2008 ARCHIVE

Disclaimer: I in no way vouch for the authenticity of any of these stories. If people's lives are so dull that they want to lie about these things, I can't really stop them... but feel free to call them on it.
In other words, please don't lie... or you'll probably be exposed in the end and won't you feel stupid then???

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Liz

"This summer I was lucky enough to secure an internship as an autopsy technician with one of the busiest coroner's offices in the state. My job was to assist the forensic pathologist by opening the body and removing all the organs so the doctor could examine them.

"Most bodies that were examined had not been dead long and so their gross dissections were not too bad. There were those days though that one would come in that was pretty badly decomposed. The large walk-in cooler was at the far end of the office from where the front door was located so you knew it was going to be a fun day when 'the smell' greeted you at the front door. Dissection of a decomposing body is not pleasant by any means, but the worse part is when you first open the cavity and all the built up gases have a chance to escape. After that, you tend to forget the smell.

"One of the more 'fun' ones was the body that came in covered in maggots. We opened the bag to fingerprint the body and as soon as the bag was opened the maggots came spilling out like water and covered the cement floor. Luckily it's just loud enough in there that I couldn't hear the infamous 'rice crispy' sound that they make - that internship ruined enough food for me as it was. After we finished fingerprinting, we poured a copious amount of chloroform in the bag to stun them long enough to finish our examination. We lucked out that day and the person had enough medical history that we weren't required to perform an autopsy."

"Rice crispy" sound? <shudder>

Posted 08.10.08


"My Brush With Morbidity" by Holly

"My father died in 1992 from emphysema, six weeks after I, the youngest in my family, finished college. He was cremated but we had no idea what he wanted done with his ashes. For a while, my mother kept them in the hall closet (where I would deliver all mail addressed to him, since it is a federal offense to interfere with the delivery of mail to the person to whom it is addressed). When she bought a new house, she moved him to her bedroom closet.

"In 1993, two of my college friend were visiting. They wanted to see Dad. I told them, 'Mom's closet, top right hand shelf.' They went into the closet and came running out. 'Dad's trying to escape.' Apparently, the younger of my two brothers had 'introduced' dad to his girlfriend the weekend before. He'd left the box open, exposing to view the twist-tied baggie with my father's cremains in it. One of my friends was traumatized that Dad had only a twist tie. Thus was born the joke: 'We have your father in this baggie with a twist tie, or the new Ziploc bag with the yellow-and-blue-makes-green seal....'

"In 1998, while I was finishing up my last year of law school, I got a phone call from my oldest brother. That Saturday had been a father/son night for Nashville's minor league hockey team. So he took dad. He went to the ticket counter and asked 'Is this the night that if you bring your dad you get in for half price?' The clerk, who was apparently high school aged, said yes. My brother then promptly dropped the box with my father's ashes on the counter. 'That's my dad,' he told her.

"She stammered for a moment then said she had to get a manager.

"The manager thought it was hysterical. My dad got his own seat. They announced it was Bob's first hockey game, although neglecting to mention it was 6 years after he'd died. The guy selling beer kept trying to serve my dad, because he looked 'thirsty.'

"This same brother and I discussed for years entering Dad in a costume contest at a Star Trek convention as Gene Roddenberry (who was cremated, for those how may not know).

"In Janary 1999, that same brother was diagnosed with cancer and died in 2001. A year after he died, my mother showed up at my doorstep with his ashes. It was apparently one of his last wishes that I enter him in the costume contest at DragonCon, an annual sci-fi/fantasy/gaming convention in Atlanta that I attend religiously, as, you guessed it, Gene Roddenberry. As of this date, I haven't done it, since I am a chicken and at the moment still need a job (I figure that entering a dead body in a costume contest might get some publicity, and since I'm a public employee, I really can't deal with that right now). So he currently resides in my bedroom closet. I take him out periodically (when there are good Star Trek episodes on or when our college was in the NCAA Basketball Tournament Sweet Sixteen earlier this year, so he can watch the games) but generally that's his home now. At least, until I can finally quit my job and enter him in that costume contest. On the plus side, having waited so long to do this, he can now go as either Gene Roddenberry or Scotty. "

Wait a few more years, and he'll be able to go as a wide cast of characters...

Posted 02.16.08


"My Friend George's Brush With Morbidity" by Mike

"My friend, George, drives a specialty tow truck that is used when the big rigs break down or have to be towed from an accident scene. He has the usual stories of picking up motorcycle helmets with the head still inside, or carrying a snow shovel in the truck to scrape up remains. The eeriest story, however, happened a few years ago. There was a terrible accident when a small plane went down in Lake Erie on a short flight to Kingsville, Ontario from Pelee Island. It was a group of I believe eight pheasant hunters and their hunting dogs. A barge with a crane was sent out, and the plane was brought up through the ice on the lake and placed on a flatbed truck that my friend then drove to the company warehouse. His description of these hunters still strapped in their seats but encased in a solid block of ice that had filled the plane sticks in my mind. It took a week before the ice melted enough so that the bodies could be released."

Hmmmm... anyone else find the thought of pheasant hunters crashing to their deaths terribly ironic?

Posted 02.14.08



Brushes With Morbidity...