25 August 2010

I Will Always Be with You.

So here's why today was awesome.  I got a crapload of work done at school today (including dragging a cart with 600 lbs. of books across campus, sweating like a sweaty pig girl), I went to lunch with two super fun and sassy coworkers, I got my second pair of perfect trousers from Gap using my 40% off coupon, I checked out The Beatles' White Album from the library (and absolutely DID NOT load it onto my computer so that I can burn copies to listen to it in my car**), I got to go to Publix, I cleaned the shit out of our house, my phone (the one I broke with my tears) started working again after being buried in a Ziploc bag full of rice, I talked to Grandma Carol (love you, Grandma!), Cassie brought me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers (in JMU colors!), we ate BBQ chicken and pineapple quesadillas, I indulged in a few glasses of wine, and. . .I remembered the idea that Tanya and I had years ago, the idea that will likely earn us millions.

Here's how it all started.   Cassie was over for dinner, and after we ate, we sat around the kitchen table, just a talkin' and a laughin' away.  Somehow the topic of what we wanted done with our bodies after we died came up, and we all agreed that we wanted to donate our bodies to science.  But apparently, when you donate your body to science, the science folk cut up your body and look at it and stuff, but then when they're done dissecting you, they cremate you.  So we're stuck, then, with what to do with the ashes. 

So what to do with the ashes?  I initially suggested having a serial killer stick my ashes to a wall with his saliva, and to have his victims point to the ashes, but that seems really complicated and hard to orchestrate post-mortem (plus, I'm pretty sure it's been done before on some TV show).  Matt suggested putting his ashes in a coffee can and dumping them in the Pacific, a la, The Big Lebowski (a movie that I have watched in short segments over the course of eight years, and when I finally finished it I was all "Seriously, Matt?  That's your favorite movie in the world?***), which I think means that he wants someone else to stand there while his ashes blow into their face.  Cassie said that she wanted her ashes spread from some mountain in Italy, the highest point in Cinque Terre, where she and Hugh honeymooned.  She added that she wanted some of them thrown in the direction of the beach, so that the sunbathers would be coated with a little bit o'**** Cassie.  (Would that mean that they would suddenly find themselves able to cook delicious meals and arrange flowers beautifully?) 

And then I remembered. . .ASH PACKETS.

When Tanya and I were in high school, we were pretty innovative.  One night, we came up with the best idea of all time (well, second or third best--after the invention of wine and making dogs be pets).  Ash packets.  What are Ash Packets, you ask?  Well, here's what happens.  You die.  You get cremated.  Your ashes get distributed in packages similar to those that house the famed moist towelette (or wet nap, for those of us who are less fancy).  AND THEN, your Ash Packets can be distributed as favors at your funeral. 

And you know how your sense of smell is connected with your memory (like how I can smell Bath and Body Works' Creamy Coconut and immediately think of spring break '02)?  Well, for an extra fee, you can make your Ash Packet scratch-'n-sniff.  Did you always wear Clinique Happy?  Well, your Ash Packet can smell like that, and when your friends and family hold that little bit o' you, they'll smell you, too! 

For another small fee, you can add a little voice recorder chip.  (Now, this would require a little bit o' pre-planning, because, obviously, you'd have to record this before death.)  The clip could say something creepy like, "I will always be with you" or they could say something funny like, "BANANAS!"

And, people could collect Ash Packets.  You could have a whole wallet full o' them.  It would be like how you collected senior pictures senior year, or, if you chose, you could have one of those shelves that people have for shot glasses with the little individual spotlights.

I think it's a million dollar idea.  What do you think?  (For the record, Matt and Cassie both thought it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.)

**By the way, if I were to have a soundtrack of my senior year of high school, it would basically just be The Beatles' White Album.  Tanya and I would listen to it over and over again.  Our favorite song (well, her favorite song that quickly became my favorite song) was "Why Don't We Do It In the Road?". When Tanya and I made lists of the top ten qualities that we we looking for in a future husband, she listed, "A willingness to do it in the road."  I love Tanya.

***It's not his favorite movie.  It's one of his favorite movies.

****I am either feeling very Irish, or am having a craving for a Bit O' Honey.


  1. That idea is morbid, but since cremation has become a lot more popular in recent years, it might actually work.

    More importantly, just yesterday Ben and I were talking about that exact scene in The Big Lebowski. He was saying he would want that same speech said at his funeral, even though he was not in Vietnam and has never surfed.

    By the way, if you ever go to a memorial service where ashes are being spread, I dare you not to think of that scene. It is virtually impossible not to think of, at least in my experience.

    I didn't really like The Big Lebowski at first, but somehow after several viewings it grew on me. And it is endlessly quotable - "Careful man, there's a beverage here." "Everything's always a fucking travesty with you." "Eight year olds, Dude." "That rug really tied the room together." "He's a good man, Jeffrey, and thorough." I could go on. And I'm pretty sure they gave Jeff Bridges the Oscar for Crazy Heart because they didn't give it to him for The Big Lebowski.

  2. You know, I have never been to an ash spreading ceremony. Is that weird? If I ever do get to go to one, though, I'm sure I'll giggle thinking of The Big Lebowski. You're completely right that the movie is quotable, and I did think it was funny and I loved the characters. I think that a certain someone (MATT!) talked it up so much that it was a letdown. He admitted, too, that he didn't like it that much the first time he saw it. So find me again in another eight years, and maybe it will have grown on me by then.

  3. I was the same way with Lebowski. I watched it one time and then argued for years with friends over its worth... then I watched it again.

    For some reason, I think that with the Coen's it helps to know the jokes are coming. Maybe your brain gets lulled into laziness with the smoothness of their dialogue. Hmm... I actually never thought about that before, but it makes sense... to me. It could work the same way repetitive sentence structure doesn't work in written narrative. On a 2nd viewing, you'd be more aware of what was coming, so you'd anticipate the joke.

    Well, now I have to devote the rest of tonight to my honoring my own brilliance.



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