July 6, 2005

When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go

No, the other "gotta go."

A fervent Pittsburgh Steelers fan passed away recently and was laid out for his service in a manner befitting his life's love for his team, in his recliner, surrounded by the Steelers icons:

Smith's feet were crossed; a pack of cigarettes and a six-pack of beer were at his side. A continuous loop of Steelers highlights was playing on TV nearby, as Smith was reclined with a television remote in his hand and a Steelers blanket across his legs.

Sort of like Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's remains being shot into space in 1996.

Cremated remains -- or "cremains, " as they're called-- will be placed in lipstick-sized containers and shot into space aboard the third stage of a Pegasus or Taurus booster.

"It will orbit anywhere from a year and a half to ten years as kind of a memorial, a statement of interest in space and a memorial of someone's life," said Charles Chafer of Celestis.

"At the end of that period, gravity and the laws of physics being what they are, the entire spacecraft will re-enter the atmosphere and burn up completely like a shooting star."

Several years ago I read a blurb about a scientist whose will stipulated that, upon his death, his body should be stripped and appropriately prepared, and thrown onto the Serengeti plain, so the animals could feed on him, and he could be immediately recycled into his favorite ecosystem. (Darn if I can find a link, but I swear it's true.)

Family lore holds that my great-grandmother, a stylish, successful beauty shop entrepreneur who lived in a fancy hotel, kept a pet monkey, wore Chanel suits, and loved a highball with a game of cards, was buried with a deck of cards in one hand, and a winning Whammy hand in the other.

The way I've been living my life lately, I should probably be buried with my laptop across my belly (wireless connection, please), my fingers across the keyboard, a swim cap and goggles on my head, and a can of Diet Monster propped up in a cupholder.

Unless that seems too weird.

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