Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Taphephobia, Exploding Coffins, and ULYSSES

Still at Dignam's funeral with Bloom and friends. Reading this scene is as long as actually attending a funeral. Bloom has morbid thoughts. Among them, the horror of one being buried alive.

The fear of being buried alive is taphephobia. That's a word to remember. "Oh, you taphephobe, you!"

I, too, fear being buried alive. That's why in my will I've added an item to have a copy of ULYSSES put in my coffin, along with long-lasting flashlight. Should I wake up in my grave, then I will have something to read until I do die.

Most corpses in the morgue here in Bali are pumped full of formaldehyde prior to burial. Since formaldehyde boils at 115 degrees F, things can get interesting if the deceased is buried in a sealed casket in this hot climate. There's been at least one instance where such a casket exploded prior to burial in the cemetery. Body parts everywhere. The atmosphere among the assembled mourners changed rather abruptly.


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