Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Just Put My Ashes In a 50 Caliber Ammo Can
Just the other night, my wife and I, both Baby Boomers, were talking about what to do after the "final" illness. We both want cremation...nothing fancy.
So we shopped around for cremation prices for me. No problem, we found prices from $500.00 to $1,000.00. Not being one to buy the most expensive; although, $1,000.00 is not the most expensive, or being one to buy the cheapest, I'll pick something in the middle.
Then, with that done, what to do with my ashes? I would like them spread at some of my favorite places. That naturally leads to the question, "How to carry them there?"
Looking up "Cremation Urns," I was stunned by sticker shock. Many people spend far more for an Urn than they spend on the cremation itself.
There are thousands of urns to chose from. I found "Cultured" cremation urns from $39.95 to $1,089.00. These won't do. In my high school senior English class, the teacher called the whole class "cultural cripples," because of our lack of culture and appreciation of classic writings and the fine arts.
I found "Companion" urns from $65.00 to $1,499.00. Does this mean that there is room for two in it? Or, are your survivors supposed to carry it with them everywhere they go?
And, there are "Sport" urns from $187.95 to $6,199.00. Each had a figure of football, or hockey,
or baseball on it. You can even get one with your favorite sports team's logo. What do you do if you like more than one sport, buy multiple urns and put some of yourself in each? But, $6,199.00 for a jar? I guess I'm still a cultural cripple. That's a lot of money for a one time use if your all of your ashes are to be spread around.
Finally, a flash of inspiration. Being a hunter and shooter, and a proponent of the original intent of the Second Amendment since I was a kid, I decided that I wanted my ashes to be carried to their final destinations in a .50 cal ammo box. My wife believes its a good idea. And, in the most practical sense, the ammo can can be reused, once I'm done with it, to store almost anything. Except as being an expensive flower pot, I can't necessarily say the same for an urn.
There is nothing more utilitarian, functional or practical than this. Its waterproof, has a rubber gasket on the lid, and it can be bought for about $5.99 if you don't have one or more already. There are millions of surplus ones out there that contain everything from guns to nuts and bolts.
If you don't like the smell inherent with an ammo box, you can make a special request that your ashes be put in a milar bag before going into the can. Or, you can rough it and just be poured in, as is.
But what ammo can to use? I looked through the cans I have and read some of the the military labels on the side.
"400 cartridges, ball M7 in Cartons"
"M1185 Special Match/7.62X51 in Boxes"
"840 PTG 5.56mm Ball 855, 10 Rd Clips"
"400 cartridges M7 Blank"
And then, this one caught my eye. "105 linked APIT M8." That's Armor Piercing Incendiary Tracer. Now, we are talking about a manly cremation ash urn.