(updated 8 Nov 05)

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A Funeral with Atmosphere!
(Header floated in by maxcel200@aol.com)

Crystal River, FL (MSNBC) -- The Eternal Ascent Society is a unique cremation service (coincidentally, located near a nuclear reactor). The firm packs your dearly departed's remains into a helium-filled balloon, and then releases it to float high into the troposphere. Eventually, the balloons freeze and shatter, scattering the ashes. The cost? $1,000 to $2,000.
(Topic eulogized by NITRAMXXX@aol.com)

For an extra grand, you can hire a Herbert Morrison sound-alike to wait for the tragic moment, then blurt out "Oh, the humanity!" (Special discount available if your family name is Hindenburg) (HerzogVon@aol.com; NonComposMentiss@aol.com) For that explosive extra.

You can also have your dearly departed loved ones ascend in a balloon animal... a twist on the original concept. (maxcel200@aol.com; stan@squidworks.com)

Getting the last word by sticking your Mother-In-Law's remains in a comical balloon, Priceless. (thedraugr@yahoo.com)

With my luck, the damn balloon would spring a leak, and land in a sewer plant or something. (nstn@statefarm.com) Yeah, if my aim is good!

Not to be confused with the "Eternal Ass Scent Society" which feeds your loved one's remains to pigs, who then release them into the air as farts. (NonComposMentiss@aol.com)

Look mommy! They've legalized Angel Dust. (Cantw82paint@Aol.com)

The high-flying ashes of our dearly departed cools the atmosphere sufficiently to offset the effects of global warming, thereby thoroughly confounding whiny, liberal, douche bag scientists everywhere. (HymieHymenpopper@hotmail.com; GrigsbyOK@hotmail.com) Not so fast, Smedleys! Cremation gives off a LOT of heat!

You know somebody at the service is going to breathe in the helium and start singing "And she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead." (NonComposMentiss@aol.com)

Save some money. I believe littering on the highway has a $500 dollar fine, and you basically get the same results. (Truckerex@insightbb.com)

What's next, loading your ashes into an Etch-A-Sketch? (DLivermore2002@yahoo.com) I always wondered what that crap was, and why both knobs were stiffs.

I wonder if when my wife and are both dead, if we can be put into the same balloon, so I can have a piece of that ash in the afterlife. (nstn@statefarm.com)

It's the latest in anti-gravety technology! (sootnmoopy@aol.com)

One family remarked of their departed loved one: "He liked to smoke pot, so we figured we'd let him get high one more time". (jnmcda0@yahoo.com) As the bells tolled "Bong! Bong!"

As with any new idea, several companies have "knocked off" the service, offering something similar for a cheaper fee.... for $29.95, one company in Peoria, IL will pack your ashes in a regular balloon, rub it on their employees' heads and stick the balloon to a "Memorial Wall" for 15-18 seconds. (hotbolt@comcast.net)

And for Catholics, don't forget our Ash Wednesday and Ascension Thursday discounts. (NonComposMentiss@aol.com)

I've been doing this with my used condoms for years. Heads up, everybody. (NonComposMentiss@aol.com; ntsn@statefarm.com, other ribbers) Oh, come on!

Oh, do me! Do me! Just make sure you release me over Highland, so when I come down, I can continue to be an ever-present irritant to my ex! (paracletus3@earthlink.net)

My little electronic dictionary defines balloon as "inflated bag". How apropos if your loved one was a politician - or died of a botched colostomy (HerzogVon@aol.com)

Cremate...Isn't that the non-dairy powdered stuff you put in your coffee? (Airfarcewon@aol.com) Crap! He figured it out.

Co-Honorable Mentions - I think we just found the owners:

However, many of the balloons get sucked into aircraft engines, causing an explosion and the plane crashes. Then MORE people have remains to dispose of, crash MORE planes. A vicious cycle, but a brilliant marketing plan. (GrigsbyOK@hotmail.com; Mashallaha@aol.com)

Runner-Up - So the idea is kinda south-of-the-border; it's still fiesta-ive:

They also have an option to put the dearly departed's ashes in a piñata for your next party. Either way, they go out with a bang! (imwednesdayaddams@yahoo.com)

The Winner - A "heads" up idea with a big finish (probably too soon):

Men will love it...leaving this world with a blow job, AND a bang. (lacee7700@aol.com)