OUT OF BOUNDS By Geary Leason

Looking Good After Problem Solved!

Hugo ChavezLast week’s column, prompted by the recent death of Venezuela’s dictator, Hugo Chavez, dealt with the need to find a better way to preserve the memory of those folks we esteemed in this life. We are all too well aware that without a visual reminder, we are prone to forget our beloved ones who have crossed over. Over the centuries Mankind has tried many methods such as mummification, baked (under glass ala Lenin), Cryogenics, and statues – but all come up woefully short.

This unmet need for a truly meaningful and effective method of preservation so stirred my heart that I commissioned the renowned research firm, Ralph Smedley and Associates, to come up with a viable solution. Could Smedley and his staff relieve the heartache of those left behind longing for a permanent representation of their loved one? Could somehow, the old adage, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” no longer plague humanity if Ralph and his gang came thru?

Smedley did not fail us! It turns out the solution has been right in front of us all along: Taxidermy! Voila! It is all there! Taxidermy is defined as “the art of preparing, PRESERVING and stuffing the skins of animals and mounting them in a LIFELIKE form.”

To picture how taxidermy might work for us in our need, we recently had our dear departed pet poodle “Precious” stuffed and she now “sits” in her favorite place by the bedroom dressing table. We’ve even installed a motion detector barker under her collar. Our hearts are soothed on every sighting and sound of her. Similarly, many of us have on our den walls the head of some fool elk that got in the way of a projectile firing out of our AK 47. What a sweet face!

If we can preserve these creatures in such lifelike modes, then certainly two-legged mammals should not be a problem. Not only is taxidermy excellent in making the gone ones look like they are “here,” but we can even pose them as we best remember them, enriching us even more so. Oh Joy! Can’t you just see Old Joe Bob “sitting” in his worn recliner grasping the TV remote as he did so often in his days past? Or Mom Jane Bob “perched” on the kitchen stool in her Gingham dress thumbing thru a stack of scratched off lottery tickets? Does this preservation method not give a beautiful solution to one of mankind’s deepest matters of the heart?!

Ralph Smedley and Associates, sympathetic to the grieving millions of Chavez afficionados, contacted cousin Fred Smedley, Taxidermist extra ordinaire and commissioned him to approach the Venezuela Dictorate to work a deal for preserving Hugo Chavez. Fred convinced the generales and the accompanying photo is the result of Fred’s work. The very “lively” Hugo Chavez now hangs prominently in the Venezuela Hall of Fame. (Fred added in “Buck,” a Venezuela antelope, in a “twofer” deal.) Fred also swung by Cuba on his way home to discuss the process with Fidel Castro, a good friend of Hugo’s.

For this process of preservation to be successful, time is of the essence. If too much time has elapsed between termination and stuffing, there could be some serious distortions. If you are considering taxidermy, don’t wait too long. For further information on what Fred Smedley Taxidermy can do for you now or in the future, email Fred at [email protected]

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