|Way More Flowers, Please
It’s not that I haven’t written about poop. I have. In a pinch I can squeeze out a poop post almost at will. The problem with writing about poop is you’re never quite sure when you’re finished.
For example, I never learned anything about corpse poop until just recently, and that was only because of this service I subscribe to that sends paying writing jobs. They’ll send things like 25 themed calls for magazine submissions. 15 pitch opportunities directly from editors. Two journals willing to part with a nickel for your poem.
You can flip through the magazine possibilities pretty fast. Sojourners covers faith, politics, and culture from a biblical perspective. They aren’t going to want mine. Anti-Racism Daily is accepting stories of LGBTQ+ experiences as a person of color living in the Midwest. Pass. Post45 Contemporaries‘ editor is seeking pitches about the state of TTRPG. I don’t know what the state of TTRPG is. Maybe it’s in the Midwest.
But this one caught my eye. The Order of the Good Death is accepting pitches. This is “a group of funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality.” And I’m all for that. Fear of death may be normal, but it sure takes a chunk out of living. I thought I’d have a look at the site.
I’ll say up front I’m not the right writer for “Gentrification and funeral homes” or “How death positive women kickstarted a civil war.” So I will probably not pitch them anything. But I did enjoy the Ask A Mortician section, presided over by the perky founder of the Order, Caitlin Doughty. This is where I learned that caskets can indeed explode, which would totally be worth the purchase price. And I also learned what else we might pass when we pass away.
Corpses very commonly poop. It doesn’t always happen. Elvis should only have been so lucky.
But it’s not really intentional rudeness on the part of the deceased. It’s more like what happens with a caulking gun. You’ve pulled that trigger for the last time and started in on tidying up your job and next thing you know there is caulk all over the place. If you have just perished and you’re still full of…personal caulk, your retired sphincters have a statement to make.
I like it though. People think it’s undignified but there’s something to be said for accepting what you cannot control–death, for instance–and corpse poop pretty much epitomizes things you cannot control. Morticians, however, can. They use butt plugs. Actually they’re called A/V plugs because they can be used in your A and your V, if applicable in your particular situation. It’s just a way of allowing people to keep some things to themselves.
People don’t like to think about corpse poop because they don’t want to be a bother upon death, but face it–you’re a corpse, you’re already a bother, and by comparison a little leakage is small potatoes. Or something similar.
But I’m all for it. I hope it happens to me. Life needs punctuation and at a time it would otherwise peter out, like ellipses…I hate ellipses…a good post-departum poop is an exclamation point! If it is reported that I launched a dookie after I died, which I anticipate to be the extent of my afterlife, please crack a smile, and raise a glass. And thank a mortician.
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