Cadaver conundrumby Dave McAwesome and Magnum, Ph.D.
Q: Dear champions of morality,
I'm a second-year female medical student at a well-known medical school. Many of the men (if you want to call them that) in the program like to play practical jokes. Last week they inserted a balloon catheter into the penis of a cadaver, then inflated it during an anatomy lesson mid-lecture. Should I have to put up with this? More importantly, who should I report this to? The faculty all seem to take these sorts of "tricks" in stride, but I don't see the humor in it.
--Frustrated in Medical School
A: To our frustrated friend,
Sheesh! We bet this isn't the ONLY reason you're frustrated. It's just a cadaver. This prank is on the harmless side and wouldn't even make it into the first draft of American Pie. We recommend you cultivate a sense of humor. Dick jokes are always funny. Just ask Bill Hicks (except you can't, 'cause he's dead...you weren't working on Bill Hicks' cadaver were you? Monsters...).
Even if one of your prankster medical buddies wanted to perform fellatio on the artificially enhanced cadaver, there still is no violation of an interest. Only the living have interests, not the dead. You can't kill the dead. You can't offend, wound, or hurt them. You can burn them, as George Romero has taught us in his fine, zombie-riffic movies, but you just can't insult them. All those cool catch phrases you shout right before you torch a zombie? "See you in hell." "You never should've gotten out of your grave." "Got a light?" No effect. We also suspect the same ethical parameters apply to people like Uma Thurman who deliver such wooden, lifeless performances in their films that they MUST be zombies.
Have you considered that your cadaverous friend may have posthumously enjoyed the fact that his member has given such obvious pleasure to a bunch of bored-out-of-their-minds medical students? Not to mention, it was a GUY cadaver. I'm sure he'd be happy as hell to know his parts are still in working order, ready to please the most nubile of frustrated medical students. That's right, we're suggesting you give a little cadaver love a try. Necrophilia never hurt anyone (well, except that girl in Clerks). And who knows, maybe you'll loosen up some. We suspect the cadaver certainly will.
Ah, but wait, what about the fam? Surely, they can't be thrilled with sexing up a corpse of dear old Uncle Willie. Give us a moment. There must be something in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics that weighs in on such matters. Eureka. Of COURSE Aristotle has something to say on this. That obsessive Greek had something to say on everything. Here, he'd say that it is not man's telos (the natural end for which he is supposed to strive) to have sex with a corpse. Plus, to Aristotle, deviant behavior was an indication of a vicious disposition, pure and simple, so whatever its root might be, it still would not be the kind of activity that leads to happiness. Except, of course, for necrophiliacs, who are, presumably, happiest when having sex with a corpse. Crazy freaks. Aristotle would counter they are confused about what constitutes the good life. Sure, the ol' bump and grind might be fun for a night or two, but our permanently horizontal Uncle Willie isn't much good for post-coital cuddling, and we all know that spells doom for a long-term relationship. And then there's the smell...