Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Bring Out Your Dead

Costco (a giant 'warehouse club' store in the U.S.) is now test-marketing coffins in two of its Chicago area stores.

It's about time. I can't even remember how many times I've gone to Costco to buy a fifty pound block of cheese and thought 'Maybe I'll pick up a coffin while I'm here.' Sadly, I couldn't, and that always troubled me, although I could eat an enormous amount of cheese to console myself.

The coffins are being merchandised next to mattresses. They cost $800, come in one of six colors, and can be delivered in 48 hours.

I think the Swedes have the best idea when it comes to body disposal. One company in Sweden flash-freezes the body (-64 Fahrenheit), dips it in liquid nitrogen--

--and you can make ice cream in thirty seconds.

That was a regrettable mixing of facts and materials. My apologies.

Once the body has been dipped in liquid nitrogen, sound waves break down the corpse into a fine powder. At that point, it's essentially compost, and you can use a planter to grow something nice in memory of the departed.

That strikes me a as a nicer way to go out than in a lilac coffin that you bought at Costco.

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