Sam and I just read an interesting Associated Press article by David Dishneau about a human arm that is being studied by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.
The arm may be a Civil War “relic.” It apparently has been sitting on display in private museums since a farmer dug it up a couple of weeks after the battle of Antietam. The arm supposedly can’t be displayed at the Antietam visitor center because the National Park Service generally forbids displaying human remains - but it’s okay to display it at the Museum of Civil War Medicine.
How ghoulish! Would you want your arm to be displayed for the whole world to see? Apparently the arm still has skin on it because the farmer who found it pickled it in brine (just happened to have some unusued pickle brine around?), and a physician later embalmed it.
According to Dishneau’s AP story, the Civil War Medicine Museum curator hopes to have a forensic anthropologist “examine the arm “ for clues about the owner’s diet and origin. One wonders, of course, if the man was vegan. He is thought to have been a smallish man and the arm probably was blown off between his shoulder and elbow by the furious gunfire that raged during the Antietam Campaign -either that or his wife wrestled it off trying to get money for groceries.
People collect some weird things, but an arm is about the weirdest thing Sam and I have ever heard of, although you’ve got your mass murders like Jeffrey Dahmer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994), the American serial killer and sex offender, who murdered 17 men and boys and kept their heads, penises and other body parts preserved in vats of acid or in the refrigerator; possibly for museum exhibits. Who knows?
Can you imagine collecting body parts as a hobby? You meet a nice woman and invite her over to your house and ask her if she’d like to see your arms collection.
“Oh gosh,” she says apologetically, “I’m not really into guns.”
“I don’t collect guns, I collect human arms,” you explain.
Before you can explain further the lady runs hysterically from your house. Imagine your surprise. True romance is so tricky.
Or, how about this scenario? You come across a guy in the park crisscrossing the ground with his new Acme Body Parts Detector.
“Whatcha’ lookin’ for?” you innocently ask.
“Body parts,” the man replies. “I bought this detector a couple of weeks ago and I’m already finding the good stuff - a shoe with a foot in it, an eyeball. My wife is so proud of me she baked me cookies.
Imagine if somebody could find good useable kidneys or livers or other body parts that way.
Fortunately, I don’t need a body parts detector. I have Sam who loves to sniff around so much he could probably be trained to be a body parts detector quite easily. I wonder if there are any mass murderers in this neck of the woods. Of course I’m kidding. I am. Really!
Three bags of poop on people who collect and display body parts as museum artifacts.