I was recently at the DMV with a friend, and realized that he wasn’t registered as a donor. After berating him for not being one, I finally stopped to breathe, and asked him why. As far as I could tell, when I chose to actually listen, he was concerned that when he went to Heaven he wouldn’t be able to see. I wish I was kidding.
First of all, dude is not going to Heaven, because it’s clear that when you start associating yourself with me Hell is your only plausible option. Secondly, shit doesn’t exist. It did spur a great discussion, though, of what you can do with your body after you have kicked the bucket.
According to the CIA fact book, there are 6,744 deaths a day, which means that we are subsequently running out of space to store our cadavers. What’s our solution? Sweeping them under the rug, like any good American would do, and by “rug” I mean “other dead bodies.” You think Nana Goldwin is the only body under that slab of cement? Think again.
Most people believe cremation to be the “greener” way to decimate a pile of flesh, but it’s still a pretty forceful punch to Mother Nature’s cervix, seeing as you could drive 4, 800 miles on the energy equivalent of the energy used to cremate one body. Crematoriums can also release up to 5.9 grams of mercury into the environment as each body is torched. So, for all of you who are concerned with the future, and other such nonsense, and would like to reduce your carbon footprint, let me introduce you to promession. The ever-environmentally-conscious Swedes created a freeze-drying process, in which to dispose of your loved ones space-food-like remains. They basically dip your body into liquid nitrogen, vibrate you into a fine powder, and then bury said powder in a nice biodegradable take-out container. Yum.
You have sea burials, so why not space burials? It seems logical that that would be the next step. For only a few hundreds of thousands your body, too, can be shoved into a tube of lipstick, and shot into the final frontier. If that’s a bit much for you, and you’d like to stick in our atmosphere, contact Angel’s Flight to be turned into subliminal messaging.
If being projectile vomited out of an explosion device doesn’t suit your fancy, then you’re probably a materialistic bitch, and in that case check out Life Gem. Who, for a small nominal fee, will turn your cremated remains or hair into a literal blood diamond.
Then, of course, there’s always plastination. Because, yeah, everyone’s wanted to see your disgusting body in all of its decrepit glory. Wait, they can plasticize you riding a plasticized horse holding a plasticized scepter? I’m in.
If even more interested in posthumous body-butchering, Mary Roach wrote a great book a few years ago, called Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, which goes into great detail of the options that you have for your bag of bones. Or, you know, you could just check “yes” on the DMV form.
Photo of bodies and bags from Scrape TV