Eternal Skyboxes

Look, when I die, there’s just one kind of favor I’ll ask of you: you can see that my grave is kept clean. Other people require more complicated things:

Two years ago, when Dennis Mascari went to visit his father at a cemetery, he came up with an idea: Build an area for deceased Cubs fans. Mascari, who said he was broke at the time, made this his mission, and tomorrow his company Fans Forever will open Beyond the Vines, an internment area modeled after Wrigley Field’s centerfield wall.

Does it smell like stale Old Style and Lincoln Park Trixies too?

Those that buy space must be cremated. Mascari says the average cost of cremation is in between $3,000 and $5,000 . . .

What could possibly justify a price spread on cremation? You’re either cremated or not, right?

. . . the “Eternal Skyboxes” Mascari sells start at $1,295. The average cost of a traditional burial is about $8,000. “When I started thinking about this, it had nothing to do with the economy,” Mascari said. “But now, it just makes sense.”

Meh. If he really wanted to take advantage of the new frugality he would have gone with composting. Sure, it’s a bit icky at first, but you’ll always remember dear old dad fondly when your perennials come up lively each spring.

After Mascari does this successfully in Chicago, he says he’s thinking about taking it to New York and presenting the idea to Yankees fans.

You know, for as morbid as it is, I bet that he’ll sell more premium real estate in his park than the Yankees have in theirs. It’s simply a better value to spend your time dead in Mascari’s place than alive in Steinbrenner’s.

(Thanks to Pete Toms, a man who knows the kind of stories I like)

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  1. MooseinOhio said...

    I think I may prefer this route to the MLB logo caskets that were introduced to the public last fall.  I wonder if the Red Sox would be willing to squeeze in a few more paying ‘customers’ by finding some place inside the Green Monster so I can get an occasional liner clanking off my urn. 

    As for the variable price with the cremation my guess is it may have something to do with the gas required to go from a petite to a portly.

  2. James Finn Garner said...

    At a recent Cub fan event, “Cremate the Curse”, I spoke with a guy who sells Cubs, Sox, and Cardinals caskets in the south suburbs of Chicago.  He said in the scant month he’d been selling, he’d sold out all five of his Cubs boxes, 2 Sox and one Cards. 

    The comical cremation and burial service was hosted by Tom Dreesen, with a portion going to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities.  For more on funereal fandom, you can check out the pictures at

    I just hope they broadcast the day’s game at the cemetery.

  3. Mark said...

    I’m guessing the extra $2000 in the upgrade goes to pay for the shop vac they’ll use to get all your leftover bits out of the oven. If you’re a cheapskate, all they use is a broom and some hearty poofs of breath.

  4. Wade said...

    3-5K for cremation?  That’s about a 3-5x mark-up over the national averages.  You can even reduce it further by “going in” in a box as opposed to a casket.
    The death business is one of the biggest freakin’ rip-offs out there.  Large costs are associated with plot and casket, NOT cremation.

    In Scandanavia, you can be frozen in liquid nitrogen, broken down into chards, and mixed with soil and nutrients to fertilize your very own memorial tree.  Beats over-payin’ some boob to have my eternal, ashen remains interred with a bunch of other boobs.  Besides, I’m a Braves fan.  Holy Cow!

    That’s all I got.  Happy Wednesday everybody.

  5. Todd said...

    Awesome musical reference (One kind favor…). What version did you have in mind there? It’s a very old line (Blind Lemon Jefferson was the original), so there’s a lot of possibilities. My favorite version is by Canned Heat, but I’m sure I haven’t heard half the versions in existence.

  6. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Todd—The first time I ever heard the song was on Bob Dylan’s debut album when I was a kid (my dad’s old copy).  When I was in college I tracked down some Jefferson stuff, and that’s what I had in mind here.

  7. Dustin said...

    I’m guessing the spread is due to choices in quality of urn?  You don’t want to end up in a coffee tin like Donny.

  8. Gerry said...

    “an internment area modeled after Wrigley Field’s centerfield wall.”

    Internment is for the living – the word the writer wanted is interment.

    For those of us who still have our Bob Dylan vinyl, interment is just over the horizon.

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