The Learning Channel (known as TLC to lesser mortals) is a shining beacon of hope in these troubling times. A network made with the specific purpose of broadcasting knowledge for all the world to see, it has set its sights on Dallas, Texas and its Golden Gate Funeral Home. With this juncture we've learned one thing: there's a lot we don't know about jangling around out there in the world. And if it's weird and wonderful, I'm hopping on board. But thankfully the kind and giving souls at the network have noted this shortcoming in our worldviews, and TLC has offered up this, its series titled Best Funeral Ever .
Because — as one of the myriad of things we've learned — a funeral is a time to reflect or mourn on the passing of one soul into the otherworld/urn/great unknown/worm food factory, but it could be so much more: like having fun, or bowling. Or even breakfast. (As long as you've got some cash-money on hand.) But that's not all we've learned. There's plenty to glean from even just the marketing materials for the new series. Like...
1. We Learned That Home Goings are The New Funeral
Why have a funeral when you can have a home going? Funerals are boring, anyway. A home going actually has roots in the slavery era, which makes sense — finding a reason to be optimistic while being owned by a bunch of cranky old rich white dudes in the South were few and far between, no doubt. At that time (and now) death was not seen as the enemy of life, merely a reprieve. Death meant the return of one's soul to the afterlife — their pre-destined home — hence the term.
2.) We Learned That it is Very Expensive to Care About Having Fun While Mourning a Life
All of this sounds well-and-good, until you learn about the pricetag that comes with these hefty hootenannies. According to owner John Beckwith, "Less than a wedding. Less than a luxury car. More than a year's supply of Diet Coke." One of them cost $50,000 for an hourlong service so they must be drinking a lot of Diet Coke. Jesus take the wheel (and also maybe pick up the tab because this ish is expensive and you always provide, right?).
3.) We Learned That People's Proclivities are Weirder in Death Than in Life
Love to bowl? Eat breakfast food all the time? Think Christmas is the swellest? Want to get married in life as well as death? Why not then theme your home going, tailor-made to bring you into the afterlife in s-t-y-l-e. Apparently the point of the home goings created at Golden Gate Funeral Home are not so much about decorum and tempered expressions of grief, but rather putting someone's face on a giant cereal box and making your uncle dress up as a piece of bacon.
4.) That's Right, We Learned a Lot About Breakfast
5.) We Learned a Weekend at Bernie's Live-Action Recreation Home Going is Bound to Happen
Right? It has to: it's the only way. And I, for one, am totally ready to see video footage of that, because I'm a human with eyes and a gross obsession with rubbernecking over the weird bits.
Oh, and we also learned that Best Funeral Ever premieres on TLC Monday (that's tonight!) at 10PM. Thanks, The Learning Channel.