"Some students knew beforehand and still consumed the cookies"
October 17, 2018 9:46 PM   Subscribe

A Davis high school student allegedly baked her grandfather’s ashes into a batch of sugar cookies and gave them to classmates, some of whom were aware they contained human remains before they ate them, authorities said Tuesday. […] Asked if the allegation seems credible, [Police Lt.] Doroshov gave a long sigh. “Yeah.” (SL LA Times)
posted by Johnny Wallflower (126 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Doroshov said police opened a case and have been trying to determine which penal code would apply to baking human remains into food.

I’ll tell ya, It’s not often I read a news story and feel any sympathy for the police these days. But I kinda did here.
posted by greermahoney at 10:01 PM on October 17, 2018 [37 favorites]


In ten years, I bet hundreds of former kids if not thousands will be claiming to have eaten some of those cookies.
posted by jamjam at 10:10 PM on October 17, 2018 [45 favorites]


1) I would eat the cookie knowing what was in it (at least I would have in high school).

2) I would be pretty mad if I ate the cookie before knowing what was in it.

3) The kid is a dipshit, but she's about to experience a disproportionate response from the school/police, so that's kinda shitty, too.

that about covers it, I think
posted by ryanrs at 10:15 PM on October 17, 2018 [69 favorites]


I used to have this done to me every Sunday by transsubstantiation. I hope her cookies were better tasting...
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:17 PM on October 17, 2018 [229 favorites]


I was NOT expecting to find a transubstantiation joke in this thread. A+ well done
posted by potrzebie at 10:27 PM on October 17, 2018 [74 favorites]


Huh. Funerary cannibalism. Huh.

Hopefully the cremation means any chance of Kuru is moot.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:32 PM on October 17, 2018 [9 favorites]


A friend and I stole sugar cookies that were left out in "Fellowship Hall" at church.
The next day, more sugar cookies were left out.
We ate them, as well.
Of course, these cookies had soap in them.

Bastards.
posted by symbioid at 10:33 PM on October 17, 2018 [28 favorites]


Compared to the organic matter from dead things we eat all the time (including insect remains, rat feces, etc) a little bit of ash seems like no biggie, regardless of the source. What am I missing?
posted by simra at 10:52 PM on October 17, 2018 [18 favorites]


We need people to eat.
posted by Rob Rockets at 10:59 PM on October 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


What am I missing?

The taboo nature of consuming human remains.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 11:00 PM on October 17, 2018 [67 favorites]


FTA: some of whom were aware

Sounds like it could be a big deal to some of those who weren't aware
posted by lesser weasel at 11:01 PM on October 17, 2018 [4 favorites]


I sort of think that consuming ashes baked into cookies is in a different realm from eating human flesh like it was animal meat prepared for consumption. One feels like it's a ritual, the other seems like a breakdown in society.
posted by hippybear at 11:03 PM on October 17, 2018 [14 favorites]


Nevertheless, the taboo is still present.

Me, I was completely sympathetic with the choices made by the Andes survivors. But some people found their choices reprehensible.

There'll be similar (albeit milder) reactions in this case.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 11:07 PM on October 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Survival cannibalism really does not seem comparable to this adolescent goth-as-fuck attention seeking.
posted by thelonius at 11:18 PM on October 17, 2018 [62 favorites]


I'll also say there's a difference between a high school student sharing cookies at her school from maybe a group gathering to mourn the dead. There's a lot of layers to ritual. I'm saying the method feels like ritual, but the presentation sort of ruins any hint of that.
posted by hippybear at 11:22 PM on October 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Look, I've been a dissenting voice on the recent bug eating threads (pro not-weird), but the main issue with this isn't a possible law the student broke, but the fact that, by not disclosing what was in the cookies to everyone she offered them to so that they could fully consent to eating them, she crossed a boundary that shouldn't be crossed. A boundary of decency, at the least.

This isn't the same as handing out cookies that look like chocolate chip but are actually raisin; I'm honestly a bit baffled at some of the flippancy? If you'd personally eat an ash cookie, that's neither here nor there. I feel for the students who didn't know and wouldn't have eaten them otherwise.
posted by lesser weasel at 11:22 PM on October 17, 2018 [80 favorites]


I feel for the students who didn't know and wouldn't have eaten them otherwise.

Likewise. That is the part that is most bad to me.
posted by hippybear at 11:26 PM on October 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


What if one of those students had a human flesh allergy?

Wait, is that possible?
posted by asperity at 11:30 PM on October 17, 2018 [10 favorites]


My read on "some knew, some didn't" is that it sounds like one group bullying/ostracizing a second group. Just a guess.
posted by ryanrs at 11:31 PM on October 17, 2018 [11 favorites]


Wait, is that possible?

Yeah I was allergic for a few years, but then I realized I was being stubborn and had my doctor do the allergy tests and prescribe a good antihistamine and I now I can eat all the people I want.
posted by loquacious at 11:37 PM on October 17, 2018 [52 favorites]


Old family recipe
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:40 PM on October 17, 2018 [111 favorites]


It doesn't obviate the taboo or consent issues but I would think that when you scatter a person's ashes there's going to be some level at which people will inhale and consequently ingest fine particles.

Hmmm... plus, there's the smoke from the crematoria in the first place. I never thought of that before—you get a tiny bit of sky burial. (Or maybe most of you goes up into the clouds, if the living human body is mostly water, in the form of steam. Does ColdChef still show up on the blue?)
posted by XMLicious at 12:06 AM on October 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


There's something mythic about this and they totally deserve to form their own religion.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:07 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


So, yeah, no one tell them about that thing with atomic diffusion and that everyone eats and drinks pieces of dead people every day, people like Jesus. And Hitler.
posted by loquacious at 12:19 AM on October 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


There's a Jack Chick tract.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:21 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


Whether or not the taboo is an issue for some, it can certainly be a very strong and emotional taboo for many.

It is like hiding meat in a vegetarian's meal (I think there was a Seinfeld episode about hiding lobster in the food of someone who's Kosher). A person could just as easily say 'what's the big deal with eating meat', which would be completely missing the point about having any care about anyone but one's self.
posted by eye of newt at 12:36 AM on October 18, 2018 [16 favorites]


I call bullshit. I've handled cremains (the portmanteau word for cremated remains) & they're not ashes. It's more like a coarse sand, made of ground bone, all that's left after the rest is burnt up. Even a single grain in a cookie would be immediately & unpleasantly noticed. They'd be inedible, whether you knew they were in there or not.
posted by scalefree at 12:56 AM on October 18, 2018 [46 favorites]


Hiding meat in a vegetarian's meal can have a pretty unpleasant effect on their gastrointestinal tract. I doubt that consuming these cookies would do the same, though on an emotional level, yes, I can see the similarities.
posted by peppermind at 1:00 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'd think the kid would be in more trouble with her parents than anyone but it IS Davis. The town sets a pretty high bar for attention seeking and if this is what their kids resort to, well.. ..
posted by fshgrl at 1:19 AM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


I understand why people feel like this is a psychic violation, but aside from that, there shouldn't be any real practical concerns for anyone here right? It's ash, it's pretty much chemically the same as if it were any other animal?
posted by Dysk at 1:44 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don’t think you need go as far as consent issues and cannibalism taboos to find the prank disgusting.
posted by Segundus at 2:17 AM on October 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


Agreed. I mean, sugar cookies? Ugh.
posted by Dysk at 2:20 AM on October 18, 2018 [18 favorites]


It's bone not ash. Broiled bone. As far as medical contamination issues go, if it can live through that heat we're all in trouble.
posted by scalefree at 2:28 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


I call bullshit. I've handled cremains (the portmanteau word for cremated remains) & they're not ashes. It's more like a coarse sand, made of ground bone, all that's left after the rest is burnt up. Even a single grain in a cookie would be immediately & unpleasantly noticed. They'd be inedible, whether you knew they were in there or not.

From TFA: "Knox said that the cookie didn’t taste unusual but “if you ever ate sand as a kid, you know, you can kind of feel it crunching in between your teeth. So, there was a little tiny bit of that.”"

I guess the noticeability/palatability would depend on the proportion of the cremains relative to the rest of the ingredients.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 2:40 AM on October 18, 2018 [12 favorites]


"What if one of those students had a human flesh allergy?

Wait, is that possible?"
This would not be remotely plausible. Potential allergens, if there even are any, would not survive the cremation process. If the temperatures involved are high enough to render the remains of deceased persons with prion diseases like CJD safe to handle, then other kinds of biological concerns should be also pretty moot. Of course cremation facilities are not regulated to the same standards as food handling facilities, but there at least shouldn't be this kind of issue.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:42 AM on October 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


I recall there having been a weird news story many years ago in which someone tried to extort money from a cinema by claiming to have sprinkled human ashes over the popcorn and threatening to tell the public that they had been eating “Cannibal Corn” unless the cinema paid up. I don’t think they succeeded in getting any money, but they certainly had a knack for branding.
posted by acb at 3:14 AM on October 18, 2018 [11 favorites]


Well, I guess they grok him how.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:40 AM on October 18, 2018 [22 favorites]


"What if one of those students had a human flesh allergy?

Wait, is that possible?"

This would not be remotely plausible.


I think it is remotely plausible, but eating cremains would not affect a person who has such an allergy. They'd already be feeling the effects of being exposed to themselves.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:48 AM on October 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


He said that the cookie contained “tiny gray flecks” and that the girl had once offered him the ashes if he switched seats with another student in the classroom.

So, this wasn’t the first time she brought grampa to school, and she’s tried giving him away to her classmates before. Obviously she is being haunted by a grampu and has to transfer the haunting to another by giving them the remains.
posted by rodlymight at 4:22 AM on October 18, 2018 [18 favorites]


I don't think it's a potential allergen, but I don't think this would get past my kid's preschool's "no nuts" policy. *nervous cough* What, nothing? Anyway, tip your server, try the veal, and maybe don't send this kid to jail for being dumb
posted by phooky at 4:26 AM on October 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


So, this wasn’t the first time she brought grampa to school

Nice to see a young person helping the aged to get out of the house.
posted by biffa at 4:31 AM on October 18, 2018 [18 favorites]


It is more or less impossible for a human to be allergic to human flesh, because, if they were, they would already be dead.
posted by Xiphias Gladius at 4:39 AM on October 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


I mean, autoimmune diseases exist.
posted by quaking fajita at 4:50 AM on October 18, 2018 [18 favorites]


Bone chip cookies don't sound good at all. My wish was to be blended with some arabica beans and then brewed since serving coffee with cremains even sounds like its been marketing tested. Given the amount of coffee I drink, I figured that was as appropriate an end state as I could ask for.

I have no objection to being served with sugar cookies as an added treat however if that's what the kids are demanding nowadays.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:40 AM on October 18, 2018 [8 favorites]


Survival cannibalism really does not seem comparable to this adolescent goth-as-fuck attention seeking.

Clearly you are not a goth.
posted by srboisvert at 5:50 AM on October 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


From TFA: "Knox said that the cookie didn’t taste unusual but “if you ever ate sand as a kid, you know, you can kind of feel it crunching in between your teeth. So, there was a little tiny bit of that.”"

Hey remember McDonald's little boxes of chocolate chip cookies ...
posted by srboisvert at 5:52 AM on October 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


My question is, why does she have custody of grandpa's cremains? If her parent cared enough to bring him home, presumably they care enough not to have her using them as a prop to shock other teenagers.
posted by bile and syntax at 5:56 AM on October 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


Maybe it’s just because I’m in Canada, but I think she missed a real opportunity here, to roll up grandpa with some kush hydro and smoke him. And contemplate, like this mortal coil, man.
posted by rodlymight at 6:05 AM on October 18, 2018 [11 favorites]


I don't see an issue (other than if there is a risk of heavy metals being concentrated) in someone choosing to eat their loved one's ashes. To me it falls in that "slightly weird but not harmful" kind of category, just like making a diamond out of them or launching them into space. In high school I'd probably have taken a bite, though I would pass on it now.

But giving the cookies to unsuspecting people is seriously not ok. I don't want the kid to go to jail, but I also wouldn't want it just dismissed as a harmless prank.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:07 AM on October 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


The kid is a dipshit, but she's about to experience a disproportionate response from the school/police, so that's kinda shitty, too.

There really are no new stories.
posted by Foosnark at 6:11 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


My experience with cremains (what a weird word) is limited to figuring out what to do with my late mother's body last year, and my understanding from that was that the law, at least in the New England states where we were handling and transporting them, does not consider cremains to be human remains anymore (meaning that we could handle and transport them ourselves across state lines).

I don't know what the law is in California and admittedly there's some conceptual distance between "not human remains anymore" and "totally fine to disguise in cookies and give to unsuspecting people to eat" but I'm not sure that a police response is totally warranted or expected. It is hecking gross and deserving of moral and social censure, for sure.
posted by gauche at 6:26 AM on October 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


This is not the How High sequel i was promised.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 6:33 AM on October 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


Fine, fine, I'll do it.

This is just to say

I have eaten
the ashes
that were on
the mantle

and which
you were probably
saving
because it was grandpa

Forgive me
they were in a cookie
so sweet
but a little dry
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:39 AM on October 18, 2018 [130 favorites]


So by now grandpa's gritty remains have been curled out of at least nine teenage assholes, wiped from (ground into?) those assholes in the process, and eventually flushed away into the sewer. Probably not the beautiful ceremonial scattering he'd hoped for.

Although...
The Wastewater Treatment Plant is located in the rural outskirts of Davis on County Road 28H. Human and miscellaneous waste products are conveyed to the plant through the mighty powers of the local sewer system. Upon reaching its destination, the raw sewage is treated, and the resulting sludge is pumped out to the neighboring Davis Wetlands, which is just east of the plant.
"It provides wildlife habitat, flood control, stormwater treatment, recreation, and environmental learning opportunities."

Yay, grandpa!
posted by pracowity at 6:49 AM on October 18, 2018 [16 favorites]


So by now grandpa's gritty remains have been curled out of at least nine teenage assholes, wiped from (ground into?) those assholes in the process, and eventually flushed away into the sewer. Probably not the beautiful ceremonial scattering he'd hoped for.

That is one sweet ass stealthy pun!
posted by srboisvert at 6:53 AM on October 18, 2018 [19 favorites]


God damn, if this was my granddaughter I'd be so fucking delighted and proud about what a crazy fucking move this is. I'd be building her a special super goth throne in our part of the afterlife with little jets that shoot fire
posted by Greg Nog at 7:05 AM on October 18, 2018 [36 favorites]


I'm just going to leave this here: Keith Richards: 'I Snorted My Father'
posted by suetanvil at 7:08 AM on October 18, 2018


by now grandpa's gritty remains have been curled out of at least nine teenage assholes

i think i'm going to take up cross stitch just for this phrase
posted by phooky at 7:11 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


Doroshov said police opened a case and have been trying to determine which penal code would apply to baking human remains into food.

And which taboo was more violated, mishandling the dead or feeding them to kids?
posted by Brian B. at 7:12 AM on October 18, 2018


Would it be ok to secretly give pork to a group of Jews and Muslims? Why not - I eat bacon, what's the problem?
posted by aramaic at 7:14 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


This isn't the same as handing out cookies that look like chocolate chip but are actually raisin

You're right. The raisins thing is the one that deserves the disproportionate police response.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:16 AM on October 18, 2018 [11 favorites]


If this had come up when I was young, I would have totally believed I was Goth enough to eat the cookies. Then when it came to it, I would have experienced a recurrence of my deep Southern superstition and begged off of it. My daddy told me an Ozark version of “The Juniper Tree” called “Raw Head and Bloody Bones,” and it’s stuck with me. I’m not having some grainy retiree under my porch groaning SUGAR COOKIES at midnight.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:32 AM on October 18, 2018 [14 favorites]


One of the many, many situations where cops should not be involved. If this proceeded as described, surely the school and the family between them can handle whatever response is necessary.

Leaving all else aside, I often wonder why people are so damn eager to involve the police. Even if you're not actually putting people at physical risk, is your day really going to be improved by dealing with the cops?

This is so clearly detention-for-basically-ever-plus-mandatory-talks-with-the-school-social-worker (a punishment in itself) plus whatever the family decides to do. The student either made a really stupid, epic mistake because teens are desperate to impress each other or else she has a lot more going on emotionally and needs help as well as consequences. Either way, how do the police improve matters?
posted by Frowner at 7:34 AM on October 18, 2018 [32 favorites]


It's bone not ash. Broiled bone. As far as medical contamination issues go, if it can live through that heat we're all in trouble.

Prions can survive through an awful lot, but the best recommendations I found indicate that prions can be degraded in autoclaves at ~120-140 C, ideally with some soaking in bleach added. On the other hand, human bodies are apparently cremated at temperatures around 870-980 C.

So yeah, no public health worries remotely possible from this thing, just... christ, kid, a) tell everyone before they eat the cookies, and b) this is I think also a crime committed not just against the people who unknowingly ate the cookies but also against the people who mourn the grandfather, as composing desecration of the remains. I don't actually give a shit about bodies for their own sake, but they are an essential part of the mourning process for some people--and I'm betting that her relatives are furious with this girl for totally different reasons, assuming the grandfather wasn't a complete piece of shit.
posted by sciatrix at 7:36 AM on October 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


I guess we have a best answer for this Askme.
posted by bondcliff at 7:42 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


In Dead Earnest

If I should die before I wake,
All my bone and sinew take
Put me in the compost pile
To decompose me for a while.

Worms, water, sun will have their way,
Returning me to common clay
All that I am will feed the trees
And little fishes in the seas.

When radishes and corn you munch,
You may be having me for lunch
And then excrete me with a grin,
Chortling, "There goes Lee again..."

posted by elsietheeel at 7:48 AM on October 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


A teen allegedly baked her grandfather’s ashes into cookies — and fed them to classmates (Maura Judkis, WaPo)
Does this mean that a bunch of high school kids are now cannibals? Technically, yes: They have eaten human remains. If the girl who baked her grandfather into the cookies ate one, this would make her an endocannibal — someone who eats the remains of a relative or fellow tribesperson. According to Margaret Visser’s book The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities and Meaning of Table Manners, endocannabalism has been practiced by ancient tribes throughout history, who “can, and indeed must, ‘take in’ the life essence of a dead fellow tribesman by eating him after he has died a natural death. Failure to eat a dead parent might mean poor health, or barrenness, or weak children, since the life essence has not been ‘topped up’ properly by the living members of the tribe.” The excerpt notes that endocannibals typically do not eat flesh; they grind up bones and ash and drink them or eat them “with, say, a mashed banana.”
Tag added!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:54 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


Lt. Doroshov pretty much sums up my reaction with his long sigh.
posted by Bob Regular at 7:54 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I wanted a green burial, not cremation, for environmental reasons anyway, but now I have an extra reason; in case one of my grandkids turns out to be a jerk and tries to mess with her friends in a gross and boundary-violating way.
posted by emjaybee at 8:01 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I dunno. When I was in school, we thought it was really daring and outre to eat Milk Bones or paste. The kids today, smh.
posted by holborne at 8:06 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


"Knox said that the cookie didn’t taste unusual but 'if you ever ate sand as a kid, you know, you can kind of feel it crunching in between your teeth. So, there was a little tiny bit of that.'"

brb have the oddest craving for Pecan Sandies
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:10 AM on October 18, 2018 [9 favorites]


It doesn't obviate the taboo or consent issues but I would think that when you scatter a person's ashes there's going to be some level at which people will inhale and consequently ingest fine particles.

I went and scattered a handful of my grandfather's ashes in the ocean -- a bunch of people who loved him went in about waist or chest deep and when a wave came I let the handful go and hey the wind picked right up and one of the people had her mouth open and, well. These things happen. And my grandfather would have found it funny.
posted by jeather at 8:18 AM on October 18, 2018 [11 favorites]


Ashes often aren't even actually the ashes of a loved one and there's no appreciable difference between human corpse ash and just regular ol ash. Ash in cookies doesn't sound great, but there's really nothing to get fussed about wherever the ashes came from. Worse cookies seems like it should be the central problem here.

"Does this mean that a bunch of high school kids are now cannibals? Technically, yes: They have eaten human remains."

Give me a break, if that counts, then we're all cannibals. Humans decompose into chemicals plants use to grow and we use to eat or feed other animals.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:19 AM on October 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


There's a Jack Chick tract.

....I'm waiting for the appropriate xkcd to show up here.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:24 AM on October 18, 2018


Give me a break, if that counts, then we're all cannibals. Humans decompose into chemicals plants use to grow and we use to eat or feed other animals.

Not to mention a number of common habits (which I'm neither endorsing nor condemning) that have us ingesting human body parts or products, including: nail-biting, scab-picking, placenta-eating, oral sex-having.

My personal boundary for cannibalism looks a lot more like Hannibal Lecter than teen cookie pranks, but I respect that other people feel differently.
posted by witchen at 8:31 AM on October 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


Oh yeah, and also I’m assuming she told everyone what they were before eating and only after someone squealed on the munch club some of the kids are like “she tricked me!”
posted by rodlymight at 8:33 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Give me a break, if that counts, then we're all cannibals.

When a body is embalmed, blood that's replaced by the fluid goes down the drain into the sewage so technically, thanks to the water cycle, we're all vampires!

[Drinks out of the tap, gets all sexy]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:37 AM on October 18, 2018 [9 favorites]


The Dude got a face full of Donnie's ashes and the Dude isn't a cannibal.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:38 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


What I want to know is what impact is this story is going to have on this year's MetaFilter cookie swap?
posted by Hairy Lobster at 8:43 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, but this is really messed up. Yea, it is kind of funny as a wacky internet story. But also, it's messed up.

I don't have children, and my parents are still alive, but even just thinking about their eventual death brings me to tears. If my child decided to use either of my parent's ashes as a "prop" for a stupid high school prank, that would be a violation (of love, trust, and respect) that I would *never* be able to recover from emotionally, even if I would eventually have to forgive them for it.

It's not the consuming ashes to me that is the taboo violation -- I can see that sort of thing being incorporated as a mourning ritual. Or if it were done as some kind of homage to grandpa who had a wacky sense of humor and would have appreciated the stunt.

But this doesn't seem like either situation: it just seems like a really callous, hurtful, and thoughtless thing to do, just for the lulz. And also an instance of bullying, in relation to the kids who were tricked into eating the cookies. I really hope an adult sits this girl down and has a talk with her, because it could be just be a one-off immature teenage prank, or it could be a prelude to sociopathic behavior.
posted by adso at 8:51 AM on October 18, 2018 [19 favorites]


"I said make HASH brownies!"
posted by chavenet at 8:53 AM on October 18, 2018 [14 favorites]


Looking forward to the new Ben & Jerry's flavor: Cookies n' Cremains.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:53 AM on October 18, 2018 [8 favorites]


Greg Nog: "God damn, if this was my granddaughter I'd be so fucking delighted and proud about what a crazy fucking move this is. I'd be building her a special super goth throne in our part of the afterlife with little jets that shoot fire"

Except you'd be dead. Now that would be truly goth.
posted by chavenet at 8:56 AM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


> I guess we have a best answer for this Askme.

And a new best for this one.
posted by ardgedee at 8:57 AM on October 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


I'd be willing to bet that there is a lot of trauma in the backstory to this weird internet news bit.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:03 AM on October 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


A lot to digest here.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:04 AM on October 18, 2018 [19 favorites]


Yeah, as much as I want to make jokes about this, I also want to know more information. This is really not a normal thing whatsoever, and if I had children and found out they’d been tricked into eating cremated remains by another student I’d be absolutely furious. What if it traumatized my kid?

I do want to say that my girlfriend and I woke up ten minutes ago and this was the first news story of the day.
posted by gucci mane at 9:10 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


It is more or less impossible for a human to be allergic to human flesh, because, if they were, they would already be dead.

technically allergies to the human body do exist in the form of semen allergies which can affect both the, uh, owner of the semen as well as others. afaik it has not killed anyone.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:26 AM on October 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


Man, this thread has it all!
posted by stinkfoot at 9:31 AM on October 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


DETECTIVE FIN TUTUOLA: Reminds of the time we busted that ring that was stuffing olives with the ashes of the dead. The kids were calling it Pimento Mori.
posted by rodlymight at 9:36 AM on October 18, 2018 [36 favorites]


When a body is embalmed, blood that's replaced by the fluid goes down the drain into the sewage so technically, thanks to the water cycle, we're all vampires!

[Drinks out of the tap, gets all sexy]


Unless that was your first drink of water ever you are only as sexy as you were before. Which could still be pretty sexy because Ampersands got back.
posted by srboisvert at 9:51 AM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


For the record: Please defile my dumb meatsack fleshbag corpse when I'm done with it. Take it out partying, use it as a cheap magician's stage prop, use it as furniture, eat cold cereal out of my skull, re-enact the "Just eyes... I only make eyes..." scene from Blade Runner - I really don't care.

I'm also probably pretty good eating. I have some seriously meaty hams and hocks going on. They're probably nicely marbled by now.

At this point I'll actually be disappointed if something bizarre, gross or weird doesn't happen to my meat suit when I'm gone.

And come to think of it, why wait until I'm dead? You can start right now.

Why yes, I'm an organ donor.
posted by loquacious at 10:07 AM on October 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


I love that the WaPo article is in the "food" section.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:10 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


Why yes, I'm an organ donor.

Wow, around here the food shelf only accepts conventional canned meats!
posted by nickmark at 10:11 AM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


I've been waiting for the right event and the right (consenting) group of friends with whom to consume Negativland founder Don Joyce's ashes in a cocktail. I'm leaning toward mixing it up with Sal de Gusano and having him with oranges and a really nice mescal. A frothy drink is another option, but I worry it would be unpleasantly crunchy.
posted by eotvos at 10:14 AM on October 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


High school is when gothy kids reach peak goth, IME. Not surprised at the voluntary consumption.

And yes, most granulated white sugar contains at least traces of animal bone meal. Most vegetarians I know use Florida Crystals or something similar.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:30 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't have any direct personal experience with cremains, but I do have a work story to share. I work in natural gas energy efficiency; we give rebates to help folks trying to improve the efficiency of their homes and businesses.

A few years ago we had a funeral home asking about whether the controls package for the burners in their crematorium could get a rebate. Unsurprisingly, we had to treat this under our custom rebate program. Our engineers dug into it and determined that it would indeed save gas. By modulating the burners based on a variety of factors, they could optimize combustion.

One of the great things about the project was the way our engineer wrote it up as if it were just like any other industry. Lots of talk about optimizing the air-fuel ratio, and terrific sentences like "The control system also uses the O2 information in the exhaust stack to notify the operator as to when the product needs repositioning for efficient incineration as well as notifying the operator when the incineration cycle is complete. This feature is accomplished by pre-determined operating conditions based on product weight, container type and gender of product that is provided by the operator at the beginning of an incineration cycle."

But my favorite thing was that the brand name of the controls package (which was made by a company called Matthews International) was "M-Pyre."
posted by nickmark at 10:34 AM on October 18, 2018 [11 favorites]


I assure you all that this is news only because nothing more dramatic ever happens in Davis. Except maybe the pygmy wombats.

That kid needs some psychotherapy bad.
posted by heatherlogan at 10:35 AM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


*reads article* Oh, a charter school.
posted by heatherlogan at 10:41 AM on October 18, 2018 [15 favorites]


Thanks for saying that, heatherlogan. Was trying to think of a way to say it without being obnoxious, and you succeeded.
posted by Melismata at 11:02 AM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


My dad's ash box contained a hazard warning about carcinogens.

'Ring-a-round the grandpa,
A pocket full of cake
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.'
posted by clavdivs at 11:32 AM on October 18, 2018


Leaving all else aside, I often wonder why people are so damn eager to involve the police. Even if you're not actually putting people at physical risk, is your day really going to be improved by dealing with the cops?

I live and work in Davis, and I work with a number of people who have very close affiliations with the school district. This started out with an indignant parent contacting a local news station**, not the cops.

**Why yes, it was the local Fox affiliate. Why do you ask?
posted by mudpuppie at 12:33 PM on October 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


Soylent Cowpies are made of people! They didn't change the recipe like they said they were going to! / RIP Phil Hartman.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:40 PM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: adolescent goth-as-fuck attention seeking
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:56 PM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


My dad's ash box contained a hazard warning about carcinogens.

Did it come from California? Because it wouldn't surprise me if they put a Prop 65 warning on there.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:06 PM on October 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


The last time I was in California they tried to tattoo a Prop 65 warning on me.
posted by loquacious at 1:34 PM on October 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


I assure you all that this is news only because nothing more dramatic ever happens in Davis. Except maybe the pygmy wombats.

Don't forget the rogue harassing turkeys. Or the pepper spray cop.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:51 PM on October 18, 2018


"gender of product"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:58 PM on October 18, 2018


Oh I think rogue harassing turkeys are a UC thing in general. UC Santa Cruz has Hank Hatebeak (and his many friends).
posted by elsietheeel at 1:58 PM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


I guess we have a best answer for this Askme.

Really thought that was going to point here.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:01 PM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Old family recipe

Turns out the recipe came from the back of a package of Nestle Tollhouse cookies
posted by littlesq at 2:32 PM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


For whom the tollhouse cookies bell?
posted by Burhanistan at 3:01 PM on October 18, 2018 [9 favorites]


some of whom were aware they contained human remains before they ate them

Haha, just because the kid told people that there were human remains in the cookies doesn't mean that people who chose to eat them were aware the cookies actually contained human remains. If I was back in high school, and someone asked me a couple weeks before Halloween asked me if I wanted to eat a sugar cookie with her grandpa's ashes in it, I totally would have eaten one, because I would've assumed she was joking.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:07 PM on October 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


Did she use all of the ashes? When doing experimental cooking it's always important to keep a batch of ingredients in reserve.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:16 PM on October 18, 2018


You're right. The raisins thing is the one that deserves the disproportionate police response.

To be clear, because I’m feeling defensive about this, my comment came from a 100% ethics position and I agree the police shouldn’t have been involved at all.

posted by lesser weasel at 3:20 PM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Old family recipe

So this really isn't a recipe passed down from generation to generation, but a contemporary recipe that some smart-arsed brat used to bake her grandpa, right?

More of a recipe for the old family.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:25 PM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


My wish was to be blended with some arabica beans and then brewed since serving coffee with cremains even sounds like its been marketing tested.

I wonder what the filtering properties of ground bone would be. Perhaps becoming a venerable water filter is the best one could hope for.
posted by acb at 3:37 PM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Wow, around here the food shelf only accepts conventional canned meats!

No, no, sometimes food pantries accept wild game. And who said anything about canned?
posted by loquacious at 5:24 PM on October 18, 2018




And now it's on cracked.com.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:18 AM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


What if one of those students had a human flesh allergy?

Wait, is that possible?
posted by asperity at 2:30 AM on October 18 [10 favorites +] [!]


Absolutely yes it is.

Alpha-gal or mammalian meat allergy is an allergy possibly carried by a carbohydrate in lone star tick bites that can cause a delayed onset allergic response to the consumption of mammalian meat products.

Excellent RadioLab Episode on AlphaGal
posted by edbles at 1:57 PM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Women often have immune responses to embryos / fetuses / semen / etc. Different humans have different proteins, so you don't have to be allergic to all humans or no humans.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 2:05 PM on October 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


I love you all for your real-science answers to my mostly-joking questions.
posted by asperity at 2:13 PM on October 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


She told them the cookies contained ashes, but they thought it was a lye.

(I'll get me coat)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:39 PM on October 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


I wonder what the filtering properties of ground bone would be. Perhaps becoming a venerable water filter is the best one could hope for.

Bone is mostly carbon, oxygen & calcium in that order. I'd have to think the calcium would change the character of water the most, making it significantly harder. But then the carbon & oxygen might leech out as a bicarbonate. Also making it hard but differently. So it could make the coffee better or bitter, depending. I think you'd have to try to know.
posted by scalefree at 8:02 PM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


You're right. The raisins thing is the one that deserves the disproportionate police response.

Absolutely. Everybody knows you pair cremains with craisins.
posted by scalefree at 8:08 PM on October 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


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