Sunday, June 20, 2004

And now, the end is near...

There I was, minding my own business, surfing around the internet, not thinking about dying or anything... which for an obsessive compulsive is quite a big deal, when I stumbled upon a site called Life Gem.

For those of you not familiar with Life Gem, I'll explain. In a nutshell, it's a business that heads over to the crematory after you die, scoops up a bucket full of your left-overs and then with some sort of Superman like strength manages to squeeze a diamond out of you for your loved ones.

Sort of gives new meaning to the phrase, "She's a diamond in the rough", huh?

Right now you're asking, "Hey Sher, I happen to have a dead pet gold fish named Fluffy that I'd really rather wear than flush. Can Life Gem help me?".

It's your lucky day, you weird person you, because the answer is yes. They can even turn your favorite pet into a lovely jewel...assuming that when you torch Fluffy with your Bic you have enough left to make a diamond. Although I wasn't able to figure out just how much dead dust it takes to make a gem, their site does say an average person will make about one-hundred diamonds.

I figure if I keep eating Moon Pies before bed I should be worth about 150 diamonds easy.

This whole dead people diamond stuff got me to thinking. Personally, my biggest fear when it comes to dying is that I'll look awful when I go and as a result, I'll look awful for all eternity. I simply cannot have that. I haven't spent my entire life putting on make-up and dying my hair just so some old man funeral director can make me look like a dumpy house frau.

No way, mister. I want control. Total control over my entire funeral from start to finish.

To start with, I think the funerals we have today are completely outdated. For Heaven's sake, we've been doing this thing pretty much the same way for centuries. We dress them up, paint their faces white, plop them in a big, overpriced box and plant them in a dead people garden like they're going to sprout or something.

I say it's high time we put the fun back in funeral and I plan on starting the ball rolling with my own.

First of all, when I die I want the same people that do the makeovers on all those day time television shows to do my hair and make up. I want my roots touched up, long fake eyelashes applied and bright red hooker lips that'll never smudge.

And as long as they're in there, rooting around removing things and adding things in preparation for my new, stiff life, I want bigger boobs and a flatter tummy. Now is not the time to be bashful. I'm dead. It's not like I have to worry about what people think at this point. I can finally have the body of my dreams.

I guess above all, I do not want to be pushing up daisies in some cemetery next to a bunch of boring dead people with whom I have nothing in common. Just because I'd dead does not mean I have to stop living.

I want to be stuffed and preserved like the raccoon my brothers shot when they were kids. Daddy had it done as a Christmas present for them. (Yes, nothing says southern like getting something you shot three months earlier as your gift on Christmas morning.) We used to keep it on the front porch by the rocking chairs until my step-mom finally had to move it inside because the dogs kept everyone up all night barking at it.

The little bandit animal still sits today in my brother's storage shed all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready for a night out in the forest

I want no less for myself.

If the right people stuff me, they can add some features that I think would make me a lot more fun to be around through the years.

For instance, I'd like to be fully poseable, like a 5'5" dead Barbie doll. That way, whenever we're having company, Mr. Man could pose me in the living room on the sofa with my head tilted and my legs crossed so that I always look as if I'm listening intently to every conversation.

And just because I can't actually talk back doesn't mean future generations should be deprived of my wit and wisdom. I want to contribute in some meaningful way. That's why I'll have my stuffers insert a "Magic Eight Ball" element so that when someone has a question, they'd simply ask it, shake my hand and wait for the reply on the tiny screen embedded in my wrist watch.

"Grandma, will I be rich and famous when I grow up?" (shake, shake, shake)

"It is not likely."

"Honey, can I get married again to the twenty-year-old housekeeper I hired after you passed?" (shake, shake, shake)

"You do and I'll haunt this house so hard Steven King would wet his pants."

I'd also need a new wardrobe after I died. Sort of like those ceramic geese that sit on people's front porches here in the Midwest. They have different outfits for different weather conditions and their owners rush out to change them whenever the season changes. They have little rain coats and rain bonnets. They have little sweaters and snow boots. And I think I even saw one once wearing a little bikini and a belly ring.

I'd want my loved ones to be able to choose an appropriate outfit for me so that I could attend every family occasion in style. I should probably look into hiring someone as my official dresser before I go though. Otherwise Mr. Man is likely to take me everywhere in a leather halter top and Harley boots. I have no intention of attending my great-granddaughter's wedding looking like I'm on my way to Sturgis.

Come to think of it, that could be a problem all the way around. I mean, Mr. Man is not responsible enough to remember to shave his own face unless I remind him. How in the world can I trust him to keep me dressed, touch up my make-up and pose me in positions other than those that would be suitable for publication in Play Boy?

And what would happen to me after he goes? Since I don't have a lot of money to leave the kids, they'd probably try to make a buck by selling me on eBay. I could wind up being a dead old lady lawn jockey for the Alpha Beta Drunky fraternity.

I guess I've got a lot more thinking to do about my life after I'm dead. Maybe I should at least consider this whole Life Gem thing. That way I'd always be shiny and pretty and I wouldn't have to worry about Mr. Man sticking me in the closet with the Halloween decorations and forgetting I was there.

Wait a minute. Then he'd probably just use me to propose to that twenty-year-old housekeeper he's so intent on marrying.

Just wait 'til I get my hands on him.

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Copyright © 2004, Sherri Bailey
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