Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I never guessed I would want to know about what happens to a dead body after it ... dies. But here I am, reading and now reviewing a book on just that.
Was it funny? Sometimes. Was it gross? Sometimes! But was it deeply FASCINATING?
Yeah, I guess it was.
It really wasn't too deep on the science bits, actually, not spending too much time on the actual bugs in your gut partying down on the glut of the you-buffet, but it did have plenty of eyewitness accounts of morgues and the everyday lives of the folks there. Plus the military outfits that used bodies for ballistics research. And let's not forget about the second half of the book that goes into the really funky stuff.
You know, like methods of disposal of your earthly remains from a historical standpoint. Oh, you wacky Resurrectionists. Or my personal favorite modern (and hopefully soon-to-be-legal for you, soon) composting farms!
Look, seriously, folks, I think it's a wonderful idea. First I get freeze-dried, shattered into hamburger-sized chunks, then I GO ON TO FEED THE PLANTS FOR REAL.
Like, for real, for real. Since ashes are pretty much worthless for that and getting buried is a joke when you think about it, getting turned into mulch so that you ACTUALLY return your nutrients back to nature is a BEAUTIFUL gesture.
Where can I sign up? I mean, donating my body to science is great and all, but the poetry of getting mulched is TOO MUCH FOR ME.
My daughter to my granddaughter: "Your grandfather helped grow this grove of apple trees."
"I thought he was a writer of Science Fiction who rarely went out of the city?"
"Oh, I mean it literally, sweetie. After we mulched him and spread him across the land, he literally helped grow these!"
"But not with his own two hands."
"Oh, no, we used those, too."
"You don't understand me!"
"I want to grow roses. Pink ones."
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