Reading this post on Margaret Marks’ Transblawg, I realised I had no I idea that outside Germany, if you have someone cremated after their death, you don’t have to give the ashes a proper burial (in a graveyard, or at sea, or whatever the options are the law provides for).
The land of Saxony-Anhalt is considering relaxing this requirement, and Margaret Marks comments:
I love the way they [i.e. Germans] say people will be able to put their next of kin’s ashes on the bookshelf. This is a sort of stereotype idea of how weird it would be not to bury the ashes.
Sure enough, the very first thought that sprang to mind was, “So they really do keep grandma on the mantelpiece? That’s not a joke?”
This makes me think of the concept of “modern jackass” from a radio show the Tensor just wrote about (and that I happen to have been listening to quite intently lately…).
Oh, and I had to look up hydriotaphia.