Funeral Homes v. Bob the Bagelman

Recently I’ve had some rather stressful involvement with  funeral and memorial arrangements.  In the process, I’ve worked with (a) a funeral home and (b) Bob the Bagelman (who was suggested by the church where one funeral service was to be held as a source of food for an informal reception.)

Bob’s establishment is small, hot, crowded, dark, and does not have a telephone.  Bob is rarely there, and his very nice wife, despite the fact that she stands behind the cash register, doesn’t seem to know the prices of anything.  (Presumably, this statement does not apply to a single cinnamon raisin with cream cheese.)

The funeral home is spacious, breezily airconditioned, heavily upholstered, and ornately lamped.  When people answering the telephone put you on hold, the recording talks about trust.  The funeral home staff makes a point of being extremely clear about everything that will be done and not done, what’s needed, and what’s included.  While there are several oddly named categories on the final bill, they are nonetheless separately itemized.

Bob’s business is a bit hectic.   I had to call him several times on his cell phone before we could actually talk about the order.  Each initial call I made was at a bad time—once he was chasing an ambulance with a relative in it (admittedly not his fault!), once he was delivering an order, once he didn’t have a pen.  Even after we did talk, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  And, frankly, what he ultimately delivered seemed to me to be overpriced even for New York City.

Even so, I somehow preferred the process of making arrangements with Bob.   Seven reasons why:

1.  Isn’t it obvious?

2.  The funeral home insisted on payment in full in advance.  Bob the Bagelman, who never even asked for my full name, told me to just drop a check by whenever it might be convenient.

3.  Bob the Bagelman prepares food.  You can put butter on it.

4.  Bob the Bagelman, unlike the funeral home, does not try to sell a dress, with completely new underwear, for $465.

5.  Bob the Bagelman told me that when it’s hot, people really go for fruit.  I really don’t like to write about what the funeral home director said about heat.

6.  Yes, Bob the Bagelman overcharged.  Even so, he had a whole lot fewer zeros at the end of his bill.

7.  Bob the Bagelman laughed at my feeble, but frequent, attempts to make jokes, while the funeral home director….well, isn’t it obvious?

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6 Comments on “Funeral Homes v. Bob the Bagelman”

  1. Juan Batista Says:

    I would rather buy a bagel any day over a casket. My favorite is a raisin bgael with blueberry cream cheese

  2. upinvermont Says:

    The Funeral Home discussed the osseous,
    But all I wanted was a bagel.
    You wonder why? It isn’t obvious?

    The undertaker was illustrious
    But even so I had to haggle
    You wonder why? It isn’t obvious?

    They said: The clothes should be homogeneous
    At 10:00 AM, we ask you not to straggle
    (The Funeral Home discussed the osseous).

  3. upinvermont Says:

    I hit the “enter” key before I was ready. I meant to type…

    Etc… : )


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