Masters of the Universe
A Study of the Male Spirit by Major Stress
Today’s Topic: Burial Rites and Wrongs
(Originally published in Mongoloid Moose #8, September 1994)
Okay everybody, gather around and have a seat while The Major gives you a little history lesson about Man and his constant struggle to remain a man.
Today’s lesson takes us back to ancient Egypt. The Nile! Mesopotamia! The Fertile Croissant! Yes, those were the good old days, when Men were Men and Mayan were Mayan. It was during this time in history that the greatest monuments to the Male Spirit were constructed, the great pyramids. These were what being a man was all about!
Just put yourself into the mindset: we’re talking about Men who laid waste to entire cities, amassed untold riches, lived the lives of ten men over, and then said “What? Death? Give up the worldly pleasures, vices and material possessions that I’ve structured my entire life around? To Hades with that! I’m taking it with me!”
And so, in true ego Maniacal fashion, they had huge temples built in which all of their worldly possessions could be buried with them, including boats, slaves, riches, supplies for the afterlife, money to bribe the Gods with (we’re talking Ego here!), sculptures of minor deities to watch over them, and a couple of hundred rather surprised workmen just to make sure nobody knew the back way into the treasure room.
Then, to insure that nobody would actually try to rob these riches for the afterlife, there would be booby traps! Yeah! And we’re not talking some wimpy talking car alarm either! “You are standing too close to this burial mound. Please step away from the tomb”. Nope, these were real traps! Spike pits! Falling boulders! Poison gas candles! And let us not forget the curses! That is the true sign of a He-man attitude! While a woman might hope a burglar is merely caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law, the man not only wants to drive a spring-loaded wall of spikes through his abdomen, he also wants to ensure that all of his future descendants are born red-headed flipper-footed three-eyed Baptists!
To top it all off, these pyramids were built high enough so that men from miles away could look upon the grand tomb with awe. Yes folks, pyramids were truly the Cadillac of Tombs! In comparison, you could probably say that the Indian Burial Mounds were the Volvos of Tombs. But that’s neither here nor there.
Some people have actually tried to discredit my example of the perfect age of man by asking me why they would call themselves mummies. Let’s get this straight. They did not call themselves mummies. The term “mummy” was invented by female archeologists in a desperate attempt to tarnish the Male Ego. But they need not have bothered, of course, for all of that is ancient history. I was going to try something clever with history and His Story, but this is no joking matter.
What happened? Where did we lose it? One thing is for sure, it probably started with that stupid catch phrase “You can’t take it with you”. No man ever came up with that one, that’s for damn sure! At least, no real man would have been caught dead saying that. It was probably one of those eighteenth century pansy poets that ran around in blouses crying and sniffing Opium.
What kind of departure from this world do men have to look forward to now? Being dropped in to a hole? Hell, we don’t even booby trap our graves anymore! The closest we come to that anymore is burying ourselves deep enough to give our grave robber a really sore back from digging in the hope that they might be too tired to pry our gold fillings from our rotted skulls. No man came up with this. It had to be a woman’s idea. In fact, I can see the conversation now:
“Listen dear, I’ve been thinking about this long and hard now, and I think its about time that we stopped this silly ‘Monument to Manhood’ nonsense. Don’t you agree?”
“Oh, stop being so stubborn. These tombs are just getting out of hand. I think it would be a lot more efficient and practical if we buried you in the ground when you die.”
“What? We buried the dog in the ground! I’m a man! My tomb has to be above ground so the others can see it!”
“No, no, I don’t mean build a tomb underground. I mean we should just bury you.”
“No tomb? What about all my stuff? Where am I going to keep it?”
“Now don’t be silly, dear. You can’t take it with you, you know. No, we’ll just bury you in the ground in your nice suit, the blue one I bought you last spring.”
“But if you don’t bury me with all of my stuff, then what good are the booby traps?”
“No booby traps.”
“What? Then what’s going to protect my corpse from being desecrated?”
“Oh, we’ll just bury it deep enough so that they won’t want to bother. I figure about six feet should do it.”
“Six feet? They dig garbage pits deeper than that! I’m a man, damn it!”
“I know, dear, quit thumping your chest. Yes, that would be tasteful, a nice little burial plot where everyone else is buried as well. That’ll make it easier to visit your grave.”
“But how will you know which one is mine?”
“Well, we can mark the spot with a little stone slab with your name on it. Oh yes, that would be quite nice. Then I could come by every month and decorate your marker with flowers.”
“Flowers? Come on, isn’t there another alternative?”
“Hmmm. We could always have you cremated and keep your remains in a vase.”
“Oh yes, that would be so nice. I think you would look so lovely over here on the mantle, right next to the clock that Mother gave us on our wedding day. Or perhaps next to the window sill...”
And the sad part is, we’re powerless to do anything about it, since women outlive us by about seven years on average. This is why the Vikings burned their dead at sea, so their women couldn’t turn them into flower beds or tasteful furniture.
So there you have it, the sad truth about the sad state of affairs that is the Male Spirit. May it rest in peace in a vase on the mantle.