Tips on How to Become a Fossil

Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones-1401620

Scientific rendition of what Mick Jagger might have looked like

I sometimes fear I have become as bad as a Jehovah’s Witness, proclaiming loudly, weekly, a Great Truth that others must acknowledge, or else live in cold darkness.  But there are many who possess Middle-Aged Magic and choose not to practice it. I have heard women of middle years say that if they ever had sex again, it would be too soon. I found this heart-breaking, but who am I to judge? They have a lot more friends, energy, and lightness of soul than I do.

Who is to say you have to live in THIS life at all?  Many a pharaoh and emperor devoted his life, and his kingdom’s fortune, to preparation for the next life.  If you had argued that he was better off living the life he was sure he would have, you would have been told, just before your beheading, that he was quite competent to make that judgment.

You can take it further still.  A recent article in National Geographic gives tips on how you can become a fossil–so you will look good if you are dug up by a paleontologist millions of years from now.

There are steps you must take.  First: no coffin.  You’ll start disintegrating before sediment can fill in around you, protecting you from predators and little “recyclers,” such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  No dying on mountains or other habitats that are subjected to erosion.  A sandy river channel might protect you, but you’ll tumble about, ending up a pile of bones that that doesn’t do you justice.

You can maximize your chances if you try to be buried in volcanic ash (many volcanoes are near scenic resorts, so you can die while on vacation and still be around for millions of years), or by sinking into oxygen-depleted muck in the bottom of lagoons.

These spots, however, are elusive. And isn’t that the dilemma of middle age–you’re finally old enough to know what you want, but it’s the dickens to find it.

NGS Picture ID:422890

And for heaven’s sake, keep your legs together!

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