The Neptune Society Really Wants Your Business

I think modern medicine, which can now keep people alive pretty much indefinitely, has caused a serious decline in the cremation business.  I suspect this because my mom got a post card in the mail from them and decided to find out how much it would cost to get herself cremated.  However, she gave them my phone number by accident, so they called me.

Sadly, they actually got Max on the phone.  Max does not have polite phone manners.  (Not for lack of efforts on my part to improve them)  So Max, having gotten a stranger on the phone, grilled the guy and rudely told him he’d got the wrong number.  So I grabbed the phone from the kid and tried to sort things out.  Which wasn’t easy, actually.  First of all, I thought the guy must be calling from Santa Rosa which is the only place I’ve seen the Neptune Society before.  I didn’t realize all crematoriums are called The Neptune Society.  Naturally I was suspicious of the pink crematorium in Santa Rosa calling my mother.  Had someone died that I wasn’t aware of?  All the guy wanted was to talk to my mom.  I told him he had the wrong number but that she lives downstairs and I would give her a message that he called and give him her actual phone number.

All squared.  You’d think.  My mother, apparently, though curious to find out how much we’ll be set back when it comes time to burn her, wasn’t curious enough to want to actually talk to them.  So when he called her, she just let him leave messages.  Apparently, he’s been trying to get hold of her for over a week and was tired of getting the grand brush-off.

Cause this morning he showed up at my door with no appointment or invitation.  If you’ve been to my house or seen pictures of our curious set-up, you’d know that to get to our front door you have to enter the metal ghetto gate behind which there lives a dog with serious teeth.  Most sane people who don’t know us or our dog hear Chick’s crazed barking and see her gnashing large teeth dripping with eager saliva and they will not enter the ghetto gate unless I come and get them and escort them in.  A person who is invited through the gate is an instant object of love and fascination for Chick but a person who is uninvited and unknown is lunch-meat.  What kind of person ignores the scary black angry dog and just stands there at a door with no doorbell at a house they weren’t invited to and whose residents haven’t answered his calls for a week?  A dumb-ass.

I got Chick into the house because even as I stumbled onto the porch in my gorgeous pyjamas she made a lunge for the Neptune guy’s leg.  It is very fortunate for us and possible future legal issues that she did not actually bite him.  I turned to the guy and I said it was not very smart to enter a gate to a house where a dog is showing clear signs of wanting to attack you.  He defended this assitude by explaining that there didn’t seem to be any other way to get in.  I confirmed this.  I told him that people who aren’t invited to our house never come in the gate.  I realize this was a surly way to treat him but after staying up late last night and trying to sleep in I was not happy to be woken at 9:30 in the morning by a man who just couldn’t wait to tell my mom how much it will cost to get herself cremated.

It actually took me a minute to sort out who he was and why he was there on my porch not noticing the attack dog lunging at him.  He was there to see my mom.  I asked him if he had an appointment with her.  He said no, because he’s been calling and calling and she never returns his calls so he came to talk to her in person.  Most people who try to call other people and never get a response take it as a sign that the person they’re trying to reach isn’t all that into being reached and will give up.  What business sends a henchman to make home calls when potential customers decide not to return your calls?

The Neptune Society does.

My mom, who was also sleeping (she is often sleeping at that time because she wakes up at ungodly hours of the morning unable to go back to sleep, sleep issues run family-wide here) and she told me to tell him to go away.  So I had the happy job of telling the idiot that next time he should not make house calls without appointments.  He kept waving a piece of paper at me in explanation and saying “but she wouldn’t answer my calls”.  Take a hint, dude, take a big hint and run with it.  No one wants uninvited house calls from the crematorium.  No one wants to know what it’s going to cost to be crisped THAT URGENTLY.  Just assume that if a potential customer doesn’t return your calls, they aren’t motivated to give you any business.  It’s a big clue.

If, or rather – when, we need to cremate someone, you can be sure we’ll follow through with our calls.  Now I’m wondering if there are any crematoriums other than the Neptune Society?  I’m not keen to be toasted by dumb-asses.

Today’s major task: buy a “beware of dog” sign for the ghetto gate.

So that’s my morning, how’s yours?


  1. angelina says:

    No shit! He seemed like a real slow-top. I want to say I’m not happy that my dog is so fierce, but honestly, it really does please me to know that she’s keeping us safe. She really will protect us from strangers entering the property.

  2. Jessica King says:

    Oh I had a good chuckle. Very good descriptions as always. Makes me feel like I’m right there. My mom was cremated by the Neptune Society. Other than that I don’t know much about cremation as I won’t be getting that done personally.

  3. angelina says:

    Are you going to be buried? Did your mom request cremation? I have no issues with being cremated except for the pollution it creates. I think we’re all going for a natural burial. There are places around here that do that. No embalming or coffin necessary. That’s my first choice just from an environmental standpoint. Until I knew about that I definitely wanted to be burned.

  4. Erin says:

    We have a Killer Attack Dog here, too. And we’ve been counseled to put up a Beware Of Dog sign a couple times because he’s fairly unpredictable. The UPS/FedEx men all know to beep their horn before getting out of the truck. Not only will that bring the dog running if he is out (his Invisible Fence keeps him in the backyard only, but sometimes he gets out into the front) but I will come out and get our packages after confining him appropriately.

    We’ve had several cases of unexpected visitors arriving on our doorstep, only to be greeted by a 50 pound angry dog. The Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t bother to stop at our house any more, especially since my mother-in-law informed them that our dog is medicated (true – he’s on Prozac) and somewhat unpredictable (slightly less true – we have a pretty good idea of what will happen if he’s not confined when someone arrives at the house and it’s actually NOT “rip the unlucky visitor to shreds”, more like “stand and bark loudly at the unlucky visitor until His Fierceness scares them away.”)

    But, yeah, that Neptune Society dude was dumb – and LUCKY.

  5. Jessica King says:

    I think I need the embalming the coffin the whole 9 yards. Environmental issues aside this is what I would want. I think your idea for a natural burial is much more earth friendly. My mom did request to be cremated. She had gotten really into Buddhism, my thought is if she stuck with Catholicism she was afraid she’d go to hell so she switched it up. What ever helps us I say. But yes, she planned it out that way. But I’m sure she would have also LOVED a home visit. She’d really would have liked that attention. 🙂

  6. Aimee says:

    Okay, wow. Get a clue, man.

    I’ve never heard of The Neptune Society, but I’ve seen an awful lot of crematoriums around. My current plan is to go that route, though, and be put in a reef ball to help rebuild the reefs the human race has so nicely destroyed over centuries. ( Jason thinks it’s kind of weird, but he’s going along with it, “As long as we’re together.” LOL

  7. angelina says:

    I never would have thought of that Aimee! I like that idea.

    How we are disposed of when we are dead is highly personal and I would definitely respect any requests people make, just as you did, Jess.

    I have no feelings about what happens to my body when I’m dead- I mean, no spiritual concerns. I would prefer it if my body were to feed the earth when it’s dead- that’s my own personal desire. Which is why I don’t want to be embalmed. (There are plenty of earth friendly embalming methods but we just don’t use them anymore). I don’t want my body preserved. I want it to rot naturally. This is how I think of reincarnation. We start off as one kind of matter and transform into another when we’re dead. Or feed the fishes as Aimee is thinking.

  8. angelina says:

    Karmyn- maybe they’re trying to get a higher percentage of dead people? Lots of people still choose to be buried rather than burned. It was just so weird!

    Erin- it sounds like your dog is just as good at raising the alarm as ours. It’s so annoying most of the time but I have to say that knowing that no one gets onto our property without Chick letting us know immediately is actually comforting. We do live in a weird cul-de-sac and right around the corner from a lot of rough people. Why is your dog on prozac?

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