In my hometown, there's a taxidermist who specializes in stuffing snakes and other pets. If you go to his trailer, he'll answer the door, sometimes covered in blood. If it's cold, he'll be wearing a jacket from his days in the war that has a map of Vietnam on it and proclaims, We Were Winning When I Left. He doesn't talk much on account of the fact that he's been struck by lightning and his hair looks greasy, a strange side effect of the strike. I know this because when I worked for the local newspaper, I had to interview him. That dude, one reporter said, is fucking creepy. No creepier, I thought, than the legions that flocked to him to have their family pets stuffed for eternity. No need to miss little Fido -- there's his lifeless body preserved on the fireplace mantle!
Now I've read that people can turn their dead pets into diamonds, pendants to remember the love you had. It costs a lot of money, much more than my old buddy charged for stuffing. He was on the last half of his last leg years ago -- I'm guessing he doesn't do much work anymore. But I'm sure there's someone who will. The impulse for preservation, I suppose, will always be a strong one. It's just that not many of us want a lot of blood on our hands to get it -- we want perfect diamonds, all that flesh burned away. We want to forget the bodies, a luxury only those who are not in the middle of the killing floor can afford.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Come on, come on, get happy/ We're headed for the judgement day." Get Happy, as sung by Judy Garland
Drinking music suggestion: The Man Comes Around Johnny Cash
Benedictions and Maledictions