alive. Visitors to the house are encouraged to "greet" the corpse upon entry and ask the dearly departed for permission to leave – although the Money Shot suspects that any jovial offers to get them a ‘stiff’ drink are frowned upon.

Meanwhile, a mischievous internet campaign to get ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ to number one this Sunday has actually created interest in the UK singles chart for the first time since… well, the last time a mischievous internet campaign attempted to get an apparently subversive song to the top of the charts. Proof positive that Margaret Thatcher is as adept at inadvertently reinvigorating the Hit Parade in death as she was in life.

SHORT CHANGE – MONEY NEWS IN BRIEF

The earliest foundations of Roman London have been found under ‘the City’ - the capital’s famous/infamous financial district. About 10,000 amazing items have been discovered – it’s such a massive deal that history buffs have dubbed it ‘the Pompeii of the North’.

A man has won £1,000 in damages after a PPI claimback firm called him 94 times over the course of two months.

That positively Arctic March we had is believed to have made everyone spend about £40 more on heating their homes than they would have normally.

Speaking of gas and electricity - energy bosses will face their first ‘trial by Twitter’ next Tuesday, when MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee will convey questions sourced from the popular social networking tool. Apparently, the executives are “braced for a rough ride”. Ooo, missus!

The Post Office has ‘taken aim’ at the High Street banks and launched its own current account.

Britain is spending £1,000 a second on fuel duty according to new motoring statistic site roadclock.co.uk – not to be confused with lonely truckers’ go-to ‘app’ roadco … (that’s quite enough of that – decency ed.)

ON COVERED MAG THIS WEEK

Chris Pollitt lamented the existence of a selection of cars that he considers to be completely pointless.

Kristian Dando pondered Margaret Thatcher’s personal finance legacy.

Covered mag debutant Graham Thomas got out an enormous calculator and attempted to do the mammoth sums on Britain’s expensive gamble on nuclear power.

AND FINALLY

Don’t try this at home – an adult entertainment enthusiast who inserted a live eel up his backside has had it surgically removed after it got stuck when he attempted to recreate a scene from one of his favourite erotic films

The 39-year-old man, who hails from Southern China, rushed himself to the casualty unit in Guandong province!, loudly exclaiming to medics: “Help me! The eel is moving through my body!”

Hospital boffins were able to remove the 20-inch, half- kilo swamp eel after a lengthy procedure.

A spokesman said: “This was a particularly idiotic stunt and could have caused him a serious injury.”

Eel be sorry…

Join us NEXT WEEK for another THRILLING instalment of THE MONEY SHOT.