Sunday, February 26, 2006

See, This Is Why I Appreciate Wholesale Gentle Viewer

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying."

-Woody Allen

A few years ago, when Costco began selling coffins, I thought it was a creepy idea. I mean who wants to purchase one's final resting place from a place where one can also buy a 50lb. bag of kitty litter, a box of 500 count paper plates, a 24 pack of assorted muffins, 16 pounds of dry beans, the complete DVD set of Sex In The City, a 2 gallon container of polyunsaturated vegetable oil, a 6 pack of Stagg chili, a 12 can case of Libby's Vienna sausage, a case of Ritz Bits, a double box of Captain Crunch,1000 Kotex tampons and the special edition version of Tootsie? I mean, how embarrassing would it be to be standing in line with all those items, plus the deluxe model of the "Comfy Cozy Coffin 4000? Especially if you were to encounter someone you knew. "Hi Carly, doing a little light shopping? Oh, my, is everything ok?" Now there you are...trying to explain that your morbid purchase was simple estate planning. LOL. It could be awkward, although after reading the following story, on AOL News earlier this evening, I have to admit, the idea has taken on some appeal for me.

Three people from Brooklyn, New York, were charged this past week with selling body parts , they obtained from funeral homes throughout the New York area. It seems that a number of death certificates had been forged by the defendants, Michael, Mastromarino, Lee Crucetta, Christopher Aldorasi, and Joseph Nicelli. Mastromarino, was the owner of Biomedical Tissue Services, of Fort Lee, N.J. All four men pleaded guilty to charges of enterprise corruption, body stealing, opening graves, unlawful dissection and forgery. Their indictment is only the first of many to come. The scandal involves a large number of funeral homes and hundreds of bodies, including that of Allister Cooke, former host of "Masterpiece Theatre." Prosecutors said that the ring took body parts from people who had not given their consent for donation, and altered death certificates to indicate that the deceased were younger then they actually were. Then they sold the parts through Biomedical Tissue Services, to tissue suppliers that were eventually used in disk replacements, dental implants, and other procedures conducted across the United States and Canada.

The thought of my own here after has never really bothered me, in fact I have a somewhat morbid sense of humor about it...always have. When I was asked once, in an ethics class in high school, what I wanted my headstone to say, I facetiously replied, "Here Lies Carly, LIke She's Never Been Laid Before." LOL. A couple years ago when John Scalzi asked the same question for a Weekend Assignment installment, I came up with, "Here Lies Carly Known For Her Dot, Dot, Dot, But Now She's Just Not, Not, Not!" LOL. I also thought once upon a time, that it might be nifty to be laid to rest in Tupperware, as long as someone remembered to burp me. LOL. There are things we have no real control over, so I just never spent much time fretting about my future after I am done on earth. Except in the spiritual sense.

I have to say however, I don't think I would want something funky like this to happen to me. Funky happenings in the here after should be my decision, like having my head frozen or donating myself to science, so some cute up and coming physician can practice on me. I would feel useful in that, and since I am not that modest, I wouldn't be embarrassed in the slightest. So, now that I am older, and I know of the expense of such things, I have put some serious thought into my future and beyond, and I have written my wishes down. When I go, I want to be cremated and placed in an urn with Elvis, and Alan, assuming they go first. Alan liked that idea as well, so at least we are on the same page. Lucky for us, Costco also sells urns, yea us! LOL. I'll take a case of Fig Newtons, 100 ct bag of Ling-Ling Eggrolls and the Family Size urn on the left. :) One final note, Michael Mastromarino, owner of Biomedical Tissue Services, went into the tissue business after losing his dental license. Morbid much!

"Snow Covered Sky"
North Lake Tahoe, Nevada
February 7th, 2006


Jessica said...

Seems to be the day for death-talk. Yours is the second blog in 10 mintues on the same subject. I have little interest in being stuffed in a box, no matter how nice...and especially not a costco model.....when I shuck this vessel. Being that it will just be a shell at that point, and I strongly believe in passing on what we no longer need, I have made the appropriate legal preparations and have donated what can be used .....from eyes to heart to skin... and donated the hulk of what is left as a Med school cadavar to help advance the knowlege of those who some point in time......stand over my Godson with scalpel in hand.

DesLily said...

jessica and I must be reading the same journals lol.. 'cept this is my 3rd on death, having read the passing of don knotts.

I too heard the reports of the so called body snatchers.. and wondered how any parts could be used without testing. i realize they think they are getting things already tested, but i would also think they'd be tested at the hospital receiving them. But then again hospitals and doctors don't seem to really CARE anymore. just do the job and get paid.

i think it's to early in the morning to think this all out lol.. sheesh, carly.. you have things to do and places to go (like hollywood) before you think of this sort of thing! lol

Nancy said...

I like how you combine depth and humor in this. Not a topic many people like to think about, but I feel we NEED to.
Thanks for an, er...interesting entry! lol

Globetrotter said...

OHMAGOD! THis was hysterical, Carly!

I had no idea that Costco sold coffins, but gee! It is rather convenient in my opinion.

We don't have a Costco here in Florida, but I really loved the one I used to go to in King of Prussia, Pa. Hell, I would have even bought myself a coffin there, just to save the hubby the trouble of figuring it out for himself!

"Here lies Carly, she's never been laid."

How does Alan feel about this epithet? What would your latest one be? Perhaps we should do a blog entry on what our epithet's would look like today!

Thanks for a good laugh, this was an ingenious entry!

Becky said...

My thoughts are similar to yours. Cremation is the way to go. Actually, I'd love to do it the way they did in India...or the Vikings. Just a big ole bonfire in the back yard. I'd like to avoid the funeral home all together.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

The first will I ever wrote (I really need to write a second one!), back in college,laid outmy ideal burial marker - a popsicle stick, with words penciled on: "My God,there's a body here!" and nothing else.

I don't think that would work for me now, but it still amuses me.