Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. This column appears in the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star. Website – www.philevans.co.uk
When I was a lad, I barely heard anyone talking about Death.
It was a taboo subject, whispered about by elderly relatives behind closed doors over glasses of sweet sherry and a shared packet of pork scratchings several months past their sell-by date. (Yes, I do come from aristocratic stock. I just can’t hide it)
But how things have changed!
If you spend any time at home during the working week, when The World & His Wife (is MrsWorld an ex-MissWorld?) are out earning a living, and tune into the appalling cheap and cheerless guff that TV schedulers believe daytime viewers deserve, you’ll find the Grim Reaper hiding between every commercial break, waiting to pounce on you before you can switch channels.
A while back, I pointed out that numerous daytime telly commercials are for life insurance and funeral plans.
At the time, these products weren’t really on my personal radar.
But recently, someone somewhere found out I’ll no longer see 39 again and has bombarded me with junk mail about those ‘Final Expenses’.
To persuade me to respond, they always contain the ‘tempting’ offer of a free pen.
If there’s one thing I don’t need is a free pen – provided my bank keeps forgetting to chain theirs down.
Funeral companies regularly announce the Top 10 favourite popular songs which for many families have replaced traditional hymns, adding a more personal touch to the service.
“My Way” by Frank Sinatra, the Number One choice for a long time, has been replaced by “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, while hovering close to the top are “Unforgettable” by Nat ‘King’ Cole, “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen and “Highway To Hell” (!) by AC/DC
I think I’ve spotted a marketing opportunity.
As daytime telly often features ads for CD collections of old pop hits, the next logical step is a CD of favourite funeral songs!
In a few months, watch out for me appearing in the middle of “Countdown” flogging the triple CD “HITS TO DIE FOR”.
As you might guess, it won’t be available in the shops!
This week’s column has come to you from the top of a glacier in Alagna, a beautiful part of Italy.
Now this is where technology makes life easy for me and allows me to operate without any of the stress of meeting my editor’s deadlines.
The views are breathtaking and this puts me in the ideal mood to come up with some creative writing without too many distractions.
We are 3,000 metres above sea level, snow has fallen almost every day for the past month and continues to do so.
Transportation is good, buses and cars are running as normal.
The local shops are well stocked with fresh food.
Bread and milk are in abundance and there is no sign of any panic buying.
The temperature here is well below freezing, but the local residents and visitors alike are thoroughly enjoying the winter season and all that it brings.
Clearly, if this was happening back home, we would all be in ‘shut down’ mode and a state of chaos and panic.
Right, that’s enough taking the piste, I’m off to build an igloo!
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk