Free To A Good Home
THE OTHER NIGHT Dawn and I had dinner with a couple of friends. While I nibbled at my eggs and hash browns, (I know, it was dinner, but I had breakfast.) a conversation began about death, heaven, hell and biblical interpretation. It is not often that “Cremation vs. Burial” comes up over dinner. When it does I usually limit my contribution to, “How about them Cubbies?”
Of course, I have thought about all of this stuff and, while it is fraught with many conflicting opinions and doctrinal caveats, I have arrived at the very personal decisions about how I want my remains to be dealt with.
Burial vs. Cremation – neither one appeals to me – either in a box or “Throw another gimp on the Bar-bee.”
I have told my loving wife that I want to be put into a Hefty Bag and set out by the curb with a sign reading “Free!” I figure that within twenty minutes I will be gone and somebody else’s problem.
I did consider how mortal coil shuffling is handled in other cultures.
Egyptian Mummification: It has some good style points, but we don’t have sufficient gold or precious gems to make it worthwhile. And where would we get a chariot anyway?
Viking Funeral Boat: Going out on a Cruise ship is fine, but to then set it ablaze? No. “There will be a Mexican buffet on the Lido Deck and a Viking funeral on the Fiesta Deck – followed by shuffleboard.”
Eskimo Ritual: I do not do well in cold weather, so, I really don’t want to be set adrift on an ice floe. “Nanook of the North” I ain’t (For those of you under 40 – look it up).
Zoroastrian Method: A lesser known Middle-Eastern ritual where the guest of honor is taken up to the roof, hefted up onto a rack, and left for the birds. I know it has a lot of dark Hitchcockian overtones, but it does eliminate all those traffic clogging funeral processions. I considered this, but then nixed it when I thought of how noisy all those birds would be – to say nothing of the clean-up afterward.
An old friend has opted to have his body sent on a coast to coast trip via Greyhound bus. You can buy a 30-day pass quite reasonably.
If you’ve ever taken a long distance bus ride, I’m sure you’d agree – no one would notice that the guy sitting in the back hasn’t moved for weeks. “And he don’t look too good, neither.”
No, I’ll opt for the Hefty Bag and the kindness of strangers.
My only stipulation is that my body NOT be donated to science. With my luck I’d end up being given to a School of Economics where I would be bored beyond death.