Tuesday, July 25, 2006

To Boldly Go Where No Remains Have Gone Before

What an appropriate end for the remains of James Doohan. He’s better known as Scotty from Star Trek and passed away last year. In October, he’ll make his final trip. It’s safe to say that there will be no graveside service; he’s going up…to space. His family has contracted with a company called Space Services to be blasted (not beamed) into space. He won’t be alone as there will be about 100 fellow passengers on his final flight. Among the passengers will be former astronaut Gordon Cooper.

Now what legally constitutes ‘remains’ remains a mystery to me. I’d prefer to not even guess. Maybe a pathologist or crime scene investigator could tell us. The remains of Scotty and his co-pilots will orbit the earth until the container, or technically satellite if it's in orbit, falls back to earth and burns up on re-entry many moons from now. I guess the advantage of having Scotty on board is that he’ll be “givin’ ya all she’s got” which must be good for a few extra years of orbits out of the container. A measly regular capsule without Scotty would surely fall prey to earth’s orbit much quicker than Scotty’s!

My biggest concern about all of this is whether or not it’s something James Doohan really wanted to have done after he passed away. For the sake of this article, we’ll just pretend he did. I probably can’t say the same thing for Ted Williams. Blasting deceased folks’ remains into space opens up a whole new era of burial options and memorial services. It’d pretty cool to have a major rocket launched in the middle of your funeral, I’d imagine. Although I doubt the mortuary folks are quaking in their boots yet.

If this pattern of non-traditional burials continues, I might have to change my final will and jump on the bandwagon. I mean who wants to be buried six feet under with a view of the San Bernardino Mountains? Well ok, I did. Perhaps my ‘remains’ (with the exception of my cleft chin) can be put in a container and into a NASCAR stock car during the Daytona 500. I just hope whoever’s car I end up in doesn’t crash. That might not be so pretty…or sanitary. At least my ashes could be used as speedy-dry.

No comments: