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Mourner Did you miss your chance at being a Hollywood actor? Can you bung on the tears at a moment’s notice? Not bothered by being in close proximity to dead bodies? Then the truly bizarre life of a professional mourner may just be your calling. In what has to be one of the saddest indictments of how much our communities and families have been fractured by modern society, professional mourners can now be hired to fill the seats at funerals. Yep, that’s right, unpopular, socially isolated (or just plain mean) people who are about to kick the bucket and know that there will be a thin crowd to send them off can just call 1800-RENTA-MOURNER* to prearrange a solid crew of strangers to make themselves look less pathetic at their own funeral. Presumably frustrated actors, students or just really morbid people wanting to earn a buck, professional mourners turn up to funerals and wakes in their suits, pretend to know the deceased and politely sit through the service. Some add embellishments like tears, signing the guestbook and leaning over the open casket to whisper words of love to the corpse. In cultures where mourning is expected to be a loud, expressive affair, professional mourners get into full method-acting mode, throwing themselves on the floor, wailing and crying like they’ve lost someone they actually knew and loved. Responsible for truly Oscar-worthy performances, those types of professional mourners deserve a higher rate of pay for their efforts. So why on earth would someone run a professional mourning business or sign themselves up as a professional mourner? With no educational qualifications, training or special requirements for the role, this is the perfect job for someone who has no interest in studying or working in entry-level positions. It’s a recession-proof

industry, so that’s a plus. Technically anyone can be a professional mourner, although possessing sensitivity and scrubbing up well is important (unless you’re going for the dirty, estranged uncle look). With this career, you can spin it whichever way you want. You can tell people you’re an actor, or that you work in community service, or that you’re a part of the funeral industry. Or you scramble their tiny little minds by being honest and telling them you’re a professional mourner and you hope to work with them soon. * Not an actual business, but might be something to think about setting up, huh?

The lowdown

Education or qualifications: None. Experience required: None. Training: None. Restrictions: None.

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

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