Tom Sillence, head of Planters, the undertaker's union, today called on the government to invest more in getting Britain healthy
"We are increasingly alarmed at the growing obesity and mortality rates of the British public. Basically they are getting fatter, dying earlier and this is causing a huge strain on my members. Over the past 10 years undertaker crews have had to grow by 12% to cope with the larger customer. Despite the growing unemployment rate we can’t take just anyone anymore, they have to be ex-body builders, construction workers or guys of that ilk. Just the weight of the coffin has meant that we have now had to introduce American Football shoulder pads for our pallbearers. With their top hats this is making them look like 19th Century spivs
Lowering the coffin is now proving ever more difficult as you need Schwarzenegger biceps to lower them in. Alternative ways of lowering in have been investigated and we thought we had cracked it with a giant inflatable mattress. The matress is lodged in the hole and as the coffin is lowered on to it, the air is let out. Works perfectly but mourners complained that escaping air sounded like a long slow fart so we have had to scrap that
A joint venture with JCB is underway but results are some months off but in the meantime my guys are dead on their feet with the additional load"