What to do with your leftovers?

Ghanian coffins from AfricaThere are so many sites and ideas about the ways to dispose of a body its really overwhelming and hard to keep up with. Nearly any keyword search you do in combination with coffin or burial you’ll come up with inventive ways humans have conjured to make sure the body is safely packaged, or recycled, for its return journey to dust. Makezine.com even has a few creative suggestions on burial. There was a site I saw that I can’t find now about making your own willow basket casket but they seem to have discontinued it. Oh, and then there was that taxidermist…but that’s probably still a taboo idea for people. Personally I used to want to be cremated and have the ashes mixed with metallic fleck paint to be spray painted on something fast, something like a rocket. After all, if Gene Roddenberry and Timothy Leary finally made it into space, why not me? But lately I’d be content to just be turned into fireworks. There are people who want their remains crushed into diamonds, and people who want to be buried in me-pods. In every culture from the nomads of the Eurasian steppe to the pyramids of Egypt we have always wanted to give our loved ones a good send off.

Now the most recent amusement I’ve spotted is actually a virtual one in the online community SecondLife. For those who haven’t heard of it, well, you obviously have better things to do with your time. But it’s a growing community (complete with several community libraries and dedicated librarians) and you know it’s serious when companies start to explore marketing opportunities there. Like the Dutch funeral company who has decided to hold a “coffin design contest”.

Entries will be photographed and displayed at the Bogra office during March, after which a jury of experts will select the winner, which will be “taken into Real Life production by Bogra Netherlands. This coffin will also be displayed at (international) funeral fairs as the first coffin that has been designed in an online community.

I love it. Avatars designing virtual coffins for companies selling real coffins to humans. I think I’ll stick to my Thai spirit house. At least I don’t have to worry about where I’ll keep the leftovers. (Photo credit: Walt Jabsco)