Magazine May 2, 2011, Issue

Cool Tombs

(Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)

Buying a coffin is nobody’s idea of shopping, a friend of mine once said. I would certainly rather go to a yard sale or to Etro or even to the grocery, but a coffin is one of those inescapable purchases. Like gas, but for a shorter trip. Also like gas, you want to make sure you have it before you set out.

The city is large and, according to the census, still growing. As a consequence of its fecundity it is interwoven with cemeteries. Digging around in the financial district recently they found an old slaves’ burial ground. Mammon covered it,

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The market functions well enough to bring Walmart to its senses. Alas, for Big Government, there are no such corrective mechanisms.

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