Google apparently thinks I’m interested in being cremated. I am of an age where I might soon be eligible for it.

Google knows that. And so does the cremation company.

They follow me all around the internet with ads suggesting I can pay now, burn later. The ads are framed in purple. Why purple? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the color for mourning.

In the ad, though, nobody’s mourning. A smiling couple are shown as they get the low-down on cremation. They’re a lot younger than me. They’re planning way ahead. The woman is looking at the cremation salesman. She’s wearing a purple sweater. The husband is looking at her. Maybe he’s thinking: “You go first.”

They’re getting the inside dope on getting cremated. I’m thinking: What’s there to discuss? Your body goes into the fire. It comes out a pile of ashes.

Maybe the color of the urn.

The wife might say: “I’m thinking of something in green, to match my eyes.”

“Hum,” the husband might say. “Could clash with the moose head over the mantle.”

To be honest, I’m not interested in talking to my wife about cremation’s finer points. Cindy will figure it out after I go. Of course, if I had a say, I’d say opt for cheap. Just go down the list by price. Then say to the funeral director: “That one there. The tire-fire special.”

I have not seen cremation ads on the PinalCentral site. The car-dealer ad at the top is fine with me. I subscribe to other newspapers as well. And that’s where “plan your cremation” usually shows up.

I don’t like it. If it pops up, as it invariably does, I click on a small “x” in the corner. I get a message. It says something like: “What about this ad don’t you like?”

I click “not interested.” Google says: “We’ll try not to show this again.”

Maybe they could try harder. The ad will not go away. I keep clicking not interested. Google keeps insisting I am. It’ll drive me into an early grave. Or urn.

Let’s face it. I’m no match for Google. I won’t give up the internet. I like reading the newspapers online. And the web can otherwise be useful. I shop online. Who doesn’t? For tools and the like, I’ll check out websites for the big-box hardware stores.

Just the other day I inquired about screen doors. Our bedroom has a sliding door to the patio. The nights are getting cooler. With a screen door, we could let the cool air in — without the bugs.

A website for a nearby big-box store said it had just the size I needed. Only three left! Or, if I wanted a more expensive model, only five. Only five’s better than none. I drove to the store. I wandered around until I found the screen door section. I got hold of a worker for more assistance.

I showed him the pictures on my phone. The three screen doors that were just what I needed.

“We don’t have those.”

I showed him the five pricier ones.

“We don’t have those.”

“Your website says you have three of these, and five of those.”

“We don’t have them.”

Who was I going to believe? The internet, or the guy who knows what’s actually available? I was leaning toward the internet, but I didn’t argue. I just pointed to a screen door. It looked the same.

“How much?”

“Ninety-four dollars.”

“I’ll take it.”

I walked it through self-checkout. I loaded it into the back of the Prius. I slid it over the passenger seat, all the way to the dashboard.

I got it home and followed the directions.

“Take out the weather stripping. You can put it back in later.” Easy enough. “Loosen a few screws. The bottom and top will pop up. Put the door in the frame. Let go and watch it fall down because it’s too short.”

I made up that last part. It wasn’t in the instructions.

I should have paid more attention to the labeling. It said the door was for 80-inch-tall frames. It also said the actual door was only 79½ inches tall. Short by a half-inch. I decided to return it.

I shed my ratty casuals and jumped into my best cargo shorts.

I drove back and carried the door to the return desk, along with the weatherstripping. I couldn’t get it back on at home. I’d let the store handle it.

Apparently that’s not how it works. The clerk at the return window told me I had to reattach the weatherstripping. I set the door on its side and pushed down on the weatherstripping this way and that. I wasn’t having much luck. The weatherstripping kept popping out. Minutes went by. Long, slow minutes. People waited in line behind me. Impatient people. The door slipped. I nearly shoved it into the guy at the next window. I chuckled. He didn’t laugh with me.

I was getting flop sweat. What could be worse? I looked down. My fly was open.

A good time to plan my cremation.


Reach contributing writer Bill Coates at


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.