Frederic J. Baur, the designer of the Pringles potato chip died recently. While I rarely eat Pringles, I admit to enjoying them when I do. But Mr. Baur has earned my respect not for his chip but for his decision to have his cremated remains stored in a Pringles can.
I can’t tell you why I love this idea, but I do. And it got me thinking: In what kind of container would I like to be buried?
While I understand the egalitarian rationale behind Judaism’s insistence that one be buried in a plain pine box, doing so is boring. Why not put some creativity into it?
So the question becomes: Into what kind of container shall I place my ashes? I am assuming cremation because this allows for the widest range of container options, but I must state unequivocally that I am equivocating on the issue of cremation itself.
I used to be a firm believer in cremation, but I have read recently that cremation is far more damaging to the environment than is traditional burial, releasing gases in the cremation process that contribute to global warming. I am already a major producer of methane gas, so I may not opt for cremation in the end, but for argument’s sake, let’s assume I do. Where would I want my ashes stored?
The first container that comes to mind is the original 1984 version of the Macintosh computer. I owned one of the first Macs to be produced and loved it. Unfortunately I passed it on when the next generation Mac came out, so I will have to look elsewhere for a suitable container.
Books are the centerpiece of my life, so I could have myself buried in a book. Which book? It would be a toss up between Ecclesiastes and the Tao Te Ching.
I watch a lot of television, so maybe I should be buried in one of those. I have an old TV with a built in VCR. I could make a VHS tape about my life and what I believe, and have it play over and over again with my ashes inside the television itself.
Then again, I walk five miles every morning, so maybe I should place my remains in a pair of New Balance running shoes and have strung over an electric power line so that people might wonder who is walking around without his shoes never suspecting that I am still in them. Or how about being buried in an enchilada? I love Mexican food.
The more I think about this the more items I can imagine. Perhaps I should spread my ashes out into a whole host of products and keep them all in a mausoleum where people could come and browse. There would be a souvenir shop next door where you could buy replicas of my ashes in various products. This idea appeals to me the most, and I will pursue it. I can see a chain of Rami’s Remains stores across the country. Our motto might be Don’t Get Left Behind, Choose to Stay Behind.
While I work out the details of my burial, I invite you to add your own ideal burial containers in the comments section of this blog.