Wednesday, April 06, 2005

"It's expensive, but worth every penny."


DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- Hunter S. Thompson's ashes will be blasted from a cannon mounted inside a 53-foot-high (16.15 meter-high) sculpture of the journalist's "gonzo fist" emblem, his wife said Tuesday.

Although it holds no particular attraction for me, the thought of having your ashes shot out of a cannon as a final celebratory act seems to draw a lot of people, including the essayist, Sarah Vowell's father. One of my favorite Vowell stories is "Shooting Dad."
I've given this a lot of thought — how to convey the giddiness I felt when the cannon shot off. But there isn't a sophisticated way to say this. It's just really, really cool. My dad thought so, too… The cannon was so loud and so painful, I had to touch my head to make sure my skull hadn't cracked open… (Dad) lights the fuse again. The bullet knocks over the log he was aiming at. I instantly utter a sentence I never in my entire life thought I would say. I tell him, "Good shot, Dad."

... I'll do it, too. I will have my father's body burned into ashes. I will pack these ashes into paper bags. I will go to the mountains with my mother, my sister, and the cannon. I will plunge his remains into the barrel and point it into a hill so that he doesn't take anyone with him. I will light the fuse. But I will not cover my ears. Because when I blow what used to be my dad into the earth, I want it to hurt.
Link to Thompson AP story

Link to "This American Life Segment with Vowell's "Shooting Dad"

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