Thursday, April 3, 2008

what do you want?

To the readers:

What do you want? You want funny stories? Do you have questions about something? You want sad stories? Heartwarming stories? Crazy stories? Leave some comments, and let me know what kind of future content you would like to read on the dead beat.

Dead Juice

Dead Juice. That's what I call it anyway. It doesn't have an official medical term that I know of.

You know how you go to the bathroom in a restaurant or bar, and like a clean and proper adult, you wash your hands? Then though, the water come out in all directions, or at such a high pressure that it looks like you just wet yourself? Welcome to dead juice.

Now, I'm not talking about blood or any other regular body fluid here. Those ARE all over the inside of the bags from time to time, but that's another blog. No, dead juice is some climactic anomaly of heat and moisture that makes my life a gross hell.

So there I am, minding my own business. I unzip the bag, examine the body. Spray some air freshener, lift a leg or two maybe. Then I look down. Juiced. Dead juice is the moisture that is all over the inside of the bag, trapped there. I assume it's from a hot body being put into a cold fridge, but I don't know for sure. All I do know is that whenever I lean over some bodies, and then look down, I have the appearance of having pissed myself.

But it doesn't end there. The best is whenever I'm not thinking with both sides of my brain and get juiced all over my arm, or move a limb on the cadaver and flip the juice all over my face. I like to imagine that the bodies that juiced me were practical jokers while alive, and they got me, their final joke. I remember the first time I got juiced. It was a sunny day, 74 degrees. The radio was playing some soft tune, and then...juiced. I ran around the room cringing while my co-workers laughed. All I knew was that this dead guy had just deposited something cold and wet on my arm. I ran to the sink and scrubbed and scrubbed. I then cautiously approached the culprit to try and see what the hell had just happened. Thats when it received it's name.

Now you know, dead bodies pull practical jokes.

Friday, March 28, 2008

About the dead

Dead body. Corpse. Stiff. Cadaver.

Those all have such bad thoughts attached, and understandably so. I work with the dead. I don't want to say in what capacity, as I don't want to give myself, or the dead, away. I thought I would take my first post to talk a little about the dead themselves.

First off, they don't look all scary and crazy like on TV. I know you're all dissappointed now, but it's the truth. Picture someone sleeping on their back, with their arms by their sides. That's what a corpse looks like. Not to say it isn't interesting though! Sometimes, the faces are in an expression, or the mouth is hanging open. Sometimes the limbs have stiffened into odd positions that look just crazy inside a cadaver bag. Mostly they just look asleep. A very stinky sleep.

Smell? Yes they do. Often they have released their bowels upon death, or movement of the body has done it for them. If they went without being cooled for a long time before I see them, that smell is there as well. In the course of my duties, I often need to turn them onto their stomachs, which pushes on everything to release. I keep a can of air freshener for this.

Of course, like any human, I judge. I notice the body type, the cleanliness, the general appearance. If they're 300 lbs., 5 foot 3 , have dirty feet and came in with a tweety bird shirt, well, yes, I jump to conclusions. I often look at the faces and assign them a personality. Did this person look like a grouch? A nice guy? If I know of their former occupation, I'll decide if they match. "This lady didn't look like a teacher." Things of that nature. Mostly though, in my mind, they're still alive.

Now you want to know what I mean by that. A common question among people who know me is "how do you handle that?" Easy as pie, they're not dead! See Doris there? She's not dead, she's just quiet. I speak of them in the present tense, and treat them with the dignity I would if they could see what I was doing. Who knows? Maybe they can. Now before you start calling me a loon, I don't talk to them. From time to time I comment to them, about themselves, "boy Doris, you had some bad skin problems!" But we don't have conversations, sorry for those that were hoping for a schizo blog.

This was an introductory into the basics of the dead, the future will hold more interesting fodder. I'll tell the interesting stories of the dead I come across. I'll discuss the things dead people do that annoy me. If questions are asked of me, I will answer them as much as possible. In general, anything interesting that happens to me, you will know. And life is always interesting on the dead beat.