The QR Code

We are sheltering in place. We do go out, because taking walks is good for mental health, and because there are so few people out on the street that it’s easy to maintain social distance from anyone we meet. But yesterday we did get in the car and drive 40 miles away so that I could have blood drawn for something entirely unrelated to a Coronavirus test.  The company running the lab has locations in many places, but none here in the City of Holland, MI. So I made an appointment at their location in Muskegon, where my wife’s parents were born, grew up, and where they are buried.

Screenshot 2020-03-18 at 21.38.08

After the lab visit we made a brief stop at the cemetery. Char’s dad, though a clergyman from the time he was about 26 to when he died at 93, was not one to spend time in cemeteries or visiting graves. Of course, he would do committal services and comfort mourners, but as for going to the graves of deceased relatives, he just didn’t do it because, according to him, “they’re not there.”  We take this as guidance, so only have been to the cemetery in Muskegon incidental to other visits we’ve made there. We were by the grave for only a few minutes.

I noticed what looked like a sticker, slightly larger than a postage stamp, on one corner of the headstone. I thought I’d peel it off, but it was more than a sticker, and it bore a QR code. Char scanned it with her phone and was immediately sent to a web page inviting us to post stories about her parents, whose dates of birth and death are engraved on the stone. Apparently, if one does, then other people visiting the cemetery can scan that code and read the story. One imagines that they’ll also be treated to ads for various headstone related goods and services.

I thought it was more than a little tacky.

David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan.

%d bloggers like this: