Funeral Looks Cheap

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Rescuers Heroically Help Beached Garbage Back Into Ocean

ATLANTIC BEACH, NC—In what many described as an inspiring display of selflessness and teamwork, a group of rescuers heroically saved a beached mound of garbage by helping the stranded trash back into the ocean, eyewitnesses reported Thursday.

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Area Man Under Impression He Got Dressed Up

PROVIDENCE, RI—Explaining that the dinner he would soon be having at an upscale restaurant required him to wear something a bit special, local man Kyle Finnegan was under the impression that he had just gotten dressed up, sources said Thursday.

Man Honestly Thought Breakdown Would Be More Obvious To People

MAPLEWOOD, MN—Explaining that he had assumed the deterioration of his physical and psychological state would be readily apparent, 3M sales associate Mark Uhler told reporters Wednesday he honestly thought his ongoing breakdown would be more obvious to everyone around him.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...

Fast Food Drive-Thru Just Cow Carcass, Bucket For Money

VENTURA, CA—Calling it the ultimate combination of freshness, value, and convenience, local fast food chain Sunshine Burger announced that, beginning this week, its regular drive-thru windows would be replaced by a cow carcass and a bucket for money...

Oh God, Teacher Arranged Desks In Giant Circle

OVERLAND PARK, KS—Appearing stunned and unsettled as they entered her classroom Wednesday, students from Ms. Frederickson’s fourth-period social studies class were reportedly overcome with panic 

Disgusting Couple Always Interacting In Public

MINNEAPOLIS—Saying the pair was making everyone nearby feel uncomfortable, onlookers stated Wednesday they were disgusted by local couple Tyler Meacham and Caitlyn Ashford’s habit of interacting in public.
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Coworkers Pull Off Daring One-Hour Lunch Break

TUCSON, AZ—Saying they couldn’t believe such a wild exploit had even been attempted, employees at local marketing firm Synergy Media Services told reporters they were still completely dumbfounded Thursday after account manager Tim Gibbons managed to pull off a daring one-hour lunch break.

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Report: One In Three Americans Will Get Dessert If Someone Else Does

WASHINGTON—Noting that many of those surveyed reported feeling kind of full but could “probably make room” for ice cream or pie, a report published Thursday by the Pew Research Center found that nearly a third of Americans would be willing to get dessert if someone else does.

Funeral Looks Cheap

DEARBORN, MI—Everything from the bottom-of-the-line coffin to the shabby suit worn by the deceased made the funeral of longtime assembly-line foreman Thomas Meissner, who died May 13 at the age of 68, look cheap, several guests reported Tuesday.

Meissner in his second-rate casket.

"There were only five tiny bouquets at the visitation," said Betty Foyer, 59, next-door neighbor to Meissner since 1978. "If you can't afford a large arrangement, you should at least select some tasteful fresh flowers, out of respect for the recently departed. I felt so bad for Tom."

The visitation was held Sunday at Wenke Funeral Home on Raymond Road. The funeral service took place across the street, at the Church of the Redeemer, where the Meissners have worshipped for the past 20 years.

"I thought Tom's son was a teacher in Traverse City," Foyer said. "But I guess he couldn't help out with the costs. That casket looked like it was made out of plywood with a coat of black enamel slapped on. And there's no way those bronze fittings were real."

A framed photograph of Meissner, taken during his honeymoon in the Upper Peninsula in 1960, was propped up beside the casket.

"I think it was one of those $1.99 plastic frames they sell at the Walgreens just down the street," said Alice Dade, 61, who plays bridge with Foyer every Sunday afternoon after church. "I guess it's not really a surprise that they didn't think to get a nicer frame. It was just a couple months ago that they finally got the house re-painted."

Foyer added that "at least Tom looked put together in the photo."

"At the funeral, it was a different story," she said. "Tom was dressed in some 25-year-old navy-blue suit with a stain on the left breast pocket. That stain killed me. It looked like it was salad dressing. Maybe he died in the suit, and they never bothered to take it off him to have it cleaned."

"Oh, I'm sorry I said that," Foyer added. "At least he was wearing a suit. That's more than I can say for his brothers who came to the funeral."

According to several guests at the service, the ceremony lacked the polish and care that a widow ought to provide for her dead husband.

"There was no special pastor, just our regular one," said Doris Carter, who got to know the Meissners at church events and community gatherings. "His nephew tried to sing both songs in the service, with that tinny portable stereo system as backup. I guess if you're not a trained musician, it's hard to carry a tune in front of an audience."

Pastor John Sipek presided over the ceremony. After leading a prayer and delivering a brief tribute, Sipek opened the pulpit to anyone who wanted "to say a few words" about Meissner.

"Judy got so choked up, she lost her place two or three times during her eulogy, which she read off a rumpled little piece of paper she pulled out of her pocket," Foyer said, imitating the gesture with her handkerchief. "I don't know why she didn't ask someone else to address everyone if she wasn't going to be able to. I would've been happy to do it, but she insisted she do it herself, then got up there and fell apart."

"Poor thing," Foyer added.

Although no one complained of discomfort while at the church, several women shared concern for some of the elderly guests.

"My heart went out to that poor gentleman in the pinstriped suit, forced to sit on those uncushioned pews, sweating in the sunlight," Carter said. "I guess he didn't know that, in the warmer months at the Redeemer, it's best to take one of the shady seats in back. They don't have central air."

After the service, the mourners, numbering fewer than 60, drove in a small caravan to the burial plot, located "right off the highway," according to Dade. Although several guests thought the interment rushed and the modest tombstone "an insult to Tom," they were most nettled by the frugality evident at the dinner following the wake.

"When I heard everyone was going to Cracker Barrel after the funeral home, I thought it was a joke," Foyer said. "I asked Judy if she really expected us to share memories at a theme restaurant, and she just said 'yes.' They probably let her reserve the room for free, considering she worked there for so many years. Let's just say I'd had higher hopes for the luncheon."

The post-funeral lunch was even more modest, held in the church's basement, where guests were surprised to discover that the food was homemade.

"I don't want to insult the food at a funeral," said Carter said, smacking her lips in disapproval. "But a word of advice: If you don't know your way around the kitchen, spare yourself the effort. How a woman gets to be as old as Judy without knowing how to cook a decent casserole is beyond me. The coffee was so weak, I couldn't tell if it was decaf or hot water. And not a Sweet 'N Low packet in sight."

Continued Carter: "Not that I minded drinking cold, black coffee. I just felt badly for [Tom's nephew] Robert, who had to drive all the way back to Flint with nothing but a ham sandwich on Wonder Bread in his stomach."

After extending their condolences, Foyer, Carter, and Dade confided to each other that the funeral was "tragic."

"There is no excuse for such a chintzy affair," Dade said. "Tom was sick for almost a year. Judy's had more than enough time to plan a nice funeral. I do believe she tried her best, though. Some people just don't know better. Really, what can you expect from a woman who doesn't keep her lawn mowed?"