Your Custom Headstone Does Not Meet Our Standards, by David Guzman

Dear Sir,

Bloomington Cemetery very much appreciates your business, and we are pleased to see clients who have the foresight to plan ahead for their final resting place. With that said, we regret to inform you that the headstone you propose to have at your recently purchased burial plot does not meet our cemetery’s standards and regulations. Although we understand the need to individualize your grave marker, we must decline your custom designed headstone because of following reasons:

• We cannot engrave a headstone with five dates of birth for one person.

• The font style you created for your inscriptions, Detroit Sans Serif, is illegible on both paper and gravestone.

• We do not allow headstones with blurbs.

• We cannot list you on your headstone as “John Goodman, Beloved TV Father.” After one meeting with you and further verification, we’ve determined that it is not true.

• We do not allow any kind of ads on our tombstones, particularly for discontinued weight loss pills and anti-aging elixirs.

• Including on your headstone an electronic ticker displaying minor league baseball scores is beyond our capabilities.

• We see no need to include on any of our graves cups holders and ashtrays.

• We have deemed that the family crest you included that features a hearing of the House Committee of Un-American Activities is too intricate to engrave.

• We must reject your request to intentionally make your headstone top-heavy.

• Because of your vague dimensional specifications, we cannot, in your words, “Just make the damn thing bigger than Bo Jackson’s headstone.”

• We do not inscribe cryptograms on our headstones, and have found the one you requested to have inscribed particularly difficult to solve. (Are the Scrabble tiles you included in your application significant to the cryptogram? If no, why else did you included Scrabble tiles in your application?)

• We cannot fulfill the request that your headstone double as a sacrificial altar.

• We must turn down your idea of adorning your grave with citronella candles, and we maintain that our burial grounds are no more prone to mosquitoes than any other cemetery.

• We cannot include as an epitaph a quote attributed to John Wayne Gacy. We find the quote offensive and, after some research, inaccurate.

• Since we prohibit headstones from being double sided, we cannot engrave the Mad magazine fold-in on the back of your headstone as you requested.

• We make our headstones from granite, marble or limestone, and so cannot use the “recipe for cement” you gave us, which is merely a recipe for cornbread. Though, on a note of consolation, we did make the recipe, and it’s the best cornbread we’ve ever tasted.

In light of this, your offer of a “pitch meeting” for your headstone is appreciated, but not necessary. We instead suggest working with one of our associates on what we deem an acceptable grave marker.


The Management

P.S. A proposed tombstone for your wife which just says “The Missus” is still under consideration.

David Guzman writes sketch comedy and performs improve in New York City. Get at him via Twitter and Tumblr.

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