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Come on, pilgrim. Liquefy me.

January 12, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt a bit constrained by the culturally and legally appropriate options available for disposing of my human form.

Incinerate in a propane oven? Oh, sure, I’d love to release my carbon straight to the atmosphere & do my little part for global warming. Plus, devouring gallons of fossil fuel as my departing act of earthly consumption just makes me feel all fuzzy & OPEC-y.

Stuck down in the dirt as worm, bug, bacteria food? What an inefficient transfer of my vital nutrients back to the earth! Hell no. I have expressly stated in my will that my body is to be dragged out to the woods and left for the higher carnivorous life-forms to munch-a-munch. I do have serious doubts that my next of kin will honor this wish, though. Especially after they realize that I have spent my vast reserves of inheritable money to pay for offsets to my lifetime of carbon releasing behavior.

No. No. Hand me that calligraphy eraser — my will’s getting an update!

I am now throwing my dead weight behind a new third option. Just seal me up in a horizontal stainless steel pressure vessel, soak me in a super-heated alkaline soup, and liquefy me into a brown, syrupy, goo. Yum!

Officially the goo-ification process is called alkaline hydrolysis, developed 16 years ago by BioSAFE Engineering to solve the vexing problem of what to do with all those bunny carcasses dead from being given meals of Clairol nail polish. Their flagship product goes by the amazingly fabulous name of Tissue Digestor! (exclamation point added by me, but it looks so much cooler with, no?)

The Tissue Digestor! is facing head-to-head competition for the human market by the Resomator, built by a company putting a decidedly earth-friendly, rebirth of spirit, flowing watery stream spin on the whole gooey caustic soup thing. They want you to think of it as accelerating natural decomposition. I’m sold!

Hey, you’re hearing about the future of mortuary services, here! It’s energy & resource efficient. It’s en-vi-ron-men-tally sound! Flush that organic alkaline goo right down the drain! Good bye, liquefied loved one!

Bad news, though. It’s only legal in two states. Good news, though! One of the states is New Hampshire, my dear & long time New England neighbor (the other is Minnesota).

I know, it’s not for everyone. For instance, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Manchester, NH has complained that flushing human remains down a drain is “undignified”. Apparently being hand fed a wafer of human remains while kneeling in front of a priest is completely normal, though.

Sorry hungry coyotes, bears, & turkey vultures. Now on, if you want a piece of me you’re just gonna have to kill me yourself.

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