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The nonsense with the bodies: it just won’t stop.

Recently I wrote of the Doritos inventor who was buried with his corn chips scattered on and around his corpse. Which followed the special dispensation granted to the inventor of Pringles, so he could be compacted and laid to rest in a Pringles can.

In that piece, I worried that such a someone as Edward Teller, “father” of the hydrogen bomb, might decide he needs to be interred in a ceremony in which a thermonuclear bomb is detonated on his grave.

Well, we’re not there yet, but we’re getting close. Because out of Alabama comes word that a couple of good ol’ boys have commenced to cram cremated human remains into shotgun shells and rifle and pistol cartridges, so that people can be involved in shooting and killing shit, even after they’re dead.

These ol’ boys, Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell, call their company Holy Smoke LLC.

“This isn’t a joke. It’s a job that we take very seriously,” [Parnell] said. “This is a reverent business. We take the utmost care in what we do and show the greatest respect for the remains.”

The company, launched in July, shipped out its first two orders on Sept. 16—one from Florida and one from Kentucky—Holmes says.

It has established to promote the service and traffic on it has been growing, Holmes says.

Tim Godwin, a Montgomery landscaping company owner and avid hunter, says he sees no problem with the practice.

“People have had their ashes sprinkled in rivers and the ocean, there have been ashes spread out of airplanes,” he said. “If you love hunting or the outdoors, this really isn’t much different.”

One of the 934 times I desperately wanted to quit the film-critic biz, in despair over the terminally debased tastes of American moviegoers, involved the weekend when The Crow: City Of Angels finished “we’re number one!” at the box-office.

This is a truly execrable film, at every level, but none more so than in plot. You see, at film’s dawn, a guy and his son are kidnapped and beaten and tortured and terrorized and then killed by Bad People. But dad is then summoned up out of the grave by “The Crow,” who instructs him to go forth and kill the Bad People, and anybody else who might seem Bad and in need of Killing, or maybe even just Gets In The Way.

Kool! Let’s just kill and kill and kill and kill! Even when we’re dead! ‘Cause, like, if it’s revenge, it’s Right On!

And so it is written, and so it is done, graphically, sadistically, throughout the entirety of the film. Various other people, places, and things get killed, too; but, you know, life is rough.

Now we can have somethin’ sorta like that in real life. You can die, get burnt in an oven, and then your ashes can be crammed into bullets, so you can go out and kill stuff. Even though you’re dead.

There is a wee bit of ferment involving the Holy Smoke people
over the issue of whether human ashes might get mixed up in the meat of whatever animals the dead people manage to bring down.

People should take care in how the meat that is shot with this ammunition is handled, cautions Robert Chapin, a toxicologist[.]

The animal should be killed quickly by the shot, to prevent any possibility of spreading the ashes in the animal’s blood, he says. The area around where the animal was struck should not be consumed.

“I would expect that the ashes would pose less of a problem than any lead pellets historically used,” Chapin says.

Me, I happen to be more concerned about the ash-laced bullets that are going to be flying into human bodies.

Maybe I am just plunging into one of my periodic wallows in deep misanthropy, but it seems to me that this Holy Smoke business will inevitably be used to, a la The Crow: City Of Angels, blow bloody holes in fellow humans.

Because now, thanks to Thad and Clem down there in Alabama, people owned and controlled by the Hatfield vs. McCoy impulse—never letting a “wrong” go unavenged, instead forever cycling through an eternal recurrence of kill and be killed and kill and be killed—can just stuff a loved one’s remains in a shell, and then go hunt down and bang-bang-shoot-shoot them who kilt him. And then the kinfolk of that thar slain one can grind up his body and bones, and put that ol’ ash into a bullet, and then go hunt up and kill that killer.

And so on. And on and on. Forever.

It’s not like we don’t see this sort of knuckledragging every time we open a paper, switch on a TV, dive into a tube.

For instance, after Osama bin Laden got hisself kilt by a passel of Navy Seals, the dead man’s kith and kin commenced to cleverly set up an ambush in which they bushwhacked and blew out of the sky a whole helicopter full of Seals. Furiously rending their garments, surviving Seals then promptly hunted up the bin Laden-lovin’ triggerman, and laid him bloodily to rest. At which time that man’s clan announced they were fixin’ to lay low, directly, more of them dern murderin’ Seals.

And so on.

Actually stuffing the ashes of dead people into bullets, in which, dead, they can go out and make more dead people . . . well, it lends more of a personal touch.

I predict it’s the coming thing.

Brave new world.

(This piece, illustrated, also available in red.)

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