Before you burn that karaoke machine …

Here’s some advice: Don’t incinerate karaoke microphones. They give off nasty fumes.

Weren’t considering it anyway? The advisory may be more relevant in Yokohama City, where city officials recently handed out just that advice, more or less, to local crematoria.

Throughout Japan, in keeping with tradition, favorite possessions go into the coffin with the departed before the coffin is incinerated. Back when those possessions were mostly made of wood, cloth, or the like, the smoke didn’t bother anyone. But the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST reports that it’s a different story today, when the favored items may be golf clubs, karaoke microphones, or other modern contrivances made of materials that give off a nasty cloud of toxins. After turning a blind eye to the sensitive issue, some cities are starting to come to grips with it by printing guidelines for crematoria on what should and what should not go up in smoke.