13 Last Requests That Prove It's OK to Laugh at Dead People
All of us will die some day. We think we'll start every article with that from now on, just to set the right tone. But death isn't all bad. Because in addition to ungrateful kids and a foul smell, you get to leave behind batshit insane requests that people pretty much have to honor.
Fredric Baur Gets Canned
Back in the '60s, Baur was the man who finally got sick of chips being all willy-nilly in big disorganized bags, and invented the Pringles tube we all know, love and store our weed in. A few weeks ago Mr. Baur captured a nation's attention and journalistic integrity when he made his family jam his remains into one of his pillars of delicious.
It's unclear if he wanted his remains to stay fresh longer than leading dead body or just wanted to render the slogan "Once you pop, you can't stop" creepy instead of vaguely obscene. But what we really want to know is if everybody in the food packaging industry does it that way? Is there some guy out there who had himself frozen into a Push Pop? Or compressed into a can of aerosol cheese?
Mark Gruenwald Gets Immortalized in Print (literally)
Mark Gruenwald was a writer and editor at Marvel Comics and did his most famous work on Captain America. His final request was to have his ashes mixed in with some ink and used to print the trade paperback version of Squadron Supreme.
Today, somewhere in the world, there are 4,000 copies of the book containing the remains of Mr. Gruenwald, making every comic book with a special edition holo-foil cover look pretty lame by comparison. So if you have a first run issue of Squadron Supreme that makes the room 20 degrees colder and causes the walls to weep blood, now you know why.
Dr. Harold West Declines Vampirism
Dr. West, a British man, knew only one thing about the afterlife: that he didn't want to come back a fucking vampire.
Thus in 1972, well past the time something this ridiculous shouldn't have been allowed, he left instructions for his doctor to ram a steel stake through his heart so that he wouldn't come back as a night-dwelling blood sucker.
This further begs the question as to why he'd say steel when everyone knows you need wood to kill a vampire, unless it was all a ruse so that he really could come back without anyone knowing. Vampires are crafty like that.
John Bowman Packs a Lunch
Bowman was a tanner who left a $50,000 trust fund so that a team could maintain his mansion and a mausoleum from his death in 1891 to 1950 when the trust finally ran out. What's so strange about that?
Well, the servants maintaining the property also had to make dinner every night, the reason being that Mr. Bowman was pretty sure he and his family would be reincarnated together and would be hungry when they got back home. We can only hope they all didn't come back in 1951, because they were probably hungry as hell by then.
Jeremy Bentham Performs a Wax Haunting
Bentham, who gave the world utilitarianism, also gave the creeps to everyone at London Hospital for almost a century after he passed away.
All his cash went to the hospital, which they probably enjoy, but with the stipulation that they take his body as well. And while some people donate their bodies to science, Bentham just wanted to be hollowed out and cast in wax, and then have his creepy wax likeness sit in on hospital board meetings.
The hospital agreed and for 92 years he sat in on meetings and was presumably recorded as not voting at every single one. As many meetings as he attended after his death, we're guessing he turned up in about three times as many board member nightmares.
Ernest Digweed Leaves Money to the Lord
Digweed, who we assume was either extremely devout or just a few apples short of a pie, left $47,000 to Jesus back in the late '70s. Jesus had 100 years to show up (80 now, clocks ticking Of Nazareth) and claim the money or it all goes to the state. Instructions were given for the money to be invested in government bonds, meaning that if the Lord shows up at the agreed upon drop time, he'll be able to claim over $600,000.
Predictably, problems have arisen as more than one Jesus has shown up to claim the prize, which we suppose is good news because it looks like there's at least twice as much savior walking around as we thought. Though it appears they're all strapped for cash, which totally ruins our screenplay Lamborghini Christ in which Jesus is a wealthy kingpin trying to get out of the Miami drug game before it's too late.
T.M. Zink Thinks Girls are Gross
Zink, a lawyer from Iowa who died back in 1930, was apparently one of the Little Rascals in his spare time because he left his entire estate to making a "no girls allowed" club.
Exactly $50,000 of his money was to be left in trust for 75 years, until he figured he'd have about $3 million. At that point the money was to be used to fund the Zink Womanless Library, in what would have been the year 2005.
He wanted signs that said "No Women Allowed" on each entrance and the library was to contain nothing created by a woman, including books, art or decorations.
This clever idea was explained in his will when he said, "My intense hatred of women is ... the result of my experiences with women, observations of them and study of all literatures and philosophical works." That was probably Zinky's way of saying he got shot down a lot and figured he'd take it out on all womankind from beyond the grave. Because there's nothing more insulting than being barred from a library. Unfortunately for Zink, some of the people in his family turned out to be women, and they challenged the will and won.
Audrey Jean Knauer's Death Wish
Knauer loved Death Wish. Or Death Wish 2. Or 5. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that Audrey loved Charles Bronson and left almost $300,000 to him even though she'd never met him.
Her family weren't entirely thrilled with that and didn't think the fact that she'd written her will by hand on a list of emergency phone numbers should be entirely legally binding. But nonetheless, she specifically pointed out that she wanted her mother to get nothing, probably because she couldn't kick nearly as many punk asses as Bronson. The best part? When the linked article was filed, Bronson had already taken half of the money. He actually took it!
And though he claimed he was giving it to charity, we're assuming that was code for "to buy huge-ass handguns for bitter crime victims."
David Davis had a Drunk Wife (or Wished He Did)
Presumably not the most happily of married men back in 1788, Davis left the sum of five shillings to his wife, which is around 50 cents. Davis wasn't necessarily a cheap man, just somewhat embittered as the 50 cents came with the explanation that it was to "enable her to get drunk one last time" at his expense.
The most awesome thing we can learn from this is that, back in 1788, you could get drunk for 50 cents. Once we get that flux capacitor working, we know exactly what year we're going to.
Countess Carlotta Liebenstein's Canine Tycoon
Liebenstein's goal was apparently to shame every wingnut who ever left a chunk of change to their pets after they died. Thus, she left her dog Gunther III an $80 million estate. Gunther's heir, Gunther IV, now lives with a personal maid, a chauffeur and a customized pool.
You may ask yourself where the hell a dog needs to go with a chauffeur or how it tells the chauffeur it needs to go there, or who customized the pool. But all you really need to know is that if the mutt ever bit you, it could hire enough lawyers to sue you into oblivion for leaving a bad taste in its mouth.
S. Sanborn, Human Drum Set
Lending some strength to that whole "mad as a hatter" saying, Sanborn was a hatter who died in 1871 and requested that some of his body, specifically his skin, be stretched into a set of drums that could be given to a friend.
Sanborn presumably paused over this part of his will, deciding that it still was not quite batshit enough. So he added a stipulation that his friend would go to Bunker Hill every year on June 17th and play "Yankee Doodle."
Whether insane or just a total asshole, we have to assume he thought getting drums made out of a friend's corpse was such an awesome deal that it needed a catch, to ensure the recipient wasn't just going to be lazy and beat out "Yankee Doodle" on his friends dried and stretched buttocks skin at home.
Sandra West Will Just Drive to Heaven, Damn It
West was a socialite, which Paris Hilton has taught us means "someone who has drunken sex for a living." When she died, one of her last requests was that she be buried behind the wheel of her 1964 Ferrari.
The car and driver had to be placed in a giant wooden box and then covered completely in concrete, to either discourage people from digging it up and stealing it, or possibly to keep a zombified West from driving it up out of the ground and terrorizing the city.
Reverend John Gwyon Wins the Creepy Olympics
Possibly predicting the limitless jokes at the expense of the Catholic Church in years to come and wanting to be a trendsetter, in 1929 Reverend Gwyon left $50,000 with the instructions that every single red cent was to be spent on buying underwear for "worthy boys."
Each "lucky" boy was to have the words "Gwyon's Present" written in capital letters in the lining. In 2001 this town had a population of 3,600 people, so we can only imagine how many boys in need of underwear may have existed back in 1929 or how much a pair of underwear may have cost to necessitate $50,000 being set aside to buy them.
Either way, Gwyon has to go down in history for discovering something that is both perfectly legal, yet somehow so incredibly wrong that it could corrupt the entire species. Good job, Reverend.
More of Ian's stuff can be found at ScenicAnemia.com.
If you feel bad about laughing at those dead folks, check out The 11 Most Badass Last Words Ever Uttered for some dead people who had the last manly, bellowing, ass kicking laugh.