The strangest job I ever had was at mail-order warehouse on a grim industrial estate outside Northampton, the kind of place where store catalogues are processed before being sent out to every home in the country. I was in charge of a machine that shrink-wrapped the World Wildlife Fund brochure, and every morning I’d switch on the ‘on’ button at 9am and watch the conveyor belt in front of me for eight hours, keeping an eye out for snarl-ups and jams, poised to leap into action at any moment, ready to hit the ‘stop’ button. Then, at 5pm, I’d switch the machine off. In six weeks, the machine never jammed, and in reality my daily tasks comprised of less than a second of actual work. I sat there and developed as set of skills with the Rubiks Cube that were the envy of the entire school when we returned from the summer break.
This preamble is by way of introduction to a friend of mine’s new company, which performs a stranger, and altogether more worthy role. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Pet Caskets UK, your one-stop-shop for creature coffins on the Interweb. Not only are the caskets ‘biodegradable and environmentally friendly’, but each order comes with a booklet on coping with bereavement. They’re also building a forum to allow ‘like minded souls to come together and discuss their loved ones.’ I know where I’m going when Simon, my albino goldfish, finally sinks to the bottom of the tank.
I have another friend who exports containers of dried pigs ears from Chile to the US, but he doesn’t have a website.