Following a series of leaked emails, suggesting that funeral directors take a rather jaundiced view of their work, Joe Morton, director of the National Institute of Undertakers, has issued an immediate denial. In a heartfelt plea for understanding, he said: “Funeral directors are flesh and blood, just like everybody else, and we’re feeling the pinch too. I only went into the embalming business on the understanding that I’d never be short of work. There aren't too many other perks: none that I’ll admit to, anyway. Business is bad. Despite the sterling efforts of the late doctor Shipman - a much maligned character, in my view - and the good people at the Stafford Hospital, old folk just aren't dying off in sufficient numbers. Unless we get a decent fall of snow, or at least a hard frost, we'll be forced to lay off staff”.
Mr Morton had written a letter to his local paper, suggesting that our senior citizens could give the local economy a much-needed boost simply by turning down their heating thermostats by a few degrees. “It didn't seem much to ask’, he said, “but we’ve been getting hate-mail ever since”. Other attempts to drum up business - including a misguided 'two for the price of one’ offer - have had an equally poor response. “Look”, he said, as he brought the press conference to a close, “I just asked milkmen to allow those bottles to pile up for a few days, before they break into some old biddy’s flat. Why are you are looking at me like that? It’s not me that kills the pensioners off, for God’s sake, it’s the cold and the damp”.