The 5 Creepiest Ways to Immortalize Yourself
We all want to be remembered after we die, but let's face a harsh reality here: Odds are nobody's going to be building any statues in your honor. But the good news is that, if you memorialize yourself in one of the following ways, people will have no choice but to remember you! Because who could possibly forget someone that batshit insane?
For a fee, you can ...
Make an Urn of Your Disembodied Head
Quick! What's the one shortcoming of traditional cremation urns? If you said that it's sort of creepy to have the incinerated remains of your loved one awkwardly displayed on the mantle, with just a single bout of rom-com-caliber antics separating them from their eventual meeting with the bagless undertaker, we're right there with you. If, however, you answered, "Not enough dead eyes and judging stares," then you may be a potential customer for Cremation Solutions, a Vermont-based company spearheading the movement to make displaying your dead relatives even more terrifyingly awkward than it already is.
"I want it turned toward us while we're having sex. Hey, where are you going?"
Cremation Solutions has created a "new and exciting way to memorialize your loved one" by molding a year-round haunted house prop in his or her image. For just $2,600, Cremation Solutions will use their state-of-the-art 3-D imaging technique and photos of the deceased to create an incredibly detailed Personal Urn that is an unbelievably realistic representation of said dead person's domepiece.
The urn promises to hold all of the ashes of a full-sized adult, but if you're shopping for a relative whom you didn't love quite that much, for $600 they also offer a keepsake-sized urn that will hold "just a portion" of the ashes. Sadly, their website is currently lacking pricing for displaying the head on a wall plaque, hunting-lodge-style.
Though they do offer the old "Fuck Up Your Children for Life" option.
For prospective mantlepiece monsters with short hair, the company will add digital texture to complete the piece. However, if the subject had a totally bitchin' do, Cremation Solutions will gladly add a wig designed to your exact specifications (which, as you'd expect, looks completely normal and not out of place at all):
You'll have to decorate the entire rest of your home in rainbows and gumdrops to balance out this thing's qi.
If you're looking to go a completely different route, Cremation Solutions makes it clear that Personal Urns can be made to look like anyone. They advertise urns in the image of "your favorite celebrity, hero, or even President Obama!" We can only imagine two possible scenarios for which they would offer this option, both of them equally disturbing. The first is that someone is planning to display a loved one inside the head of a completely different (albeit famous ... hopefully) person for all eternity. The second is that the customer is plotting the brutal murder of a high-profile member of society and is saving the replica head to fill with his or her incinerated remains.
Either way, if you own (or are seriously considering purchasing) one of these, please get help and maintain a minimum 100-yard distance from us at all times.
Live on in the Form of a Digital Ghost Online
Think of the countless hours you've spent on the Internet, keeping in touch with friends and family, building up your MMORPG stats or establishing yourself as a world-class furry porn artist. Well, good news! Now you don't have to let all that hard work go to waste just because you're six feet under -- you can use the power of technology to digitally haunt your loved ones long after you've turned into worm food.
"A constant reminder of my unfathomable loss, just what I need!"
With websites like Virtual Eternity and Lifenaut, you can create an avatar that looks like you, talks like you and knows your life history. Family, friends and even complete strangers can ask you questions, get your opinions on big decisions and be forced to listen to your stories about your awe-inspiring MMORPG antics for the thousandth time. Virtual Eternity calls it an "Intellitar," while Lifenaut refers to it as a "mind file," because how future is that shit?! Real words aren't good enough for something this high-tech.
If it sounds too good to be true, well, that's because it is. In theory, between your training and what it learns from conversations, your techno-ghost will become a near perfect stand-in for you. In practice ...
The eyes and mouth are digitally operated, so half of the people look like stroke victims.
Mere pictures can't capture the true horror of seeing them in action. Their empty eyes and gaping maws are mockeries of the humans they were meant to emulate. Their voices are colder than the grave you're feebly trying to escape. And their conversational skills are terrible -- though they do at least grasp the concept of the single most important component of any conversation:
The "your mom" joke.
Maybe one day the technology will catch up with the concept, but for now, the only thing these sites are good for is making your great-grandkids think you were a brain-damaged cyberdemon.
If you're still sold on the idea of achieving a bit of immortality via the Internet but aren't thrilled about having to look like that kid from Deliverance, consider using Dead Social, a service that sends out time-delayed messages over Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Send birthday wishes from beyond, insult your friends without fear of retaliation or, most likely, annoy the shit out of everyone with requests to play Words With Friends for all eternity.
"If only my family had some sort of malformed, macabre reminder of my life."
The ancient process of mummification is arguably the closest that anyone has ever come to truly immortalizing themselves. Hell, King Tut died over 3,300 years ago, and every day people travel thousands of miles and traipse through the desert to view his magnificent, gilded, fully torqued cock-beard. But for thousands of years, it seemed as though this ancient art form had become extinct.
Luckily for anyone who's ever dreamed of becoming a classic horror movie monster, former taxicab driver Alan Billis just wouldn't let the dream die. After responding to an advertisement in the paper, Billis gave the finger to future archaeologists everywhere and became the first person in thousands of years to be mummified like an Egyptian pharaoh. Little did the world know that this would stir up a real-life Return of the Mummy scenario.
"Just checking to make sure you're still here. I'm gonna go have sex and do drugs in a woodland cabin. Later!"
Enter Summum, a Utah-based company skilled in the art of modern mummification. Summum sees itself as the Rolls Royce of the funeral industry, and they assure us that becoming a mummy is the only form of permanent preservation available.
"Let's play a game of 'Guess Which Was Still Alive When We Put Them in There.' I promise you'll win."
There are two main processes involved in modern mummification. The first involves the creation of the Mummiform -- the highly recognizable and traditional Egyptian-style coffin. The Mummiform is first sculpted in clay and then cast in 1/4-inch bronze or stainless steel. The surface may be polished smooth, inscribed with text, or even inlaid with gold, ceramics, or jewels that some future adventurer can steal.
To complete the Mummiform, a "life mask" is created by performing what appears to be some sort of plaster waterboarding ritual that eventually produces a bronze mask that bears your resemblance.
Wait, that's not how you do cocaine.
See, kids, this is what happens when you don't know your dealer.
The second process involves the actual mummification. The organs are removed and the body is steeped in a special marinade for an extended period of time. Then they stuff the organs back into the body, which is subsequently cleansed and covered with anointing oil. Finally, several layers of gauze and silk are wrapped around the body, and you're ready to haunt the Scooby-Doo universe for all eternity.
Mummification begins at $67,000 and includes the Mummiform, the mummification and the mausoleum space. Oddly enough, even with that kind of cash flow, their website still looks like it was designed around the same time as the Great Pyramid of Giza.
We're actually pretty surprised that none of those things are animated.
Summum is also in the business of creating mummies from your beloved pets, and for some ungodly reason has decided to create an entire website directed at children (complete with a mummified teddy bear mascot, comic strip, poems and games). In addition to teaching kids the gory details of how little Spot can be turned into that monster from the nightmare they had last night, this site is where this whole thing crosses the line from just plain creepy into HOLY SHIT GET US OUT OF HERE territory:
The Mausoleum Sanctuary is a very sacred place. This is where the Mummiform goes after you have been mummified. It is a place where Forever lives. Forever watches over and takes care of you.
Even the cat is smart enough to be horrified.
Be Buried in Your Furniture
Nobody likes to think about dying, but it's important to be prepared when the time comes. And you can't get much more prepared than buying a casket that functions as both a piece of furniture and a constant reminder of your fragile mortality. That's the morbid logic behind Casket Furniture, a company that takes practicality to horrifying extremes and creative names to disappointing lows.
You'll need a casket sooner or later, and you need a new bookcase now. Why buy two things?
Their website informs us that their mission is to "reduce the burden of high priced funerals with unique alternatives" and to help the eventually-to-be-deceased "create with dignity a personal and peaceful experience." Then they try to sell us a combination casket/pool table for $12,000.
Of course the felt is black. Because this isn't just a novelty at all.
We can just imagine the eulogy: "And so we lay Steve to rest in the pool table he and his family cherished so much. As his loved ones try to fill the hole in their hearts (and rec room), they can take comfort in the happy memories of countless hours of billiards and that one totally sweet trick shot Steve could always nail (even though adding angles to the sides of a pool table changes the physics entirely). His eight ball may be sunk, but his cue will shine on forever in all of us."
"Looking for a new coffee table? May we recommend 'The Lenin'?"
So whether you're looking for a coffee table, an entertainment center or a bed, Casket Furniture can guarantee you a lifetime of weird looks from house guests and an eternity of therapy bills for your children. In fact, why get only one casket? You could redecorate your whole home and plan for the deaths for your entire family at the same time!
"Kids, I'm afraid I've got bad news. It's time to clean out the entertainment center."
Become a Vinyl Record
If you're planning to have yourself cremated, the question of how to dispose of your ashes can be a tricky one. Maybe you're torn between scattering them at sea during an awe-inspiring sunset or placing them in an urn that your family will forever reflect on to cherish past memories. Or how about having them pressed into a limited-edition run of 30 face-meltingly righteous vinyl records that are sure to rock the eternal tits off of anyone who somehow still owns a record player in 2012?
Well, thanks to Jason Leach, founder of U.K.-based company And Vinyly, avid music lovers finally have the ability to do just that. Leach and Co. will press your ashes into vinyl records containing 24 minutes of your favorite music, a spoken recording, or complete silence, so that the listener can hear the terrifying pops and crackles created by the process of bonding your freaking cremated remains to an LP.
Now that's the artwork of someone with whom we'd trust our mortal remains.
The basic package costs approximately $4,500 and contains 30 records with the standard "Rest in Vinyl" artwork with your name, date of birth, and date of death on the cover and labels. But like any successful business, And Vinyly is all about the add-ons, which range anywhere from 250 to 10,000 pounds (or around 400 to 15,500 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers, in American units). For 5,000 big ones, you can have portrait cover art commissioned by James Hague, who will add your ashes to the paint.
If you're actively planning your death, the company gives you the option of a one-hour sitting with Hague as the basis for the portrait. Otherwise, sending in the worst photo imaginable will apparently suffice.
"What's vinyl, Precious?"
For those who can't manage to muster up 24 minutes worth of dialogue, Leach's record label will gladly compose a piece of original music for around $800 per track. Though if you really hate both money and originality, for the same price you can choose one from their catalog of already-written tracks.
Assuming you have the ability to browse while having a seizure, that is.
Perhaps the granddaddy of all the add-ons offered by And Vinyly is the oh-so-cleverly-named FUNeral: The company will organize your funeral, where they promise to crack wise, embarrass someone and, of course, play your dead-body record. Because we can't imagine any scenario in which a British entrepreneur/DJ hosting a funeral, embarrassing a grieving family and making tasteless death puns about a complete stranger wouldn't work out just swimmingly.
Be Eaten by Mushrooms
Green funerals are all the rage these days, since they're cheaper and friendlier to the environment. And there's no funeral greener than those planned by the Infinity Burial Project -- long story short, mushrooms feast on your rotting corpse.
The idea is that when you die, your remains are put in a Mushroom Death Suit. It sounds like something Bowser would trick Mario into wearing, but it's actually a bodysuit full of mushroom spores and a mixture of minerals and liquids designed to aid decomposition.
It works by science.
Once you're buried or, ideally, left out in an open space (forest, compost pile, neighbor's backyard, etc.), the spores will begin to consume your tender, tasty flesh. Before you know it (because you're dead), you'll have metamorphosed into a patch of mushrooms, at which point you'll presumably be eaten by some stoner hoping to trip just, like, all the balls.
The project is the brainchild of artist and inventor Jae Rhim Lee, who is also developing a unique strain of mushroom dubbed the Infinity Mushroom, which will be trained to excel at decomposing bodies. She's doing this by feeding the fungi her own body tissue and excretions, which is a polite way to say she's pooping on them.
"That's right, now who wants a mushroom Swiss burger?"
The goal of her project is to help people come to terms with death in a personal, natural way. But will it immortalize you? Well, not only is it a memorable way to go out, but just like Simba's dad, you'll also be directly contributing to the great circle of life. Plus the mushrooms absorb toxins in the soil, helping to cleanse the environment. And it's all thanks to your body, which is now part of the very Earth itself. It's kind of beautiful, actually.
Also, it comes in handy if you're into BDSM.
Of course, you could always get a friend to whip up some death-shroom poppers and secretly serve them to people you hate, then start screaming "CANNIBALS! CANNIBALS!" at them, which is beautiful in a totally different way.
For more awesome things they can do with your rotting carcass, check out The 6 Coolest Things You Can Do With Your Dead Body. Or read about the 13 Last Requests That Prove It's OK to Laugh at Dead People.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out Ads That Couldn't Possibly Have Sold One Product: Viagra Man
And stop by LinkSTORM to see how your ancestors will desecrate your grave.
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