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COLUMN

Happytown

The week where we play Frankenstein inside Rick Scott's charisma vacuum, get taken for a ride down to J.J. Redick's pubic floor and dive Six Feet Under for a family photo. Scary!

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Or dead. The suspicious messagewe got in our inboxes on June 15 began like any other unwanted advertisement from a corporate photography house: "When's the last time you took a family photo? Well, it's about time to take another one!" But then this interesting nugget caught our eye: "Baldwin-Fairchild invites families to celebrate new funeral home, creamation garden opening: Receive complimentary family photo!"

You heard that right. To celebrate the opening of its "beautiful, state-of-the-art" Oaklawn Funeral Home and its "picturesque and serene" Tranquil Oaks Cremation Garden, the Baldwin-Fairchild company, which operates a "family" of cemeteries and funeral homes in the Greater Orlando area, is offering free family photos on Sunday, June 26, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the said corpse depositories located at 5000 County Road 46A in Lake Mary. Wear skeleton costumes! Bring your own Caylee! Or perhaps a soon-to-expire family member for that first phase of that über-cool holographic before-and-after picture you've got in mind!

OK, creepy jokes aside – why? Mike Holland, general manager of the Oaklawn Funeral Home, affirms our guess that the burial business is a competitive one, and the photo op had some marketing value. "It is, of course, to get our name in the community and show off our new facilities," he said, not at all darkly. Baldwin-Fairchild's vaguely named competition, Service Corporation International, seemed unfazed by the news, however. "What they do and what we do are independent choices, and if Baldwin runs a promotion, we're not just going to do the same thing," says Lisa Coney, quality assurance director. Burn!

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