Meet artist/inventor Jae Rhim Lee, whose new catchphrase could be “Eat Me”:
I am interested in cultural death denial, and why we are so distanced from our bodies, and especially how death denial leads to funeral practices that harm the environment – using formaldehyde and pink make-up and all that to make your loved one look vibrant and alive, so that you can imagine they’re just sleeping rather than actually dead.
I thought I could train a toxin-cleaning edible mushroom to eat my body. These mushrooms, which usually grow on wood and decaying material in the forest, can be trained to grow on pretty much any organic material and break it down. So I started collecting my hair, nails and skin so I could pick the best mushrooms to become Infinity Mushrooms, to recognise and eat my body after I die.
Sounds intriguing and eco-friendly and so forth, right? Well, there’s a few snags. For one thing, flesh-eating bacteria are going to feel really threatened by this, and they’re already touchy enough. They’re probably going to see this as an attempt to horn in on their line of work, and they’ll attempt to devour the entire human population before any mushrooms can start chomping on the artist formerly known as Jae.
More importantly: this mushrooms-eating-me plan can’t possibly work. Yes, mushrooms can be trained to break down organic material, but not humans. My proof? Super Mario. And no, I’m not taking the word of a plumber – I’m taking the word of the preeminent mycologist of our time:
Trust him. He’s a doctor.
Mario’s decades of adventurous research has shown that one of two things happen when a human comes into prolonged contact with mushrooms: they double the human’s body size, or they give the human an extra life.
So, essentially, Jae will get into this suit, the mushrooms will grow, and not only will her body not break down, she’ll start expanding and getting extra lives. She’ll be an immortal giant – she’ll have to give up doing art and inventing, and take up fighting the Green Lantern Corps.
At least she won’t have to change the name of her project. Infinity Mushroom actually works better under this scenario!
(Sorry, the Presurfer, but our princess is in another castle!)