Remember this woman from My Strange Addiction on TLC?
Who stuck her finger in her husband’s cremated remains and ate them so she could be close to him? As if we need a reminder that death does strange stuff to people. Some cultures will eat cremated remains as ritual, but this poor woman was doing it for some pretty intense reasons related to her complicated grief.
In any case, the point of the episode is to make you wonder, “Oh my GOD, how could she DO that? I wonder what human bones taste like?” I could tell you, because working at a crematory means inhaling bone dust like a normal person does air. It borders on occupational hazard. Gets in your lungs, the inside of your nose, stuck in your eyelashes, everywhere.
This is a wicked email I got from Annie Turner, further explaining how one could accidentally discover what ground bones taste like.
A couple of years ago, we were spreading my favorite uncle’s cremains according to his stated wishes – a process which involved coffee cups, cigars, and donuts, in case you’re interested, and really, why wouldn’t you be? – when a rogue and clearly malicious gust of wind suddenly appeared and blew a large swathe of said cremains directly into my face. Specifically, it blew them directly into my mouth, which was open, because I had been saying something (probably profound).
Consequently, I now know not only what pulverized bone bits taste like, but also that they make you cough for quite a long time when you accidentally inhale some of them due to surprise.
Having your dead uncle suddenly wedged in your bronchioles is a fairly unique and disconcerting experience that will forever after leave you wondering whether or not you can now technically be classified as a cannibal (once you’re done windmilling your arms around while coughing, wheezing, and having an all-around psychedelic freakout, of course).
PS – I can’t accurately describe the flavor of pulverized bone bits, but I’d say the texture is rather reminiscent of large grains of sand and/or ground up Grape Nuts, only not good for building castles or as part of your balanced breakfast. Also, I joke, because if I don’t, I might start the windmilling again and no one wants that.