Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Just Blanch Me

I have been reading about DEATH BY BOILING which is another very unpleasant way to die. All writing in the subject is purely speculative, but accurate I am willing to bet. Some forms of death have a slim margin of reversibility and then we find out, are not so unpleasant...like freezing to death is supposedly warm and cozy. So say those who have been dragged back from the brink. I doubt there is a drag-back-fromable brink with Boiling.

By all notional accounts, death by boiling is also warm but not exactly cozy. Not so surprising, death by boiling is not an invention of cannibalistic societies, though cultural imagery may lead us to think so. For a cannibals intents and purposes boiling your victim alive presents more then a few challenges and in general, makes for a lousy stew. For one, adequate cooking pots are hard to come by. Also, large cuts of meat are best prepared roasted or baked. Large cuts of meat that are still kicking and screaming cannot be safely prepared for consumption, and are apt to excrete waste into the broth...or the abdominal cavity might burst. Its just so problematic!




The first accounts of Death By Boiling come from China, then later, from Japan where boiling was used as a method of executing prisoners...spies and the like. There are sporadic accounts of Death By Boiling from India and North Asia as a means of religious persecution. And of course the Romans dunked a few early Christians now and again. Oh how they hated those Christians.

In 1531, under the Reign of Henry VIII Death By Boiling was approved as a method of execution and there are records of people surviving for up to two hours before they finally died. UGH, imagine that.

Often times the victims were boiled in oil, perhaps because the higher boiling temperature ensured a more painful death, perhaps because water inconveniently evaporates so damn fast...I am always burning pots when I want to boil water for tea.

Anyway, I like to imagine that there is a mechanism in the body that refuses to acknowledge pain after a certain point, like maybe your mind just kicks off into astral projection and your consciousness can traipse around daisy fields with fuzzy kittens while your body expires. History is so brutally violent, and full of stories about people enduring unimaginable pain and suffering. I feel like I carry that legacy in my bones, in every cell of my body.

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