Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]
LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (Wireless Flash) — A deceased cattle rancher in Bozeman, Montana, took care of his heirs by installing an automatic teller machine in his tombstone.
Cattle rancher Grover Chestnut died earlier this year at the age of 79. However, before he cashed in, he installed an ATM at his tombstone and gave ten heirs debit cards, and told them were allowed to withdraw $300 per week from the grave.
Chestnut apparently figured the tombstone ATM was the best way to make sure his grave had regular visitors.
It seems to be working. Joel Jenkins, who helped create the "cashing-out" machines, says one of Chestnut's granddaughters recently gave up a promising acting career in New York in order to cash in on Grandpa's money-making tombstone.
Although Chestnut's grave is currently the only one with an ATM, Jenkins thinks others will be dying to try it soon.
Origins: With one slight change ("dying to try it soon" became "trying it soon"), the article quoted above appeared on SFgate.com, the online presence of The San Francisco Chronicle, on
According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, its search of obituaries from the past decade turned up no record of a Grover Chestnut's having died there, nor was it able to locate any relatives of
SF Gate picked up the tale from Wireless Flash News, a media outlet that represents itself as "The pop culture wire for media professionals." It's hard to assign much credibility to a source that flogs such articles as "Waltons Creator Admits Old Set Now Haunted by 'Grandpa'"
David Moye of Wireless Flash said he got his story from a Long Island, New York, man named Joel Jenkins, who claimed to own an ATM company. Jenkins refused to disclose the location of the grave, citing "security reasons."
Once SF Gate caught on to its having been had, it posted the following correction on its site in place of the "ATM Tombstone" article it had previously displayed:
Last updated: 8 July 2007
Everett, Erin. "Money in Grave: Weird Report Claims Rancher Installed ATM on Tombstone." Bozeman Daily Chronicle. 17 August 2002. Youngman, Henny. Take My Jokes, Please. Richardson & Snyder, 1983 ISBN 0-943940-05-2 (p. 22). NCBuy.com. "Turn Tombstones Into ATM Machines." 13 August 2002. San Francisco Gate. "Tombstone ATM Doles Out Inheritance." 14 August 2002. Wireless Flash News. "Turn Tombstones Into ATM Machines." 13 August 2002.