Also known as "postmortem fetal extrusion." The term describes the phenomenon of a dead woman giving birth to a dead baby, the "birth" being caused by the buildup of gas pressure in her decomposing body. It's not known for sure that this actually happens, because no one has ever witnessed it, but archaeological evidence has led researchers to conclude that it probably does.
I was briefly in L.A. over the weekend, so I took the time to visit the L.A. Pet Memorial, my curiosity about it having been piqued after posting recently about how Blinky the Friendly Hen was buried there. It's up in northwest L.A., in Calabasas. If you're ever in the area, and want to do some sightseeing that's more off the beaten track, it's worth checking out. Some of the highlights below:
The coffin showroom, featuring pet-sized coffins
Inside the mausoleum
The grounds spread out over 8 acres. So the park is pretty big.
Yours truly by the grave of "Room 8" — the cat that lived at the Elysian Heights Elementary School. He was once known as the most famous cat in America.
Satan — We'll Miss You
Sir Pretzel Stick — I'll Remember You
Vicious — Our Precious Baby
I finally found the marker for Blinky the Friendly Hen. The front office didn't have a guide to the graves, so you have to find them on your own. Blinky turned out to be in the area directly across from the front office, about 8 rows back.
There's a number of other famous animals buried at the park, including Tawny the MGM lion, Hopalong Cassidy's horse, and one of the dogs from the Little Rascals. Plus, the pets of many celebrities are there — Charlie Chaplin's cat, Humphrey Bogart's dog, etc.
In 1992 California began requiring that motorcycle riders wear a helmet. Despondent, Gerald Marotta, 48, put on his helmet and shot himself. He left behind a note, "Now I can't ever ride again."
Attorney Wendy Lascher, who had challenged the law, said, "from what I heard about his note, I think the law did have something to do with his death, in that [riding without a helmet] apparently was his only outlet."
Paige Daughtry, 12, is the most recent young person to die from overuse of deodorant. She reportedly used Right Guard deodorant like "it was going out of fashion." She was liberally spraying herself with the stuff in her parent's rented caravan, while the family was on holiday. She sprayed so much that it caused her to pass out, and she couldn't be revived.
As bizarre as it may sound to die from overuse of deodorant, this isn't the first time it's happened. If I had a kid, I don't think I'd let them use the spray stuff. It's toxic. I'd tell them to use solid deodorant, because that kind can't kill you.
2008:12-year-old Daniel Hurley was "always putting gel on his hair and spraying deodorant." He was found collapsed in a bathroom after having sprayed "copious" amounts of Lynx Vice spray.
2015:16-year-old Thomas Townsend of Kent was found collapsed, surrounded by 42 cans of deodorant. His mother said, "He would not take showers but would stand there with a deodorant and spray half the can on him."
April 27, 1978: Artist Jeffrey Vallance bought a frozen chicken (a Foster Farms fryer) at a supermarket and then buried it at the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery, following a brief memorial service. He also installed a grave marker for the frozen bird, naming it "Blinky the Friendly Hen." He came to think of Blinky's grave as being like the grave of the Unknown Chicken, representing "all the millions of chickens who are slaughtered and sold as food."
According to kcet.org, "Ten years later, he would have the body exhumed so an autopsy could be performed by UCLA's head of pathology. The tenth anniversary exhibit on the life of Blinky, at the Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Los Angeles, featured a 'shroud of Blinky,' and a recreation of the cemetery's viewing room, with a rubber chicken lying in state. Blinky was later reburied at the cemetery."
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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
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