Life’s passage nearly always parks itself in a garage, known as a morgue. This storage center serves as a diagnostic and prep center as one transitions from living to their last journey: either to their grave site or a puff up the smokestack (cremation). Upon a doctor’s signature of certification of death, the organic shell (body) gets trucked off to the refrigerated morgue to slow down decomposition. After 24 hours of death at room temperature, corpses become a biohazard and must be cooled to 36° to 39° F. Freezing the body does damage and hinders autopsies. The coroners are medical examiners, not ice sculptors. After 1 week at this temperature, decomposition sets in as the internal bacteria put on their winter clothes and boots and go to work. After death assessment, the corpse gets sent off to an establishment that either, overcooks it into ashes or prepares it for viewing. These technicians, that take a dead body and make it presentable, are full of clever trade tricks that show off their skills. If the person was an accident victim, superglue and cosmetics work wonders. If visible parts are missing, plastic prosthetics are available in many sizes to fill in the voids. Murder victims have unique requirements that have been perfected. If someone had their throat slit, turtleneck sweaters are popular. Anything below the neck is covered with clothing and a half open casket will hide missing limbs below the belt. If the corpse was involved in a shooting and bullet holes exist in the face, a mixture of chocolate and butterscotch morsels is melted, mixed to the right skin color, and are poured into the holes where they solidify. A shotgun blast may take up to 2 pounds of these cookie confectionery treats to smooth out all the imperfections. These artisans of anatomical perfection work silently with their reconstruction skills and secretly smile when some woman at a wake looks at the deceased for the last time and says, “she (he) sure looks good.”

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