Things to do in Iowa when you’re dead

SkullWe know what you should do before you die. But what about after? Are you thinking burial or cremation? Or maybe you’re considering the Ted Williams alternative, where they freeze you until a cure is found for whatever killed you. Well, there is another option. You can actually have your body tossed into a shallow pond or stuffed into the trunk of a car and left to rot. Legally. In the name of science. How cool is that? Yep, a University of Northern Iowa professor, Tyler O’Brien, is seeking a government grant to start the nation’s second “body farm,” where scientists study the effects of the elements on decomposing corpses. I just know there’s a CSI: tie-in here. Or Law & Order. Ripped from the headlines. Hundreds of donors have given their corpulent selves over to the first body farm in Tennessee, which has inspired several books, including Patricia Cornwell’s The Body Farm. Iowa resident Fred Crawford has pledged to donate his corpse. “The idea of being propped up against a tree to decompose sounds a whole lot better than being locked in a box and preserved under ground,” he says. Notice he didn’t mention the rodents. But at least the air isn’t as stuffy. And the view is better.

—Posted by Steve McClellan