Human beings have kind of a sick obsession with dead bodies.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a monster, I get that the rapidly decaying, lifeless corpse over there used to belong to someone you had some fondness for. But at no point forward will that bio degrading fleshy mound of used ta was, ever do anything again that it used to do when previously possessed by the life force of who ever they aren’t anymore. Tickle it all you’d like, it ain’t never gonna giggle that unmistakable titter that you fell in love with. Call it by name, dangle it’s favorite bag of salty treats in front of it, it’s not going to pop up and suddenly begin recirculating all of your favorite bloods and give you a great big knowing hug. And if it DOES, run like hell for a stabbing or shooting utensil because your loved one is now zombified and it’s either you or it Jack!
The point I’m trying to make is this: the second your beloved friend, relative or lover breathes their last, the container they left behind that they used to drive around in to be recognizable to other things living in this plane of existence is no more them than the carton that the milk came in is going to help increase your bone density. You’re just left with an expensive bag of recycling. Feel free to mourn the person you’ve lost, but let’s try to be a little more reasonable about what remains, and treat it more like the ’74 Rambler that it is.
Now that I’ve angered and alienated most of you, let’s get to the two stories I found this morning about the uproar caused by the cremating of one barely dead (and mistaken) infant, and one already excessively dead Nazi…
Apparently, last year an Ohio funeral home made an isty bitsy boo boo and set alight the wrong dead baby, which, surprisingly, wasn’t met well by the guardians of said unintentionally reduced child shell. The story states that, due to a morgue mix up the body of a 14 month old was mistakenly released to the Marlan J. Gary Funeral Home, in stead of the 22 DAY old infant intended for a ride on the grill. And because the Funeral Home just cooked the baby they were given, they had their license suspended for six months.
This issue raises a lot of, what I feel are natural questions with me. Now, I’m no baby scientist, I’ve said that time and time again when ever someone runs up to me in a panic, desperately pleading for my expertise in baby science, so I feel it bears repeating: I’m no baby scientist, but I’m fairly certain that there is a decided difference between the density and general volume of the body of a one year and two month old child versus that of a three week and one day old child. I could go to Target right now and pick up a jumper with a tag that says “0-4 months” or something, and compare that to a pair of slacks in the “Pre-pre-pre School to Pre-pre School” section and likely not be surprised by the decided difference in expected sizes.
So, does a hearse just back up to a morgue, wait to hear the thump in the bed and drive off, or are there some sort of checks in place to make sure that not only is the morgue giving away the right dead baby, but that the funeral home is RECEIVING the right dead baby? Just the shere handling of the body seems like it would tip me off if I were a dead baby delivery man. If I’m delivering a deceased 22 day old, I expect I should be able to chuck that bitch in the back of a corpse limo with one hand. Just lob it in under hand and high five myself for another day of life more than that poor bastard. And if it took say, two hands and a little bit of heft, and I checked my clip board and it said “22 dayer” I would probably wonder if I had the right infant cadaver.
Conversely, if I were a crematorier, just thinking from a strictly business stand point, I imagine I use a different amount of fuel to burn the body of a 22 day old than I would for a 14 month old. So if I were intending to roast a 22 day old, put in a bag of 22 day older fuel and just tossed in what I thought was a 22 day old, I imagine if I were to come back later, I would likely find a good deal of 14 month old left uncrematized and wonder if my baby burning fuel supplier was fucking me over.
Aside from all of that obviousness, what gets me the most about the article is where is says:
“A hearing officer noted that cremation is irreversible and said funeral directors must take precautions to ‘get it right.’ ”
I doubt that most people need be reminded that reducing human remains to ash is awful difficult to undo. I’m certain that most of us didn’t think that cremation was just a fancy term for “dehydration” and that a body could just be returned to its former glory by simply splashing it with a Dixie cup of water.
Meanwhile, over in Germany in what seems like one of the more extreme promotional tie-ins I’ve seen for tomorrow’s release of Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger”; the bones of Rudolf Hess, one of Adolph Hitler’s deputies, were exhumed and cremated. Germans don’t quite get the collectible cup level of promotion, and you can’t tell them that they’re doing it wrong or they might murder millions of Jews.
It seems that, with the lease on Hess’ burial plot coming up for renewal in October, and with the grave site having become a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis, “Hess’ relatives and Lutheran church authorities in the town decided it was best to remove the remains.” And viola, no more neo-Nazis. Right?
“The grave is now empty,” said cemetery administrator Andreas Fabel. “The bones are gone.”
Soooo… neo-Nazis couldn’t still commune at the former grave site of their martyred hero?
They apparently “cremated the remains and scattered them secretly in a lake, whose name and location are not being divulged”, so in a way, they’ve sort of made just about anywhere a fair place to come together and celebrate the memory of Rudolf Hess. He’s now circulating in the water ways of Where Ever Germany, being carried out to sea, and floating about on the breeze. These short sighted Nazi haters have effectively dusted all of us with Nazi particles. Thanks, just what I needed, to breathe Nazi while I’m just minding my own business, hating just fine on my own thank you very much. I really have a hard time believing that neo-Nazis are so sentimental that they’re going to have any difficulty mustering up enough focused drive to gather for a hate fest just because the bones of one of their heroes, that they could never positively confirm or deny the existence of in the first place, might not be where they were last week.
But if it makes you feel any better Lutherans, congratulations, you just re-killed a dead Nazi. You won World War II. And you just spoiled the ending of “Captain America” for me, assholes!