But then there are times where something comes entirely out of left field and just blows the damn thing out.
This is one of those things:
It's not a diamond. It's grandma.
Have you ever asked yourself "Man, a picture just doesn't cut it, isn't there a way I could constantly be reminded of the death of my loved one?"
Well, wonder no more. The good folks at LifeGem have developed a method where they can extract carbon from a beloved pet or family member and turn it into a beautiful diamond that you can wear around your neck or finger forever and ever and ever.
I can see it now:
"Wow, that's a very nice necklace."
"Thanks, it's my grandma."
"Um...you mean it's your grandma's?"
"Ha ha ha. Nope."
The process, according to the LifeGem website is as follows: (By the way, I recommend watching the process video to get an example of how you can make a chemical process sound somehow meaningful and poetic. And by meaningful and poetic, I mean incomprehensible and trite.)
1. Carbon is collected from the cremated remains of a body (either human or animal). The process of cremation, of course, absolutely preserves the entirety of the body and not just the bones of the deceased. Of course, the folks at LifeGem respect that not everyone wants to be burned into ashes. A lock of hair from the loved one will do. And by lock of hair, according to the website, it means "a lock of hair equal to the amount typically collected during a typical men's haircut". So basically, give the deceased a haircut, get a big bag of dead people hair and they can make a diamond. Isn't technology grand?
2. The carbon is "purified". Which basically means it's made really hot.
3. The carbon is put under high-pressure which mimicks the pressure required to make a natural diamond.
4. The "diamond" is cut into something that is completely indisguishable from another synthetic diamond and slung around your neck or wrapped around your finger.
Of course, it's not like there's any way of telling if the carbon in the diamond is your loved one's carbon, and not just ordinary carbon. Because, as everyone knows, carbon is where one's love comes from, and not just 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons. Since there is absolutely no way of telling what carbon is used, you could be buying a diamond made of regular, run-of-the-mill carbon for $2,500 to $14,000. Thank you Snopes. Your editorial spin makes a mockery of your attempt to be a factual site.
Diamonds not your style? Want to be even closer to your loved one? How about one of these:
A memorial tattoo
Now. I know what you're thinking: "Mr. Shaw, really, I am highly dubious of what justification you could offer for criticizing a simple tattoo that memorializes a loved one. I say, very uncouth, old chap".
I'll forgive the "uncouth" comment, you turd, but let me explain. That tattoo is not just ink. That's right. It's cremation ashes MIXED with tattoo ink. eHow makes good on its motto "How to Do Just About Everything" with this article on how to use ashes in a memorial tatoo. Apparently there are a number of health issues that can arise from injecting bone ash under your skin, what a shocker. The idea of a loved one's ashes causing a serious infection is somehow beyond hilarious to me.
Oh, and if you don't believe this ACTUALLY is done, check this out. Scroll down to "Beyond Skin Deep". Dog ashes. There you go.
So. What have we learned today?
People will do anything to cling to a memory instead of just coping with the loss?
People will spend ludicrous sums of money on the most bizarre, grotesque things?
That you need to make sure you keep an eye on your loved ones as you get older so that if they ever say something like "Gee, grandma/pa, you'd make a great synthetic diamond" you can break their nose and write them out of the will?
Check and check.
But most of all, I'm left with a sense that this is the start of a great idea. All they need to do is run this service, but instead of making the gems for the customers, they track down whoever signs up and take their money away.
Because people who will pay for a diamond made out of dog hair don't deserve money.