From a press release issued by AE&E national headquarters, Columbus Park, MO.
One of the largest trade groups in the funeral direction industry will announce an official partnership with ABATE later today. The two groups are the Association of Embalmers & Undertakers (AE&E), a 12,000-member organization representing funeral directors from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and ABATE*, with chapters in 25 states.
"As an organization, the AE&E is committed to freedom of choice," says national spokesman Randy Glaholt. "We don't think the government has a role in dictating our clients' choice of interment or cremation, and we saw a brother organization in ABATE, which maintains the belief that motorcycle helmets are an infringement on another basic right, namely, the right to die in an otherwise-harmless low speed motorcycle crash."
The partnership will begin with the two organizations sharing databases, and holding joint strategic planning sessions. It's expected that the groups will merge their Washington and state-capital lobbying organizations soon, too.
ABATE spokesman Buck 'Stump' Brown admitted, "They've got a huge database, but of course all their clients are dead, and it is getting harder and harder to count on their votes in helmet referendums. But, our strategic goals are closely aligned, so we should save a lot of money and increase our effectiveness when it comes to fighting totalitarian helmet laws.
This strategic alliance was the brainchild of AE&E's North Dakota state director, Harley Bridgewater. "We've always noticed an uptick in business in our state, during the big biker gathering at Sturgis," Bridgewater says. "For us, that time of year is like the old days, before socialists in Washington forced seat belts on us, and interfered with the free market by restricting tobacco ads."
"As a young apprentice embalmer," Bridgewater recalled with obvious fondness, "I remember my dad telling me about the days when, after a funeral, the men would all go outside and stand around smoking. We all wish it could still be so, but let's face it, that fight's been lost. That's what's great about working with ABATE. It does my heart good to see a funeral attended by a huge column of Patriot Guard riders, with their American flag do-rags snapping in the breeze."
AE&E spokesman Glaholt added, "You can only do so much to fight demographics. How often have you heard people say things like '70 is the new fifty'? Baby Boomers are watching their diets, and doing yoga. I mean sure, they're eventually going to die but how long can we wait for their business? It only makes sense for our group and ABATE to work together."
(*According to Wikipedia: ABATE is an acronym which originally stood for "A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments" and alternatively stands for "American Bikers Against Totalitarian Enactments", "A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education", "American Bikers for Awareness, Training & Education", "American Bikers Aimed Towards Education", "American Bikers Advocating Training & Education" with other combination used.)