You know those articles/blogs that come out every once in a while that list the weird things that people are googling? Look for my search in the next edition. Tonight I've been googling "removing dead body smell" because my bro had a neighbor die...and she wasn't found until other neighbors began complaining of a smell. The poor guy's condo is right next to hers and I guess in Cincinnati's 90 degree October, the smell has become pretty unbearable for him.
If only Dad were alive...he'd have a recommendation. My dad was in property management and he had a couple of stories about having to enter apartments after concerned calls from relatives or complaints from neighbors about a smell. One time relatives called and he entered an apartment of an older woman and he found her on the bed, yelled at her several times for her to wake up, and then shook her. She awoke and was like ??? Apparently she was so hard of hearing that she hadn't heard her phone, knocks at the door, or my dad yelling at her.
Another time neighbors complained of a smell and my dad was a little more sure that something wasn't right because he hadn't even entered and could smell a stench. Well this guy wasn't dead either. This lawyer was a pack rat to an extent that I had never seen before (because my dad had to take pictures before the Disaster Cleanup people came...that's right, the biohazard team that tidies up your crime scene and addresses all your trauma needs).
Question: Out of that "services provided" list, which team would YOU choose to be on if you had to pick? Though "filth cleanup" sounds benign, I suspect that it's wildly deceiving so I pick vehicle accidents.
Anyway, this guy kept every carry-out/delivery container he had ever eaten from and every can of Bud he had ever consumed, which filled his living room knee deep. The flies were so thick you could see them in the pictures. And ten billion times worse, this guy collected his, ahem, waste...also shockingly abundant. Piles and piles. Sorry. Try to think of these stories as festive...priming for Halloween. I'll spare further description, but trust me when I say this remains the worst image I've ever seen, beyond any "shock" pictures on the web.
Update: I've officially seen something much, much worse. And it's a shock web video. I won't even mention what it is because I felt seriously messed up for several days afterward.
And then there was that time with the two week old body, which was, indeed, dead. That was when I learned that in the messiest of corpse disposal, sheriffs will often bring inmates in to help move the body. In return for their service, they get a cigarette, stick of gum, or something of a similar non-stab-u-lous nature.
Oh yes, Dad had many heartwarming death-related stories...from his property management days, his sheriff days, the time that drunken driver wrecked in our front yard, and his vault making days for graves...
Another side note: If you plan on being buried, choose a bell-shaped vault. Most vaults are like concrete boxes (or whatever the material is) that the casket is lowered into and then topped with a lid. Those basically just fill up with water. With a bell-shaped vault, the casket is lowered onto a platform and a cap is placed over it so that the container becomes airtight. Think about an upside down glass submerged underwater. Air stays in, water stays out. Then again, vaults eventually crack from the weight of the earth and heavy machinery overhead; so it doesn't matter. You're dead anyway.
Initially I had planned on detailing my online search (which yielded more in the way of disposing a body in criminal ways and bad cop forums) and subsequent conversations with three different funeral homes tonight in this entry (the most helpful woman said to find something strongly citrus), but I guess the point has become that if Dad wouldn't have had a recommendation (he probably would have said Vicks VapoRub under the nose), he would have had a story.