recycle 1

Now , that ‘s what I’d call taking recycling to its logical conclusion. It seems that all the metal from cremations is being harvested and re-used. My father used to say to me, with a chuckle, that one day the graveyards will be so full that they’d be sharpening the corpses’ feet and hammering them into the ground to conserve space. I can see what his wry observation was pointing to .We might all be living longer lives  but there are many more of us. Someday we’ll all die and those left behind will have to find somewhere to put all of us .

I suppose taxidermy might become a new trend for  keeping loved ones with us . Many people have their much -loved deceased pets stuffed after all. Some people  have loved their pet dogs and cats  so dearly that they have had them buried in special little graves with neatly carved headstones, so anything is possible. I know , you might think it’s tasteless now .You might think it’s unthinkable …even ghastly but let’s wait and see.

Twenty or thirty  years ago the thought of injecting botulism into your face to stiffen up the tissue would have been unthinkable.Now you can go to the hairdressing salon in some small country town and get your monthly botox while you’re getting your hair-dye in and possibly get some new “gel” nails glued in while you’re at it..A few years ago the idea of getting plastic surgery for reasons of vanity was something restricted mostly to the entertainment industry. It was something that film stars did in an attempt to remain  young and relevant.Now anyone can have the procedures on their local high street . Thousands of women are walking about with pouches of silicon fixed into their chests in an attempt to enhance what nature forgot to do..Then there are the procedures that were never  even discussed in public ,that are now so  commonplace that they are talked about over coffee , on television chats shows and in supermarket magazines.Women, and some men,  have experimented with a lot of weird and wonderful pubic  hair  styles since the 1980s ….. landing strips, Brazilians, Hollywoods and even Mohawks. The words have entered the English language …Vagazzle , anyone? According to a recent newspaper article, apparently you’re behind the curve now in 2014 if you have not returned to a 1970′ hirsuite mode of personal topiary.Maybe you haven’t been following these fashions .How many people would ever know?

Like I said ….it begins as something weird and wonderful that no-one talks about in public and then suddenly it’s commonplace and is advertised openly everywhere.There’s a Norman Bates’  creepIness involved in keeping a few dead bodies around the house, though, no matter how perfectly preserved and loved , so maybe not .  You’d probably need a bigger house anyway and you’d have to think about all that make-up  re-touching and  extra dusting.

Alternately ,I think in  future there’ll  probably be many more cremations so it makes perfect sense to collect all the metal bits and pieces that are left behind. Nearly two tons of metal – including jewellery, gold teeth and fillings – have been collected from the ashes of cremated bodies in Northern Ireland alone  in a mere four years, apparently .

The harvested   materials were shipped to Holland where there is no squeamishness about such things and where some were used to construct road signs and aircraft engines. Can you imagine this in the future ? In Belfast alone there were something like 11,000 cremations in four years. you could begin doing the maths now and ask yourself what future numbers will be involved  when land has to be conserved and burial is no longer an option.When you think about it, it would be a serious waste if all those metal hips, nails, screws,ornamental coffin handles, and the  gold, silver and palladium of dental fillings were simply thrown away .These days everything is re-cycled anyway but when you start to consider the  monetary value  of the scrap metal embedded in our dead relatives’ bodies, things may become complex . There are thousands of pounds worth involved and it can only become even more.Is it any wonder that people are stealing metal man-hole covers and sending them abroad as scrap?

There might come a time when the value of your teeth fillings and your artificial hip are deducted from the cost of your funeral.You can write it into your will and cancel that death policy you might have with the insurance company..Now that’s what I’d call a bit of common sense.

Re-cycling for real starts right there..

2 Responses to RECYCLE  FOR LIFE OR DEATH by Harry McAvinchey

  1. Anthony Leisegang November 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    An old lady I knew had a pair of pet monkeys.
    One died from swallowing the bath plug, the other of grief the same day.
    Wanting to have them stuffed, she went to a taxidermist.
    Did she want them mounted, he asked?
    No, just holding hands, the lady said.

    • paddykool November 14, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

      Ahhhh ….lovely one , Anthony!