Monday, April 04, 2005

Sleep, where art thou?

I actually got 8 sweet hours of sleep last night. That's been a rare thing in recent months. I started with the insomnia about two months before the job went belly up, and it's become the norm for me to only sleep three or four hours a night.

NOT healthy.

But, last night, I did sleep. I think the sound of the high winds zonked me out. But, no such luck tonight. And, of course, there's jack squat on tv at 1 a.m. on a Monday morning. I supposed I could check to to see what "Compost On Demand" is offering. (I'm still liking that whole "" thing.) I should probably give up and take an Ambien tonight, but, at this point, it would mean sleeping until 9 a.m., which seems just plain wrong for a Monday morning, even when I don't have a job to go to.

I'd like to be up at 6:30 or 7 to go to the gym, but I needs mah sleep. We shall see.

On another note, I'm starting to get oog'ed out by all the footage of the Pope's lifeless body. I shouldn't be. After all, I did stand in line to go see Lenin's body. But that oog'ed me out, too. (Actually, I saw a whole lotta corpses in Russia. Run over people, burned to death people, dead drunk people, and just dead-in-an-open-casket-in-random-church people. A lot more dead people than I reckon I will ever see again in my life, as a matter of fact. "No, no. I'm passing on the visitation. I hit my lifetime limit on bodies over in Russia, you see. I have a 'get out of funeral free for life' card...")

I read something last night about the family that has embalmed the last three popes. According to this article, the man who embalmed Pius XII in 1958 did a horrendous job and several cardinals apparently fainted from the "stench" of the body at the funeral. Here's more on this, courtesy of

"Pius was dogged with ill health later in life, largely due to a charlatan, Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi, who posed as a medical doctor and won Pius's trust. His treatments for Pius gave the Holy Father chronic hiccups and rotting teeth. Though eventually dismissed from the Papal Household, this man gained admittance as the pope lay dying and took photographs of Pius which he tried, unsuccessfully, to sell to magazines.

When Pius died, the Galeazzi-Lisi turned embalmer. Rather than slow the process of decay, the doctor-mortician's self-made technique speeded it up, leading the Holy Father's corpse to disintegrate rapidly, turning purple, with the corpse's nose falling off. The stench caused by the decay was such that guards had to be rotated every 15 minutes, otherwise they would collapse from the stench. The condition of the body became so bad that the remains were secretly removed at one point for further treatments before being returned in the morning.

The farce over the Pope's health and treatment in death caused considerable embarrassment to the Vatican, but in the 1950s was not reported, though widely rumoured among those in Rome who had witnessed the body's decay as it lay in state, as well as being captured in photographs. One of the first acts of Pius' successor, Pope John XXIII, was to ban the charlatan from Vatican City for life."

I found one of those photos. His head was, indeed, purple. Not good.

Can't sleep. Clowns will kill me. Can't sleep. Clowns will kill me...

1 comment:

Mac said...

The Vatican confirmed today that the Pope has *not* been embalmed. The Basilica has got to be pretty ripe by now.