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Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Writer's Life 8/4 - Departures

According to an article in today's NY Post, there are several new end of life options. Moon Express is the first private company to have gained government approval to land on Earth's satellite. Among the cargo that will be transported on its maiden flight will be cremated remains. There is no word yet on the price tag. Celestis offers to blast remains on a one-way flight into the vast reaches of space. Timothy Leary and, naturally, Gene Roddenberry have chosen this route, which costs $4995. Ocean lovers also have a way out. Eternal Reefs makes environmentally safe concrete casts that incorporate remains and serve as a natural magnet for coral. The largest holds four and costs $7495. Cryonics has been a staple of sci-fi for decades. Freezing a loved one is expensive, anywhere from $28,000 -- $132,000. When the time comes, I'd like to be cremated and have my ashes raked into the soil of the garden of our family home -- if we're still in possession of it. Wouldn't want to freak out new owners.

While we're on the subject of departure, here are excerpts from an article at on bizarre deaths, pared and edited by yours truly: Chinese poet Li Po (701-706) was well known for his love of liquor and often spouted his greatest works while drunk. One night he fell from his boat and drowned while trying to embrace the reflection of the moon in the water... Austrian Hans Steininger was famous for having the world's longest beard, 4.5 feet long. In 1567 there was a fire in town and in his haste he forgot to roll up the beard. He accidentally stepped on it, lost balance, stumbled, broke his neck and died... In 1871 Ohio lawyer Clement Vallandigham defended an accused murderer, who claimed the victim accidentally shot himself. He tried to prove this to the jury by demonstrating what had taken place. He grabbed a loaded gun by mistake and ended up shooting himself. His client was acquitted... Allan Pinkerton, famous for creating detective agency that bore his name, died of an infection after biting his tongue while slipping on a sidewalk... In 1911 French tailor Franz Reichelt invented a combination overcoat and parachute. He told authorities he would use a dummy in a trial run. At the last minute he decided to test it himself and jumped to his death from the Eiffel Tower... In 1991 a 57-year-old Thai woman was walking on her farm when she accidentally slipped on a cow dung, grabbed a naked live wire and was electrocuted. Her 52-year-old-sister was showing neighbors how the accident happened, slipped herself, grabbed the same live wire and also was electrocuted... In 1999 Betty Stobbs, 67, of Durham, England, strapped a bale of hay onto the back of her motorcycle, and rode off to feed her sheep. The flock rushed toward the hay and knocked her off a cliff into a 100-feet deep quarry. She survived the fall only to be killed when the motorcycle tumbled down onto her.

Customers made mince meat of celebrity row today at the floating book shop. My thanks. The session was enlivened by two incidents. A gregarious old woman in her eighties reminisced about old Hollywood. She mentioned Doris Day and managed to get me to join her for a duet of the first verse of Doris Day's Que Sera, Sera (Music Jay Livingston, lyrics Ray Evans). Later, while leaning against the nearby mailbox, I was stung by a mosquito. It was the sharpest bite I'd ever experienced. I still feel it four hours later. Of course, my thoughts immediately were: Zika?
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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