The last week of freezing temperatures has inspired me to revel in my own mortality, even more than the slate of events and homework assignments at Lawrence usually does. My place of employment—really more of a charitable use of my time, since I make the majority of my income off of my production of co-branded marketing campaigns with Lawrence’s biggest soap ASMR producers—kept its doors open during the Freeze-Ya-Nips-Clean-Off storm of 2019, so I spent most of last week pondering various cold-related deaths in pop culture. “When I inevitably freeze,” I wondered from my Throne of Privilege in my well-heated, well-insulated, middle-class home, “which pop-culture figure will I resemble most? Jack Torrance? Han Solo? The many A-List movie stars who buoyed the best film of all time, ‘The Day After Tomorrow?’” Regardless of who I might resemble when I freeze to death after attempting to walk from my heated car to the balmy heat of a coffee shop—although it will certainly be Torrance, given how frequently people remind me of my resemblance to a serial killer—I am not here to waste your time comparing myself to famous people and their famous frozen deaths. I am only here to ask that you respect my body when I inevitably submit to the great anti-griddle in the sky.
“Woah,” you might be thinking, “Dan really was playing the long game in the op-ed section before taking a dark turn to more serious topics.” But I am not talking about beautifully-ornamented open-casket ceremonies or tasteful cremation practices. I would never deign to expect the same level of respect afforded to more influential figures and, quite frankly, better overall people. I only ask that you all maintain the same level of respect for me in death that you had for me when I was still a goober who had yet to shuffle off this warm, comforting mortal coil. This leaves several options for general body-disposal, but I think that the best route for all of us to take is to turn my body into a Sno Cone.
For those of you who have ever tried to use a meat slicer while the meat was still frozen, this concept will seem right at home. In theory, this idea is a home run; the human body is at least 70 percent water, according to the internet and one of the adults tasked with wrangling children in a large brick building while all of our parents bitterly earned their wages at middling companies. Water, the primary ingredient in Sno Cones, is also at least 70 percent water, so the ingredient composition already seems like a natural fit. Some of the flavors may be difficult to obtain for my post-mortem Sno Cone, which is why I have been subsisting exclusively on a diet of flavored syrups over the past few weeks. With any luck, the tasty flavors will have been fully absorbed by my bone marrow by the time “Yup, Still Shorts and a T-Shirt in Wisconsin” weather strikes me down.
Of course, this idea cannot work if it is executed by a bunch of amateurs. For my body to be truly respected on a level I afforded to it in my living days, shoveling garbage down my gullet as fast as I could with no care for the gastrointestinal consequences, a team of professionals will need to turn my lifeless husk into a Sno Cone with the proper equipment. Although the chilly embrace of nature will preserve my body for a short period of time, I will need to be turned into a fun summer treat quickly, lest my Flavor-Savin’ efforts be tainted by a dog with a full bladder. My body will also refuse any improvised Sno Cone equipment; a chisel or a pickaxe simply will not do. If my body detects that my human iceberg is being destroyed for non-culinary ends, my soul will escape from my brittle remains and the Sno Cones will lose a valuable component of their flavor. For best results, I recommend using a large zester, available at many websites provided you are willing to take the risk of being placed on a government watchlist. With the same willingness to embrace the risk of constant surveillance, you can also find out whether eating the dead is still considered cannibalism or if it is, in fact, a unique subset of the cannibalism brand. I personally have not elected to go out of my way to search for such a distinction, but I am positive that a truly disheartening number of people know the difference off the tops of their heads and are willing to freely share such information with anyone who will make direct eye contact with them.
The history of the Sno Cone is long and rich, dating back to the early days of the industrial revolution. Back then, people were still going wild for the idea of ice that could be enticed to maintain its solid state and not melt after 15 minutes, so Sno Cones seemed like a step toward a bright future for all of humanity. Because it was a food product made during the industrial revolution, however, even the earliest variations on the Sno Cone were composed of anywhere from 15-85 percent human byproducts. Some regions of the country, according to my gut and my intuition of Sno Cone history, relied primarily on internal organs. Other regions like New England and the Upper-Inner-Lower-Eastern-Midwest popularized the use of legs, arms and even ears in the classic American dish. These distinctions have maintained their regional rivalries to this day, and you can still find their fans arguing on various online message boards to this day! (Again, actually seeking out these websites will probably land you on some kind of watchlist.)
I know that I am in no position to expect the best treatment of my body when I eventually kick the bucket. But I know that I deserve more than a toss in the dumpster or reduction to a middling-quality stock for a soup given to your annoying neighbors. I am not asking to be tossed in a pot, left to sous-vide for hours, and served on the nice dinnerware for an important dignitary from another nation. Give me the B-minus treatment I deserve and turn me into a B-minus dessert dish. When I die, turn my body into a Sno Cone and afford me the respect I have rightfully earned.