The Not-Very-Subtle Thanksgiving Placemat.

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Have a placemat for Thursday? Just print this out.

And while your Loved One is waiting for the platter to work its way down the table, he or she will get some not-very-subtle hints about a matter they refuse to discuss with you but which you’re very concerned about.

It’s no joke. But in the spirit of the season and to put your loved one in a festive mood, let’s start with this story:

A woman goes into a butcher shop, looking for a large enough turkey to cook for Thanksgiving. She’s plowing through the turkeys in the display case, and the butcher is getting exasperated. She sees him staring, and thinks she better explain. So she turns to him, and asks, “These turkeys get any bigger?” “No, madam,” he replies. “They’re all dead.”

And while we’re on the subject. . .

Loved one, you’re not a turkey. But someday, you will die. And we understand you haven’t ever wanted to share your wishes on the disposition of your body. So if you’re reading this, loved one, how about giving us a clue and write something down?

Sometimes people give dull instructions, like “Bury me.” “Cremate me.”

Some people are ambivalent, or maybe creative, and write “Surprise me.” (Great surprise, right? At least it won’t kill you.)

Here are some other options for you, loved one. Just check the box you like:

  • Make me into a diamond. (Find a vendor by Googling these words: “Cremation ashes into diamonds.”) You may have given her a diamond, but now she could have another one, which is uniquely you. Or did you ever want to be a Marquis? Here’s your chance.
  • Put my remains into a fireworks display. Check out If you’ve thought about going out with a bang, consider what this British company has written:
    We offer a stunning range of professionally fired tribute firework displays . . .  . Each display is specifically created to send your loved one off into the heavens in spectacular fashion through the use of high quality and stunning aerial shells, multi-shot barrages, roman candle and mines all culminating in a truly impressive firework finale.
  • Make me into a record. This company’s name says it all: The motto: “Live on from beyond the groove.” And yes, if you choose this, loved one, we’ll get a turntable and listen to you forever. (Not that we wouldn’t anyway.)
  • Loved one, you want to fly? A company called Celestis will put your ashes into orbit (though their last launch appears to have been in 2014; caveat emptor if you always wanted to be an astronaut).
  • A gentler launch: the Eternal Ascent Society has a patented helium-filled balloon which will take your ashes skyward for five miles or so. The temperature there is -40 degrees, and so the balloon will burst. But then your ashes will be scattered, really scattered all over the place. Your choice of balloon color, of course.
  • Loved one, if you’d rather be well-grounded, we can take your ashes, mix them with organic materials, and plant you. You’ll grow from sapling to tree. And your descendants can sit in your shade. (Since you ask, this company is called “Bios Urn,” and like all of the companies above, they are real and have websites.)

Had enough, loved one? Use your pinky in the cranberry sauce to mark your choice above.
Or better: why don’t we talk about all this? We’d be thankful if you did.