Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mummy's the word


My favorite Mummy was probably Boris Karloff. I think he made a much better Mummy than he did a Frankenstein Monster. Though I will probably remember him best for being the voice of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" before Jim Carey mucked around with it and made it into a movie. To the best of my knowledge, Jim Carey has never played a mummy (though I believe he did play a vampire).

For some reason, the living are fascinated by mummies. I think it is that immortality thing. The Egyptians believed that by preserving the body, a person would live forever (I think Joan Rivers believes this, too). After a rich person died in Egypt they were often mummified, a 70-day process that involved removing all of the organs and putting them in jars. The exception was the brain. Apparently the Egyptians didn't think much of it since the mummymakers simply used a hook to pull the brain out of the head through the nose and then tossed it. If you are really curious about the whole process, there is a Web site called You Wouldn't Want to be an Egyptian Mummy that describes it in greater detail.

As far as I can tell, the whole mummy thing doesn't achieve immortality, at least not in the way the mummy would have imaged. Most mummies end up in museums or carnivals. The only mummy I have actually seen is Sylvester the Mummy at Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe on Seattle's waterfront. Sylvester isn't even Egyptian nor did he plan to be a mummy. He died on the desert somewhere and dried out. Next thing he knew he was in a class case surrounded by tourists staring at him in his boxer shorts. Some immortality.

I think the people who get their heads frozen after they die in hopes of having it reattached when technology is advanced enough (the same time when they'll create an iPod with a battery that doesn't eventually crap out) are kind of today's mummies. It's called Cryonics (Hooked on Cryonics would be kind of a cool company name if anyone out there is interested). I think I heard that Walt Disney's head was frozen. If they ever do thaw him out, they could introduce him as the new head of Disney, literally (I've been wanting to use that joke for years).

The sad thing about mummies in general is that we dig them up in the name of science and then prop them up around in museums like they were somebody's Beany Baby collection. It doesn't seem right to me. Does the statute of limitations on respecting the dead run out if you've been buried for 3000 years?

Anyway, as fun as having my head frozen or being a mummy sounds, I think I'll just be cremated. I could never stand the cold and I'd just as soon I be the only one who ever shoves a hook in my nose.
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