Prevailing wisdom contends that the most important aspect of direct-email marketing is the subject line. I hadn’t given the notion all that much thought until I started receiving a blizzard of such emails, all with this attention-grabbing subject line: Burial Insurance Quotes.

I freely admit I’m not the most imaginative guy on the planet. So, I also have to concede that, up to that moment, it never occurred to me that there might be a compendium of quotations somewhere, all on the subject of burial insurance. But I thought about it some more. And it hit me: Why wouldn’t there be? There are innumerable collections of quotes on the Internet, most of them searchable by topic. So, why not burial insurance?

I went to Startpage to follow up on my hunch, and I hit the jackpotHere’s a small sampling of the memorable utterances on burial insurance I found scattered across the Web:

“What do you mean you threw the premium statements away, Gladys?” (Herman ‘Moldy’ Dimwicz)

“If I end up in that garden, Wilbur, you’ll be sorry!” (Mildred ‘The Scarecrow’ Brischt)

“I really don’t think there’s room in the freezer, Myrtle.” (Fred ‘Frosty’ Forbush)

But my favorite was the one by Homer ‘Homer’ Migraine — a clever, literate, and apparently prescient fellow — which he managed to write out in verse. Given the fact that it’s written in the past tense, suggesting it was composed from The Great Beyond, he may have been more clever than we know:

She swore she’d never pay another premium on me.
I even tried to tell her, “Goodness sake, why can’t you see
The actuaries say that you’ll outlive me? And I dread
The likely probability I’ll wake up some day dead.

So, please buy the insurance. It’s the least that you can do.
And making sure we have it will help me take care of you.”
But she was having none of it. She said, “You’ve flipped your lid.
I wish you’d just drop dead.” And that’s exactly what I did.

Be careful of your subject lines. If they can be misinterpreted, they will be.

If you have a favorite burial insurance quote, please feel free to share it.

“Pohori na sumave hrbitov” by che – che. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons