by Al Butterman
When I die, I don’t want to be buried. For one thing I’m claustrophobic, and for another thing I don’t like the idea of being preserved with chemicals. If I’m going to be preserved, I want to make sure people can see me. I’d have to be displayed behind glass or something. I've heard of a glass-bottom boat, but is there such a thing as a glass-topped grave? If so, sign me up.
Better yet, just have me stuffed and mounted and pushed into a corner of the living room. Make sure the taxidermist puts a mean expression on my face. I want my teeth bared, my eyebrows furrowed, and my claws extended. (Have each of my fingernails sharpened to a fine point.) This way, I might still be able to help discipline the children even after I’m gone. “Do you want me to send you to your father? I didn’t think so.”
* * *
Well, I checked around and tried to make arrangements, but I can’t find a taxidermist willing to stuff and mount me. It turns out taxidermists don’t stuff and mount human beings. They claim they would be arrested and their licenses would be revoked. I told them, “This is what’s wrong with this country. The government won’t even let you decide what to do with your own dead body.”
GIVE US BACK OUR FREEDOM!
* * *
People tell me that if I don’t want to be buried, I should have myself cremated. "But I’m afraid of fire!" I say. "What about burial at sea," those people then ask, to which I reply, “burial at sea is out because of the whole water thing.”
I need more options.
* * *
Do you know what I realized? I realized that I really enjoy mowing the lawn. (I realized this while I was mowing the lawn.) When I die, I think I just want to be dumped on the lawn. Then, I can slowly decompose and become one with the lawn that I love so much.
* * *
Well, I checked with the homeowner’s association, and it turns out they don’t want people decomposing on their lawns. Apparently, it’s a violation of many local, state, and federal laws and statutes. Once again, my plans have been thwarted by the government.
TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY!
* * *
If I’m not allowed to do what I want with my corpse here on Earth, I’ve decided to leave it. I’d like to be shot into space, where my body can drift eternally or until it lands on a planet that is more accepting of dead bodies on lawns. I’ve had several ideas about how to do this. Here are the ideas:
1) Blast my body into space with a cannon. The biggest problem that I have encountered so far with this plan is that my body is likely to be blown apart by the cannon blast, which would totally defeat the purpose. Also, I asked a friend of mine who is really into guns and artillery and stuff, and he says cannons don’t normally shoot that far. Shooting cannon balls into space, it turns out, would defeat the purpose. (I didn’t know this, but the purpose of cannons is to shoot people on Earth.)
2) Shoot my body into space with a rocket. I’ve studied tapes of NASA missions, and this might actually be a good option. Typically, after liftoff, the rocket boosters detach, propelling a capsule of some sort into space. This sounds like a pretty good idea at first, but unfortunately my dead body would remain encased in the capsule (also known as encapsulated.) How is this any better than getting buried?
3) I think I’ve found my answer! I saw on the news that private companies are now taking passengers into space. They don’t go that deep into space, just enough for people to feel the effects of zero gravity, before they head back down into the sky. My idea: once we reach space altitude, someone pushes me out of the plane. Then I can float gently into the eternal void.
* * *
It turns out these private space flights are really expensive. I checked my bank account and I only have $38 in my account. Once again, my plan and my liberty have been thwarted. GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!