Death is a sacred thing, but nothing is more sacred than money. If you don't believe that, it's only because you haven't heard these five stories of people who get paid when you get laid (to rest).
#5. "Dead Peasant" Insurance Pays for Dead Workers
Evidently deciding that they weren't making quite enough money off of their workforce, certain companies will pay into life insurance policies for their low-level employees so they can collect tax-free death benefits in case any of them die. This is commonly known as "Dead Peasant Insurance," presumably because "Peon Blood Dollars" was deemed too tasteless.
"Looks like Rick is no longer with us. Also we can get you that ergonomic keyboard now."
It doesn't matter if the employee quits, retires or gets fired -- the company collects benefits when he dies, even if he's no longer an employee. In fact, you could be insured by a Dead Peasant policy right now, and no one would ever have to tell you about it. So the next time you feel like Big Lots wouldn't care if you died, think again -- they would be overjoyed.
#4. Grave Robbing Earns Thousands Per Bone
You might think that once you're dead, you'll be safe from bandits. After all, it's not like you're a pharaoh, and no one is going to dig you up for the tweed jacket you were buried in. The truth is, your tombstone might as well have a giant dollar sign on it, because there's a wildly lucrative black market for human bones.
For the last 150 years, India has been exporting bones all around the world, generating tens of thousands of dollars in profits. People were digging up entire graveyards, even dragging flaming bodies out of funeral pyres for a cut of that sweet, sweet cabbage. The government finally drew the line in 1985 when someone was busted for exporting 1,500 child skeletons, which you may recognize as being the most illegal thing ever.
#3. Businesses Built Above Graves Get Better Business
The New Lucky Restaurant in India has graves dug in between each table, possibly because the inside of the manager's eyelids is haunted by poltergeists. Astonishingly, people flock to New Lucky, believing that the graves bring good luck (hence the name). This is like if the Rainforest Cafe installed pits full of dead gorillas next to the bar, resulting in people actually visiting the Rainforest Cafe.
In Cambodia, people pay admission to visit Pol Pot's grave for good luck, and there are even plans to build a casino on top of it, because apparently everyone forgot why Pol Pot is famous.
#2. Fishermen Salvage Corpses for Cash
China sees 26 percent of the world's suicides (because it's China), and most of them end up floating in one of the nation's many rivers. The situation has gotten so bad that fishermen get into their boats just to fish for corpses, then contact the victims' families and charge them $500 to return the waterlogged bodies. It's unclear what happens if the families refuse, but bait sure isn't getting any cheaper in this economy.
It's just like that old saying: "Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. And there are also
some instances where you're the guy scraping the bug off the windshield and extorting ransom money from its family."
#1. You Can Raise Money for Dead Babies (That Aren't Dead)
In a recent trend, people are going out with photo-laden posterboards to beg for cash to pay for the burial of their dead infants. Thing is, the babies are either not really dead or not really real.
Several cases of this have been reported, with one scam earning $700 to $1,400 per day over nearly a year until someone finally realized one of three things: Most infants can be buried in a shoebox, the only morticians who accept cash typically specialize in concealing gunshot wounds and the only corpses that wait six months to be buried are either assassinated presidents or the King of Pop.