Decomp 101: Adipocere

Posted: August 10, 2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

You might think that as a writer of bizarro creepy stories, all I have to is just pluck another brilliant idea out of my ass brain and run with it.

Naaah. You need to have a sound understanding of your subject. And if you delve into the lives of people who aren’t, actually, alive, you need to know about their non-lives. What happens after Joe or Mary get tossed into the hole is as much a part of character development (or, decomposition) is at least as important what high school they went to.

Which brings me to the subject of today’s post: adipocere (wikipedia entry.)

Normally, dead tissue goes through several stages of decomposition on its way to complete breakdown. However, in a cold, moist environment, lacking in oxygen, things can turn out differently.

Also called mortuary wax or grave wax, adipocere is a crumbly white, waxy substance that accumulates on the fatty parts of the body – the cheeks, breasts, abdomen and buttocks.

Sir Thomas Browne describes this substance in his discourse, Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial of 1658:

“In a Hydropicall body ten years buried in a Church-yard, we met
with a fat concretion, where the nitre of the Earth, and the salt and
lixivious liquor of the body, had coagulated large lumps of fat, into
the consistence of the hardest castle-soap: wherof part remaineth with
us.”

Man… as we professionals say, that’s some ass kicking language. “Lixivious liquor of the body?” English has truly gone downhill. My favorite: “whereof part remaineth with us!” Makes you wonder exactly what they dideth with that purloined part.

Yep, corpse wax is handy stuff… and you can purchase it by the can at Adipocere.com. No messy trespassing and grave robbing required. Genuine Valley Farms Adipocere, creme de la corpse in a 16-ounce can. Check out their recipes for cookies, furniture polish and Aunt Vaxine’s favorite defoliant:

1 16 oz tin of Adipocere Lite
2 cans cola

Melt the adipocere. Slowly add the cola while briskly whipping. Apply before resulting emulsion breaks. Effect will be swift.

I’ll leave you with a little haiku I was inspired to write:

my girlfriend looked good
when she had meat on her bones
woo! adipocere!
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