2002-08-08 / Arts & Entertainment

C’est La Vie

©2002 King
By Don Flood

Features Synd., Inc.


The case of Ted Williams has sparked a new interest in cryonics, the freezing of the body after death in hopes that it will be revived later — perhaps in a wonderful future loaded with enhanced television viewing op-portunities.

But the first step for the deep-freeze consumer is to set up an appointment with his or her Certified Human Popsicle Professional. A CHPP after the name means the person has been trained to guide consumers through the maze of decisions they will have to make.

Many potential cryonics enthusiasts are put off by the high cost. Freezing a whole body in liquid nitrogen can cost $100,000. (This is true.) For this reason, some budget-minded folks are just having their heads frozen, which costs $40,000 (Also true.)

But forty-thousand smackers is still a chunk of change, especially if your family isn’t that keen on having you back anyway.

(And there’s no reason you can’t freeze other body parts. For example, that guy on TV who’s always showing off his abs may choose to have only his abdominal area frozen.)

The important thing is to pick out a cryonics plan that’s right for you

While upscale liquid nitrogen tanks are fine if they fit your budget, there’s no reason you can’t follow the do-it-yourself home freezing method.

After death, simply have your head removed and stored in that extra freezer in the garage, right next to the frozen peas and the side of beef.

(Make sure, however, that your family has a contingency plan if the power goes out. Also, don’t skimp on plastic freezer bags. Get a good brand name, with a high-quality zip-type lock. Aluminum foil is also recommended, for added freshness.)

Those who can’t afford high-priced centers but still want professional assistance may seek out independent operators, such as Billy Bob’s All-Nite Cryonics Center, Truck Rental and Video Store.

Says Billy Bob, "I had some big ol’ freezers I used for deer meat, but I cleaned ‘em out real good."

The key, he said, is that he can put two or three whole bodies or "a whole mess of heads" in one freezer, significantly lowering his expenses.

"And naturally," he said, "I pass those savings on to the customer."

Billy Bob also offers service that few big-time centers can match. "Out front, next to the soda machine, is a freezer where drop-offs can be made 24/7," said Billy Bob. "I make sure it’s cleared out every day."

Power outages don’t concern him. "As long as you’re not peeking in all the time, they’ll do just fine."

Consumer-friendly service like this may even convince people to have themselves frozen before death.

Here’s why:

• Those frozen now can look forward to waking up in a bright new world where Britney Spears is no longer appearing in commercials.

• Riding out the stock market be-comes much easier if you’re frozen solid; simply leave detailed instructions with your stockbroker about when you should be revived.

And make sure you invest in cryonics.

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