Just Prop ‘im Up in the Corner

Jul 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: Columns

During the course of our lives, we’re introduced to the people who make up the world around us. From birth, we get to know and love our family, and, if our personality isn’t that of a curmudgeonly old man, we’re lucky enough to find friends whom we care deeply for. These relationships grow and blossom for years to come, but those who you’ve trusted to not poison your meals will inevitably succumb to death.

It’s sad, really, that life has to end, and that the happiness, joy, and love you received from this person is gone, and all that’s left are memories and the regrets of time wasted. Throughout all these emotions you have friends, family, and general well-wishers offering their condolences: sending flowers, food, anything really to help you and your family/friends heal. And, as if the situation couldn’t get any worse, you now have to find the strength to get your loved one’s final arrangements in order. Now, since this isn’t the caveman days where we could just dig a shallow grave, fill it with bones, rocks, the dearly departed, and cover it half-assedly so some “future man,” who chose a terrible major in college, could dig them back up, we modern humans need to put forth a little more effort.

Some folks wish to be cremated: a process where their remains are placed in an oven with a fire so intense, it renders their entire personage into a substance that could fit in a Ziploc bag. So, now that you’ve got a baggie full of Grandma, it’s time to decide what should be done with her. Hopefully, if this person specified in their will that they wished to be cremated, then they also would’ve given instructions on what to do with their remains. If this wasn’t in a will, and you just decided to bake a loved one’s corpse like it was a Tombstone pizza, you’re a dick. Regardless, they have to go somewhere, so you confer with the document or family for guidance, make the necessary travel arrangements, and prepare to scatter their remains over some place of significance in their life (hoping Uncle Bob’s penchant for strip clubs isn’t mentioned). Unfortunately, some people are utter creeps and want their remains to be placed in a desired relative’s home. Sure, it seems normal, and, while some of the kooky misadventures depicted in sitcoms involve mistaking a loved one’s ashes for something common, but don’t let your grief blind you to the hard truth–you have a dead body sitting on display in your house. Granted, it’s hard to tell the difference between the dearly departed and the remains of a couple of pack of Marlboro’s, but it’s STILL a body, and it’s STILL in your house. The fun part, you have to move it with you, from house, to house, forever, until you die. Not to mention you can’t just throw an urn out, as that can be viewed as “disrespectful,”, so any offspring you have are going to be forced to keep this morbid piece of decor around until they die, and the cycle repeats until the end of time, or the family is wiped out.

If cremation wasn’t their “thang,” then the tried and true method of burial is the ol’ fallback, which is still a major hassle. As I sort of mentioned, our cavemen ancestors had it made when they could just bury the deceased any ol’ place, or simply leave ‘em out for the sabertooths (teeth—teethes?) to gnaw on, we, unfortunately, don’t have it that lucky. First off, if you want to bury a loved one, you can’t just pick any ol’ place. Anybody who sees you digging a giant hole in your backyard is going to assume you’re disposing of a body, and, while that’d be technically accurate, they’re going to assume you’re the cause of death. So, to avoid being accused of a felony you’ve yet to commit (but have always dreamed of), you have to go to a designated piece of land that’s specifically set aside where dead things are buried—people, I mean, not your hopes and dreams. So you look for the perfect plot, just enough shade, easy to get to, and not surrounded by moldy and decaying tombstones. Once found, you shell out the necessary dough, and head off to the funeral home to assist the undertaker in preparing the body for burial. Now, despite the dozens, upon dozens of articles of clothing this person left behind, something inside of you thinks you need to go out to buy something nice in which to bury them. Visiting the local mall, or Wal*Mart depending on your locale, you find the perfect outfit to send them off in. Just one more thing is needed, the centerpiece, the “all that and a bag of chips”, the coffin. You’re presented with very beautiful caskets crafted with some of the finest materials, ready to set you back at least a thousand dollars. Now, take a second to think about that; you’re essentially taking your hard earned money (through work or inheritance) and burying it with the knowledge that you can never dig it back up. You’re sending thousands of dollars on an item whose sole function is to rot.

Frankly, the ceremonies that revolve around death are quite unnecessary. First off, you shouldn’t have to look at the lifeless body sitting at the front of them room in order to say your ‘goodbyes’. If your relationship with the person meant anything, you both already have said it in your own way. In fact, who’s to say that the dead, now dead, isn’t cool with the fact that folks are just there to stare at them as they eat a sandwich. You’d like to think that at your own funeral folks would be so overcome with grief that it’d look like a scene out of any Tyler Perry movie with the wailing and at least one person throwing themselves onto your coffin. Instead, you’re limp, wearing uncomfortable clothes you’d never wear while breathing, and stuffed in an over-priced piece of plywood, while people are either trying not to fall asleep, or are updating their social media sites to get half-hearted messages of sympathy from friends they never talk to. Personally, I find the entire event a little trite; where’s the spark? Where’s the pizzazz? Me, I’m all for bringing back mummification. The possibility of scaring a comedy duo out of their wits is well worth the cost.



Chris hates anyone or anything which goes against how he feels a sentient being with more than three brain cells should act. He hopes to use his “Encyclopedia Douchebag…ica” as a springboard into becoming a full-fledged, tax exempt religion complete with holidays and greeting cards, mainly so he can steal from its coffers. His hopes are…not that high, knowing that those who needs his guidance most, are unable to read his words… what with the extra flesh from their sloped, ape-like foreheads blinding their eyes from the truth.

When not acting like a complete bastard (which is not very often), Chris writes about all things video game related on his blog iNOOBriated, and his Twitter. Yep, he’s a neeeeeerd.

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