HOW TO!: UnScene’s Weekly Column About How to Do a Thing
– by Rich Karski
Welcome to another edition of Rich Karski’s HOW TO!: The weekly online column used to teach Chinese businessmen how to converse with prostitutes.
Let’s face it. You’re all going to die. Not like, now, probably. But pretty soon. Sooner than you might expect. The only people who actually live longer than they want are people like me who don’t particularly care for living. No, no you don’t have much time left. Your body is decaying rapidly, and no amount of healthy living is going to stop the process. Add to this fact the constant threat of random chance wiping you off the earth with a car accident or lightning strike or jealous lover, and it’s amazing that any of us live long enough to see the days where our genitals no longer work and we get mad at the TV news.
It’s alright though. Death is perfectly fine and we should all get over ourselves because none of us are important in the grand scheme of things and our lives are less than a blip in the existence of the universe. Dinosaurs survived on this planet for 135 million years. Humans have been around for about 200,000 and we have fucked the planet up to the point where we absolutely will not make it another 100,000. As a species we don’t even qualify tourists on this fucking thing, so as an individual your value is as quantifiably close to zero as you can get.
What the fuck were we talking about anyway? Oh yeah, dying! Well my point was you are so insignificant that you might as well already be dead, so why be scared of death in the first place? “And what exactly am I supposed to do with this information, Rich?” you might ask if your mother had done needle drugs while you were still in the womb. I think it’s pretty obvious what you should do. You should treat your death like the giant joke it is, only one that’s played on whoever is left on earth that was unfortunate enough to love you. That’s why today I’m going to teach you
HOW TO PLAN YOUR FUNERAL
STEP ONE: Blaspheming Your God/Gods
One thing funeral rites have had in common for centuries is religion. Whether it meant being sacrificed to Chtcolquiloccwtu, the Mayan God of Wrists, or being buried under a labeled rock so Jesus can find you and yell at you for masturbating, death and religion go hand in hand. Unfortunately, now as it always has been, religion is quite stupid. The people who loved you in life may turn to religion to ease the pain of your death and find hope that life continues afterward, and it is your job to remind them that this is dumb and they are dumb and they still owe you money.
There are some simple stipulations you can write into your will to undermine any religious ceremony that your family would like to accompany your passing. For example, you could write into your will that you would like to be buried in your favorite t-shirt. Seems innocuous enough, until your executor unravels the XXL Big Dog tee with giant red letters that say “JESUS IS A CHODE” or “YAWEH? MORE LIKE NO-WEH! (DOUCHE)” They’re not really going to violate your last will and testament to appease some shit-head deity that just took their loved one away from them, are they?
Another fun thing to stipulate in your will is that you be buried upside down. This just seems so unnatural that people will lose their shit over it, forgetting that they’re going to be taking out your organs and burying you in a hole to be eaten by worms. Asking to be buried upside down is probably the most disturbing thing you can do if your family is at all religious, and there really is no reason why. It’s awesome though, and I highly recommend doing it because it will ensure that you are haunting loved ones’ nightmares for years to come.
STEP TWO: Inconveniencing Your Loved Ones
Okay, so there’s really no such thing as a “destination funeral” but if you play your cards right, you can continue being a terrible burden to your family even after you’ve shuffled off this mortal coil. If this is the route you want to go, then I have three words for you: Burial. At. Sea. Holy shit is it a pain in the ass! Shawn Carter inspired this article by asking me how this is done, and there is so much goddamned red tape surrounding it that I couldn’t even make the entire tedious process into an article because I couldn’t think of a great punch line about filling out a copy of DD form 214 (something about boobs? I don’t know. I was thinking something to do with Double Dragon but then I realized that I haven’t thought about that in 20 years and am only vaguely aware of what it even is anymore.)
Anyway, we’re not talking about your “Boo hoo, he loved to fish so we’re throwing his ashes into the ocean” burials at sea. We’re talking about a full body “we have to do 30 pages of paperwork, stitch this motherfucker into a weighted canvas bag, then sail out 40 miles to drop him at an appropriate depth?!”-type burial at sea. If you thought your family was unhappy about your death before, just wait until they have to spend 4.5 hours on a boat before they can finally chuck your lousy ass into the ocean.
While you’re at it, you should make the inheritance of your estate equally complicated, because the only thing more soul-crushing than losing someone you love is bureaucracy (I call it bureaucrazy because let’s face it, it’s NUTS.) If you have played your cards right, instead of being followed by wistful anecdotes, the utterance of your name at any future family gatherings should be followed by a muttered “that fucking asshole” and then several nods of agreement.
STEP THREE: Desecrating Your Corpse
This is where the fun really starts. There’s no better way to shock and horrify your family and friends than to force them to watch your corpse be mutilated in fun and interesting ways. Now, I’m not sure about the legality of these methods, but from what I understand, anything you put into a will is ironclad and needs to be honored or else the risk of a prolonged haunting becomes immense.
Personally, I would like my flesh to be boiled off my bones, and then my skeleton allowed to roam free, terrorizing the countryside like a rogue Sasquatch. This method might not be for everybody, but there are plenty of other riders you can throw into the will to ruin your family’s memory of you forever.
Taxidermy is a nice option. I would suggest having yourself stuffed in a menacing position, and then bequeathed to the youngest surviving member of your family. You would be like a giant leathery plush toy, propped on their bed next to Teddy Ruxpin and Cabbage Patch dolls, giving the child nightmares and warped views on sexuality for as long as it takes before you pop a seam and end up at the Goodwill store.
If you prefer something more futuristic, you could go the “Demolition Man” route. Demand that your body be dipped in liquid nitrogen, and then have each visitor to your funeral break a piece of you off with a hammer as a keepsake. Remember to stress the fact that if they don’t take a piece they will be haunted and haunted good, and your ghost is going to be able to watch them use the bathroom whenever it wants and there is nothing they can do about it.
STEP FOUR: Disappearing Your Corpse
If you REALLY want to upset your loved ones, and I mean REALLY upset them, then the best thing you can do is not even give them a body to bury. Not everyone has the luxury to know when they’re going to die, but if you are one of the lucky few, I highly suggest wandering off into uncharted territory and not even leaving a body to mourn. There’s no better way to stick it to those assholes who tolerated your lifetime of bullshit than to leave them in limbo, dragging out the slightest glimmer of hope that maybe somewhere you’re still out there, huffing paint and eating dead skin just like old times.
This is especially effective if you leave a series of vague and confusing clues hinting at your whereabouts. Maybe turn it into a scavenger hunt, and set up an elaborate, “National Treasure”-esque search for clues spanning continents and centuries and then maybe just have them lead to a box of nude polaroids or like a mannequin with a picture of your face taped to it that says “Bury this you fucking nerds!” And then once they found it you would probably be able to high five whoever was around you, but nobody would be there because you would be dead in the woods. But at least everyone would be real pissed off!
So there you have it.
Four easy steps on how to plan a funeral that people will be talking about long after you die, mostly because they will be angry that you couldn’t die more than once. Now go out there and find a taxidermist with questionable morals.