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380879 05: Gravestone props lie near the checkout stands of a Halloween Club holiday supply store in Los Angeles, CA, October 26, 2000. Halloween is now the second-highest-grossing holiday in retail sales in the U.S. behind Chistmas. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)

Is this a harmless inside joke . . . or is it TASTELESS?

Some people aren’t happy about a tombstone at a cemetery in Iowa, which has a hidden message.  It says:  “Forever in our hearts . . . until we meet again . . . cherished memories . . . known as . . . our son, brother . . . father, papa, uncle . . . friend and cousin.”  But the way the lines are set up, the first letter of each word down the left side spells out an expletive.

(Careful)  It says, “[EFF] OFF.”  And it’s not censored.

The man’s daughter said it was intentional, because “it was definitely his term of endearment.”  But she also said that they didn’t mean to offend anyone else at the cemetery.

Some people are raising a stink about it . . . even though it wouldn’t be obvious to most people who didn’t know to look for it.  But now that it’s getting attention, it’s possible that they may be forced to remove the headstone.  The cemetery staff says profanity has no place where loved ones are laid to rest.

Tombstone with father's hidden message is causing controversy

POLK COUNTY, Iowa (KCCI) - Some people love to get the last laugh, even in death. A tombstone in Iowa is causing a bit of a stir because of a message hidden in plain sight that some people find offensive. Each tombstone reads something different - some even with hidden messages, like the one for Steven Paul Owens.