Every now and then I read a news story that makes me wonder if I’m the victim of a prank. I check the URL a couple of times, just to make sure I wasn’t forwarded to the Onion. I make sure it isn’t April Fool’s Day. And then, when everything seems on the level, I just have to laugh.
Yesterday, USA Today featured one of these questionable, delightful news stories. The title immediately drew my attention: “Company will load loved ones’ ashes into ammunition.” Now you don’t see that everyday, even in Texas. Here are some excerpts from the story:
A pair of Alabama conservation enforcement officers think they’ve come up with the perfect way for avid hunters to honor their loved ones for eternity.
Officers Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell have launched Holy Smoke LLC, a company that will, for a price, load cremated human ash into shotgun shells, and rifle and pistol cartridges.
It’s the perfect life celebration for someone who loves the outdoors or shooting sports, Parnell says.
“This isn’t a joke. It’s a job that we take very seriously,” he said. “This is a reverent business. We take the utmost care in what we do and show the greatest respect for the remains.”
Wow! Just think, when you’re dead and gone, you won’t be entirely dead and gone. You can still be taking down animals in the woods, or at least having your remains scattered throughout the countryside if your relatives are bad shots.
But, you might ask, how do I know that my ashes will be treated with respect. I don’t want to be scattered all over somebody’s garage in Alabama. Not to worry, Thad and Clem have an answer for you:
“The people we use are all experienced reloaders and know exactly what we want them to do, he said. “Only one bag of ash will be opened at a time, and the equipment will be thoroughly cleaned before the next set of remains is loaded.
That’s reassuring. But, you might also wonder whether you’d really want to eat, say, the meat of an animal that was shot with Uncle Jim’s ashes. Here’s the advice of an expert:
People should take care in with how the meat that is shot with this ammunition is handled, cautions Robert Chapin, a toxicologist who worked for 18 years at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
The animal should be killed quickly by the shot, to prevent any possibility of spreading the ashes in the animal’s blood, he says. The area around where the animal was struck should not be consumed.
“I would expect that the ashes would pose less of a problem than any lead pellets historically used,” Chapin says.
So, there you go, a new way to make a difference in the world after you die. If you’re interested, you can visit the Holy Smoke website. Here’s the header from their homepage.