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May 28, 2007 10:05 PM   Subscribe

A Funeral Home With Gory Problems. "A Harlem funeral home has been sued for losing bodies and filching corpses from nearby hospitals. Now it must answer charges that a dead man's body was chewed up by rats." [from the Village Voice]
posted by davy (44 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry, no video; there is a revolting photo of a rat-chewed face.
posted by davy at 10:06 PM on May 28, 2007

Wow, that's pretty gruesome.
posted by puke & cry at 10:18 PM on May 28, 2007

Metafilter: They ate his nose.
posted by IronLizard at 10:21 PM on May 28, 2007

The "seepage" tag was enough for me to not want to open the link.
posted by three blind mice at 10:23 PM on May 28, 2007

I scrolled down the article, thinking I was safe...*gag*
posted by KokuRyu at 10:30 PM on May 28, 2007

See also - Alistair Cooke
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 10:33 PM on May 28, 2007

I'm rather glad they didn't show that rat-chewed face full-frontal, aren't you? Reading its description in the article was really bad enough.
posted by davy at 10:40 PM on May 28, 2007

They're dead, already. Right?

Sure, getting one's nose bitten off it a lot more demeaning that being digested by worms and woodbugs.

But hey! They're dead!.

Yes yes yes, the dead should be disposed of with biosafety in mind as well as in regards the the mental wellbeing of those who are associated with the deceased.

Not fullfulling contracts that one sings themselves into is BAD, but do whatever you want with my body once I'm dead. It's not like I'm ever going to use it again.
posted by porpoise at 11:04 PM on May 28, 2007

And don't forget these upstanding citizens.
posted by Clay201 at 11:19 PM on May 28, 2007

Thanks Clay201; if I'd successfully remembered that myself it might've been a TWO-link post.

And porpoise, I feel the same way myself, but it was an interesting article.

One might also contrast this issue with how Parsees and Tibetans deal with their dead.
posted by davy at 11:26 PM on May 28, 2007

Eeeeeeeeeeeeew. You might want to add some sort of warning - I was unprepared for that photo. I really wish I hadn't seen that.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:29 PM on May 28, 2007

I would think corpse eating rats are sort of standard for New York. When the coin flips and you have rat eating corpses I will read your ManBitesDog story.
posted by Iron Rat at 11:33 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Not fullfulling contracts that one sings themselves into is BAD, but do whatever you want with my body once I'm dead. It's not like I'm ever going to use it again.

I feel the same way, but if I find out my family's been taken advantage of on account of my rotting flesh, I just might have to come back for blood. Or, you know, brains.
posted by katillathehun at 11:51 PM on May 28, 2007

Paging ColdChef, cleanup on aisle 3?
posted by anthill at 11:51 PM on May 28, 2007

if i drop dead in my house, my kitty gets to dine on my corpse for about two weeks until someone realizes i'm not answering emails. if i drop dead outside, she has to share me with wild animals, bummer.
posted by bruce at 12:23 AM on May 29, 2007

ColdChef should be steeled for this after that moaning corpse experience. Also, am I late to the party, or is CC's user name really, really creepy in the context of his profession?
posted by brundlefly at 12:26 AM on May 29, 2007

While it's true that rat-face was tall for a zombie, the photographer clearly used forced perspective -- ColdChef isn't really perched on top of him like that.
posted by dreamsign at 12:33 AM on May 29, 2007

And by "creepy," I mean "delicious."
posted by brundlefly at 12:39 AM on May 29, 2007

Also, your being able to "do anything about it" and whether it has a direct "impact on our lives" have nothing to do with it being a good post.
posted by brundlefly at 1:07 AM on May 29, 2007

Hey Malor, I tried to find a way to block out that photo but the Village Voice doesn't do "text-ONLY" anymore. In my first comment in this thread (though I didn't bother with saying "more inside") I did explicitly say "Sorry, no video; there is a revolting photo of a rat-chewed face." Maybe I should have put a warning in the FPP itself, but then I hadn't figured on Malor-level over-reaction. I'll try to keep it in mind: maybe Metafilter needs NSFM (Not Safe For Malor) warnings on any non-Disney FPPs.

As for never seeing "a davy link" again, you're welcome to ignore the few I post; this was only my 19th FPP since the day we both joined up, Nov. 19, 2004.

As for killfiling, there's a program called Greasemonkey that runs scripts that do that; I'm sure somebody who uses that crap will tell you how to find it and set it up. Having a problem with me and my posts/comments will probably inspire their deepest sympathy, for one reason or another.
posted by davy at 1:12 AM on May 29, 2007

Suppose I ask whichever admin sees it first -- it's almost 4:30 AM here in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone -- to add "Warning: revolting photo of a rat-chewed face!" to the FPP? That seems fair, and now I see I probably should have included it right off; it could be that I'm so jaded by such things as "Hellraiser" movies that what strikes me as mildy yucky might strike most people as "EEEWWW now I want to RIP MY EYES OUT" gross. In any case though it was the Village Voice who included the photo in the article; it's not like I had anything to do with it.
posted by davy at 1:22 AM on May 29, 2007

Oh, and why don't you refer this MetaTalk, Malor? Have you had your very own drama-queen flame-out Metatalk thread yet?
posted by davy at 1:23 AM on May 29, 2007

davy, I think Malor is peachy now. Let's nip the derail in the bud.
posted by brundlefly at 1:27 AM on May 29, 2007

I'd just as soon get some sleep myself. Goodnight.
posted by davy at 1:36 AM on May 29, 2007

Very simply, the entire reason to post it is to gross some people out.

So do you suppose every edition of the Voice this week has a spoiler on *it's* front cover?

***Warning: picture on page 22 includes rat eaten face. Buy this week's issue at your own peril!!***

Perhaps *they're* just trying to gross everybody out as well?

Or alternatively, perhaps you should just assume that an article titled 'A funeral home with gory problems' is likely to have, you know, gory content?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:24 AM on May 29, 2007

Most words start to seem meaningless when you repeat them 20 or 30 times.

It works with gory after two, maybe three.

Carry on.
posted by dreamsign at 3:00 AM on May 29, 2007

I found the article to be pretty damn fascinating, but I like reading about fucked up dead bodies. So thank you, Davy.
posted by Roman Graves at 4:09 AM on May 29, 2007

Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
Disinfected monkey meat
Chocolate covered chicken feet!
French fried eyeballs
floatin' in a pool of blood!
And poor Malor, fogot his spoon.
posted by Goofyy at 4:40 AM on May 29, 2007

This just serves to remind people how shoddily the death business is run. I know some folks in it - seemingly sane, rational people, yet when I suggest that I'm going to get cremated, without the enbalming, they absolutely freak out. And why not? It's the undercoating charge all over again.

Not that I'm far from "chuck me in a ditch and light a match" (okay, probably not all that eco-friendly), but the way that the death business has such a lock on the local laws (just try to figure out if you can bury someone in your backyard from reading all of the relevant legislation - that's a hoot), it just encourages people who want a lot of easy money to be neglectful. And it seems like it somehow attracts the biggest cheapskates in the world.
posted by adipocere at 5:20 AM on May 29, 2007

This article has zero value beyond shock. Zero.

Quite honestly, I felt a little bad about my previous comment.

There hasn't been a lot of respect in this thread for the deceased guy or his family, and their poor situation is being taken advantage of by both the Village Voice and by this thread.

I kind of wonder if it's socio-economic (he was a drug user) and because of race (he was black).
posted by KokuRyu at 5:37 AM on May 29, 2007

Man, and I thought nothing could make Service Corporation International look good....

adipocere re: cremation and enbalming. The mortuary industry makes a fortune off enbalming, in many states you must specifically request no enbalming or the funeral home will do it (and bill you for it) automtically. Here in Texas my mother and I had to argue with the funeral types for close to an hour before they'd even give us the paper to sign saying that we didn't want my father's body enbalmed before they cremated it.

The funeral industry seems to attract some really lothesome people who are quite eager to fleece families not thinking so clearly becaue of their loss.

The urban legends surrounding cremation are astonishing. I had a friend tell me, utterly seriously, that cremation was done en masse, five or six bodies at a time, so the ashes you got were all mixed up with other people's ashes.

Since cremation is so much less expensive than enbalming, coffins, etc I'm inclined to wonder if all the cremation horror stories floating around didn't get their start with the funeral business.
posted by sotonohito at 5:46 AM on May 29, 2007

Mod note: removed a few comments - you know where metatalk is
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:14 AM on May 29, 2007

Embalming before cremation? That doesn't sound very green. Being a romantic fool, and a Heinlein fan, I rather like the idea of being mulched and used to fertilize some flowers (or perhaps a nice patch of herb). The embalming thing might only be appropriate for displaying the corpse (ColdChef would know).

That something like this could happen shouldn't be a big surprise. More surprising that the Voice found out about it. I can't offer any sincere sympathy to the family, as I'm not sentimental about dead bodies.
posted by Goofyy at 7:15 AM on May 29, 2007

Delicioushumanflesh tag?
posted by baphomet at 7:17 AM on May 29, 2007

The dead don't care.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:37 AM on May 29, 2007

I kind of wonder if it's socio-economic (he was a drug user) and because of race (he was black).

Or maybe it's that the point of this article was the mishandling of dead bodies and contracts?
posted by katillathehun at 7:55 AM on May 29, 2007

I say, I say, I say. My brother has no nose.

Your brother has no nose? How does he smell?

Terrible -- he's been lying decomposing in the funeral home for six months.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:06 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

i kind of wonder if it's socio-economic (he was a drug user)...
dude, if you read the article, he wasn't just a drug user, he was a dealer in hard, street drugs, and his death was directly related to his vocation.

and because of race (he was black).
i kind of wonder why somebody would play such a weak race card in a heretofore nonracial context, but hey, i'll bite. i'm a white guy in oregon. give me just one good reason why i should give a rat's ass (heh) about the mutilated corpse of a black heroin dealer in harlem?
posted by bruce at 9:36 AM on May 29, 2007

Ugh. One would think it would be simple enough to clean the body, put in a few stitches, and carry out the proper injections of chemicals? Which I'd quite frankly rather do if I were her, instead of letting decompose in the basement.
posted by Xere at 9:52 AM on May 29, 2007

Well, if we start to see LOLrats pics on the net with "I'm in yur mortuarys eatin yur noses" we know who started it.
posted by Iron Rat at 10:00 AM on May 29, 2007

I gotta say, that was the least gory picture of a rat-gnawed corpse that I've seen.
posted by padraigin at 12:55 PM on May 29, 2007

Hey padraigin, you have a URL for some gorier ones? My email address is in my profile if you don't want to "freak the mundanes" by posting it here now.
posted by davy at 1:32 PM on May 29, 2007

FWIW, a pictorial howto on cooking rats.
posted by davy at 1:36 PM on May 29, 2007

Um, well, it may be the only picture of a rat-gnawed corpse I've seen. But having had my Stile Project phase some time ago, and from the initial reactions in this thread, I was expecting something a lot gnarlier. Or is that gnawrlier?
posted by padraigin at 6:05 PM on May 29, 2007

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