Monday, November 5, 2007

Eco-Cremation, Rotting Corpses & Compost Piles.

If you ever have the pleasure of having a sit-down, heart-to-heart with Your Finest Eimer, you'll ultimately get to know a couple things about who I am as a person.

First off, I cuss a lot. And, when drunk, I tend to throw my comments into the juvenile gutter with jokes about sex, drugs, pooping, peeing, fucking and sucking.

Secondly, when I die, you'll find out that I don't want to be buried in some stupid casket where I can be dug up and studied by aliens (both illegal & space), anthropologists or even Indiana Jones.

In fact, now that I think about it, I'm not too sure I want to be cremated either.

What's a dead, rotting human corpse to do?

Well, I wasn't too sure either until I picked up this book called Stiff, The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. In the book, Author Mary Roach talks about different uses for your body after you die.

For instance, did you know you can donate your body to a plastic surgeon school so they can practice facelifts on your dead head? You can also donate your body to CSI so they can learn various dates and times of decomposition in different types of environments (in the cold, heat, outside, woods, etc.)

It's a great book and a fantastic read. But, the part that struck a cord with me was the chapter dedicated to a new type of eco-cremation called...RESOMATION.

You know that big compost pile you have in your backyard filled with egg shells, pieces of steak and old spaghetti? Well it's sort of the same process. But it's a human body. And it's sped up to just under three hours.

Resomation (from the Greek word resoma meaning the rebirth of the body) is a process for the lawful, ecological disposal of human remains. Well - lets be honest - it's not exactly lawful in the United States, but a company in Great Britain called 'Resomation Limited' is one of the first companies to market this world-wide alternative to burial and cremation.

So how does it work? Well, I'm not a scientist, but according to an article I found in the British Newspaper The Mail on Sunday, your body is placed in a silk bag withing a metal cage frame, which is then loaded into the resomation machine.

The machine is then filled with a mixture of water, potassium hydroxide, and heated to a high temperature (around 160 degrees centigrade), but at a high pressure which prevents boiling but instead promotes dissolving.

In just three hours (a viewing of the movie Titanic), your body has successfully been transformed into a small quantity of liquid that's filled with amino acids, peptides, sugars and salts and calcium phosphate.

The liquid and the dust are returned to the next of kin to do with as they please. In my case, I think it would be neat to be composted somewhere cool like a rain forest, the Adirondacks Mountains or even Ohio Stadium. And unlike cremation, a composted body is filled with nutrients that will help, not harm, the environment. Your body will actually help trees grow.

It's the circle of life, man. (Pass the joint.)

Look, even if I achieve eventual cartoon or writing stardom, I really truly don't think my body will be up there with Tutankhamen, Stalin or even Jim Morrison. I can only hope my funeral will be as exciting as the Ayatollah Khomeini - when some three million mourners showed up and idly grabbed at Khomeini's coffin, pried it open and, eventually, yanked their beloved patriarch to the ground. Now that's a fun funeral.

And with the rapid number of baby boomers having heart attacks due to the consumption of too many McDonalds Egg McMuffins, it won't be long until our cemetaries are filled to the rim...with Brim!

That's why the idea of resomation is extremely intriguing to this aging Gen X'er. I mean, who says there have to be only two ways to get rid of your body? The government? Pfffft. Fuck that shit!

If I ever come into any extra money, I would definitely invest in a company like this. Hell, I may even become a caretaker. Plus, I would offer an affordable price that would give crematoriums and old-fogey funeral homes a run for their money.

So who's with me?!? How much do you want to invest?

No comments: