Many people ask me why I subscribe to “Time Magazine.” The simple answer is because every so often, when it’s a slow news week, they decide to write an article on a “burning” issue that affects us all. In this instance, (Time 6/24/13) the burning issue is NOT burning copies of their old issues, but of cremation, which is a really burning issue that does concern all of us.
Like death and taxes, ya just can’t escape it. So, what to do? Obviously pay your taxes or wind up in the slammer and eventually buy the farm, at which point someone has to decide what to do with your sorry ass. Either dump you into a six-foot hole, cover you with dirt, and say adios. OR…..avoid all that messy dirt stuff and just cremate your sorry ass.
So Time explores this option, (cremation) in an extensive article, which I read with great interest, because, like many Americans, I too have decided that I want to be cremated rather than have my own sorry ass dumped into the ground.
First of all let me state that I hate dark cramped places. Hence it kinda freaks me out that I’d be in a box six feet under the ground where it’s very dark. Not that I’d know I was there, but jussssst in case somebody screws up and I really wasn’t dead but on a really great high from smoking some really good weed. Ya never know.
According to Time’s research, the “Cremation Association of North America,” (CANA) which I assume holds their annual meetings surrounded by a bunch of fireplaces just for the ambiance, says that Americans chose cremation over burial by 24% in 1998. That number has now hit 42.2% as of 2011. So my thinking is, “Hey, go with the flow……or flame.”
Now for those of you who are presently reading this blog and saying to yourselves, “Yuk,” keep in mind that cremation is a very clean process in deference to having your remains dumped into a box, put into the ground, and have all those creatures living beneath the ground yell out, “Lunch time!.”
Now I’ve personally witnessed an actual cremation. I know what you’re thinking. How in the world can ya watch a cremation without getting cremated yourself. Good question.
Well, there’s this little peephole you can peer through to watch the actual process. Considering that the heat inside of the furnace reaches somewhere between 1,800 degrees you would NOT want to actually be in the same room with the dearly departed. So it’s best you peep through that tiny peephole.
Again you’re saying to yourselves, “Yuk,” as you envision watching your beloved resemble a hamburger or hotdog on a barbecue grill. Not to worry. All you ever get to see is the remains of the combustible coffin engulfed in flames because the flames are so intense everything is burned to a bacon crisp in just a short amount of time. All that’s left are ashes and a few bones which you still do not get to see, unless you ask to see the final results of the cookout later.
They did have a problem once according to Time’s article, when a 440 pound woman, obviously way overweight, caught fire, which is not unusual considering she was being cremated, but, it got way outta hand….and foot….and other body parts. The crematory’s air filters got clogged and it almost destroyed the entire facility. But not to worry. Since then most crematories have modified their facilities to hold up to individuals weighing up to 1,000 pounds.
The neatest thing about being cremated is that with the popularity of the process it has created a new after market…..so to speak. YES….you can still contribute to the well being of the economy after you’ve died. How? By having your ashes placed in some really neat containers, commonly referred to in the funeral industry as urns.
Front and center comes Mike Nicodemus, who is the vice president of “Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home and Crematory” in Virginia. Mike can make you some deals you simply can’t refuse. Such as offering you a really great selection of urns to place your dearly departed’s remains in. If, of course, you want them to “remain” with you in one way or another…..or shape.
Wind chimes. Yes, you can have ashes made into a wind chime so that whenever those wind chimes chime you can remember your loved one. And, if you and your loved one used to argue a lot, you can always have the last word by yelling out on a windy day when those chimes are chiming, “Shut the f**k up Harry.”
Baseball themed urns. Which is actually my favorite. (see Red Sox Urn below) However, it would be my luck to have some kid stroll by the house, spot that urn shaped like a baseball, steal it, and then find myself being slammed for a home run into some vacant lot. Might have to reconsider that option.
You can also choose to become an artificial reef by having your ashes dumped into the ocean as did some guy named “Big Al” did off of Pensacola Beach, Florida. Al is presently growing into coral as well as soft sponges. Considering he was an avid Harley-Davidson bike rider and his widow Susan still is around, she could perhaps harvest a few sponges when the time is ripe, take them home, and wash ol Al’s Harley with Al himself. Quite fitting don’t ya think.
I particularly like the touching story in the article of, as Time puts it, “Little Jason Engler.” When he was 12, his grandmother would take him to funeral homes to hang out on weekends. As most grandmothers do. Cripes, didn’t yours?
Eventually little Jason really got into hanging around funeral homes. He’d ride to cemeteries in the flower cars, vacuum the floors after services and would do whatever he could do to get his foot in the door. Why? Because little Jason wanted to become a funeral director. Doesn’t everybody?
Today little Jason, now 33 and no longer little, is the funeral director at the “Rollins Funeral Home” in northwest Arkansas and, I’m assuming, as happy as a cremated lark.
The article goes on forever and ever, unlike most of us, who will NOT go on forever and ever, and eventually meet Little Jason. So if you want the rest of the details involving cremation including who came up with this idea, costs, urn options, photos, various accessories, like you’d buy for your car, the entire process, (which mentions the word “food-processor) how the church feels about all this, as well a yet a newer way of getting rid of your sorry ass, pick up an issue of Time, for all the hot details.
Finally…..which is a nice choice of words considering this IS about death…..Finally, I thought of a really neat cremation option for someones ashes who may have been a heavy smoker.
Yes! Twenty king sized menthol or regular cigarettes made from your ashes that your loved ones could smoke in honor of your life. Not only do you get to feel and remember your dearly departed loved one, but you could also blow smoke into anyone’s face that he or she disliked.
“Hey ass***e. Ya know that smoke I just blew in yer face.”
“Yeah….what about it?”
“That was George tellin’ ya to go f**k yourself.”
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