Thursday, April 19, 2007

Well, My Burial Plans Just Went Up In Smoke

I got all excited for the possibilities of my ashes a few weeks ago when Keith Richards admitted smoking his father’s cremated remains. I thought it so exciting that I even blogged about it, but then again, I’ve blogged about space junk, toilets, dead deer, airline barf bags and Fred Willard at one point or another, so that’s not saying much. Then I read an AFP News story today about a scientist who says we should stop cremating our dead. He claims that it contributes to global warming in some boring, scientific, ozone, carbon related way. If I wanted to be able to thoroughly explain it to you, I would have paid attention in science class instead of making top-ten lists all the time.

I guess this is the type of news you’d expect as Earth Day approaches, but now I can’t pass away safe in the thought that some old rocker somewhere will smoke my remains for the heck of it, only to brag about it to a tabloid years later. That’s too bad because I had already started making a list of potential candidates. Heck, I even stipulated there would be a $25 Applebee’s gift certificate to whoever found my charred artificial heart valve among my ashes. It could be used to make a ring, earrings or a fancy napkin holder, unless surgeons recycle that type of thing. Maybe they use it in constructing a half man half machine prototype or they put it in the pig whose valve they just took out to place into a human, but more about that down the road.

What could we do to still dispose of our deceased and not slap dear Mother Earth in the face you ask? Well, the same scientist says that we should all be buried in a cardboard box under a tree. That way, we can all gradually become compost and fertilizer. It’s bad enough being called a piece of @%#%$ in life, but in death? That’s too cruel. It also means that I can’t use my second burial option now either. If cremation proved to be too expensive, I asked that my body be placed in big plastic bags that were filled with lots of foam peanuts and fastened with those plastic rings that hold six-packs together so that I could be floated down the river and into the sea. That’s pretty harmless, right?

Now I have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how I want to be thrown out, I mean disposed of, I mean preserved. Geez, how do you say not buried or cremated? I’ve already thought about being frozen, but I’d be afraid that my family wouldn’t be able to resist using my frozen block to cool their drinks during our annual 4th of July get together. After all, a frozen person would be pretty big and since I’d already be there, they would get the best of both worlds: a huge chunk of free ice and they would still get to celebrate with me (I’ve always loved fireworks).

Perhaps I could be preserved and mummified like us Catholics did with all of our 800 year old saints (I watched a special about it late one night when I couldn’t sleep. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to go back to bed when it was over, either). I could be dressed in my favorite Dale Earnhardt shirt and propped into my favorite seat at the California Speedway so I could enjoy racing even in death. The same could be done with me in my LA Clippers Jersey so I could forever sit at Staples Center and watch my Clippers play. The only downside is that even mummified, I would probably still completely decompose before the Clippers when the NBA Championship.

Of course, in both of those ‘burial’ options, I will need to get some type of health or safety clearance, which will probably be pretty costly to obtain. What does mummifying go for these days, anyway?


Patti said...

Funny stuff. I am a bit afraid of cremation, but last year my husband's sister was cremated and she ended up being buried in a beautiful urn. I was picturing something much more utilitarian.
I cannot believe I just wrote that.

P.S. The Rolling Stone in question is Keith Richards. I forgive you because you weren't even alive in the groovy '60s.

Michael C said...

Patti: Oops, I confused my Stones. At least I didn't say Brian Jones ;-)

I'm going to correct it now.

Patti said...

certainly Michael; us geezers are good for something.

Awesome Mom said...

I always thought it would be fun to be mummified too. I was planning on putting all sorts of weird things in my coffin to confuse the archaeologists in the future.

Odat said...

OMG Ya scarred me so much that I want my mummy!!!


Kerry said...

I got a great idea from Hunter Thompson...after he was cremated he had his ashes shot out of a cannon. I decided that's what I want to do, but in light all this Earth Day stuff....I guess I'll have to come up with something else. Something involving Fred Willard.

Terri said...

too funny. My husband's aunt did a "viking" funeral with his ashes on their pond. Basically set out a makeshift boat with his ashes on it, set it afire and sent it off into the middle of the pond. It was interesting that's for sure.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Zoroastorians leave their dead to be picked clean by vultures. How do you feel about being bird feed?

Cursed Tea said...

I saw you commented on "heartinsanfransisco"'s blog on the UK banning the holocaust from schools. I wanted to let you know this is FALSE. You can check the BBC and other news agencies.

I am British and am deeply disturbed that this report has been circulating - it is not true and will never be something acceptable in the UK!!!

I just wanted to set the record straight.
Thank you

Michael C said...

Patti: Truth be told, I have always gotten along better with my friends' parents than with my friends...I was always made fun of for that ;-)

Awesome Mom: That's a great idea. We could fool them about what out culture was really like.

Odat: That's funny!!

Kerry: OK, I'll give you Fred Willard, as long as I can still have Bob Newhart!

Terri: with my luck, the boat would sink as soon as it was set aflame.

Lone Grey: For some reason I don't feel too good about it ;-)

Cursed Tea: Thanks for letting me know.

mist1 said...

I don't need a single napkin ring.

I'm thinking about getting on that birth control ring that you change quarterly. In a year, I'll have a set of napkin rings.

Dinner party at my house in a year.

Michael C said...

Mist: I'll mark the date. Now if I'd only kept all the pads they took off my chest I could use it as a plate warmer for the casserole I make.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

I don't give a crap, I don't want anyone messing around with my body when I'm dead, screw the enviroment!

Patti said...

Michael, I am guessing you were an only child, if you got along better with your friends' parents than you did with your friends.

Am I right?

Cece said...

Ah, I just had a flashback of one of the final episodes of Six Feet Under. lol

Michael C said...

silverneurotic: I like that attitude. I shall adopt it!

Patti: No, I do have a younger brother.

Cece: I'll have to watch it. I've actually never seen it.

Abigail S said...

Floating down the river in plastic bags w/ packing peanuts and plastic 6-pack rings? Now that is definitely safe for the environment!

You need to watch "Soylent Green." They turn people into crackers. Whenever I hear the name Charlton Heston, I yell "It's people! Soylent Green is made out of people!" It's so cheesy, I love it!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I've worried about this problem for years, what my children should do with me when I'm gone. So far, I have not come up with anything that doesn't make me cringe.

Burial is terrifying for claustrophobes, plus the worlds dwindling real estate could be better used for something else. Being incinerated is also appalling, as is being eaten by sharks.

I may just have to live forever until I can find a palatable way to dispose of my body. I'm open to suggestion.

Eva said...

(1) I laughed out loud at the idea of putting you in a plastic bag with foam peanuts. What a responsible act of love for the environment, Mr. Earthy Eartherson!
(2) Mummified Mike makes me think of Weekend at Bernie's so I will have to hop on board that idea. Let me know if I can help with a permit or something.
(3) My dad always says, "When I go, I'm taking it ALL with me!" My response every time is, "Okay, Dad, we'll write you a check for your life savings to put in the casket."

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