Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Have I Got A Bargain For You...!

We all like a good deal, right?

Well, I found a bargain on something a lot of us may need sooner or later! Not only that, but this bargain comes from an area that makes it all the more special! After all, it's that "wow factor" that makes it all worth while!

Bargain coffins from Transylvania. Where else?
By Alison Mutler
Associated Press / September 20, 2011

SIBIU, Romania—Times are so hard in Romania that people joke they cannot afford to die. Yet in the mountains of Transylvania, carpenters are churning out cut-price coffins in a bid to beat the rising costs of death.

Ilie Troanca says he's beating the recession blues with bargain coffins that sell for around euro100 ($136) in Transylvania, home of the Dracula legend.

So far, he's sold just a few hundred, but the coffins have only been on the market for a couple of months. He has already attracted plenty of attention far beyond the Transylvanian city of Sibiu, 300 kilometers (188 miles) northwest of Bucharest.

"I saw there was an opportunity and that we had unused space," said Troanca, director of the Sibiu state timber and forest industry, which oversees 180,000 hectares (445,000 acres) of oak, beech, pine forests.

The no-frills coffins sell for 350 to 450 lei (euro82 to euro106 or $112 to $145) plus 24 percent sales tax, depending on the wood and the complexity of the design. Oak is the most expensive, while beech and pine are less pricey.

Coffins are big business in Romania, a country of 22 million, which has an aging population but where scarcely anyone is cremated. Regular coffins can sell for hundreds or thousands of euros depending on how fancy they are, and in addition to buying a plot, families often have to pay bribes to graveyard caretakers to secure a decent burial site.

Long slices of wood from the trees that cover the Carpathian Mountains were stacked outside Troanca's workshop like bread sticks.

"This would have become firewood" if we hadn't used it, he said.

It takes about one day to craft an inexpensive coffin before it is painted or lacquered. There are two designs, rectangular or hexagonal, which has a six-cornered lid.

"It's a good idea," said Sorin Ceausila, a 42-year-old carpenter who was jobless before being hired to make bargain coffins. "We all die and someone has to make the coffins."

Just think, you could order this up now and show it off to all your friends! In fact, you might even be able to sell it and turn a pretty profit! Of course, being laid to rest in a genuine "Transylvania" made coffin would certainly give the family something to talk about for a long time!

Let's face it! We all have to go sooner or later, but this is one way to go in style! Besides, at these prices you won't break the bank! Your heirs will appreciate that, I'm sure!

I have fresh coffee set up on the patio, if you'd like a cup.


Ben in Texas said...

I've read of people buying their coffin and using it as a center piece in their house. Personally I don't want be stuck in the ground taking up space. So my body is set up as organ donor and my ashes, my daughter is to take them to the beach on the Gulf Coast.
Maybe you could pre-buy yours and use it as a BIG ice chest until needed? :-) Just a thought.

Sixbears said...

When it comes to the disposal of my body, I say: surprise me!

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
Sounds like a workable plan to me!

Ashes scattered in the Gulf isn't such a bad idea.

I kinda like the ice chest idea! Might just work!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Sixbears...
I think the surprise idea is pretty good. After all, at that point I don't think it will make much difference to us anyway!

Sometimes I think the funerals are mostly for the living!

I appreciate you coming over this morning.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I wonder if they come with a wooden stake to keep us dead?

HermitJim said...

Hey DD...
I hadn't thought of that! Good question!

Come to think about it, I'm not sure I want to know!

Thanks, buddy, for coming over today!

Anonymous said...

It is actually a great idea :-) I guess the prices of coffins are as high over in the US as they are here.
I plan to get burned and tossed somewhere so a cheap coffin like that would be great. But I´m not sure I want the coffin already :-) :-)

Have a great day!

JoJo said...

Nice post Jim. LOL I don't want to be in the ground either. I will be giving my body to science they should have a blast with this old thing. Then the ashes can be thrown to the wind in the mountains.

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
Many folks don't want to have a coffin around the house! I can understand that!

Prices are pretty high here, and I would just imagine they are about the same there in your country!

Cremation does seem the best way to go as far as cost!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

Hey JoJo...
Better to let the remains go to a place where they can get some use from it, I think.

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over this morning!

Bob Mc said...

Wonder if there is a discount for one only used once? :)

"Sometimes I think the funerals are mostly for the living!" My feelings exactly. Mostly they are for the benefit of undertakers. I knew an old lady once who had it in her will that she was to be buried in a plain pine box with no funeral service. As for myself, render me down to a pile of ashes and scatter them in the mountains.

Mayberry said...

I built my own coffin. I want a Viking funeral in my boat : )

IanH said...

I dislike funerals so much that I'm thinking of not attending mine.

sel said...

Have you ever read William Peck's books A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way From Chicago? They are a set. I can't remember which, but in one of them is the funniest funeral scene I've ever read! Laughed til it hurt! Those books were mean't for young folks but I was more entertained than the kids.