July 28, 2006

Mellified man.

I'm suddenly getting lots of traffic from people searching for "mellified man." I come up #1 on this search. Here's my old post:
Yesterday at Borders, I got completely absorbed reading "Stiff," by Mary Roach. I happened to open it up in the middle, which is how I always judge books in bookstores. Apparently, a lot of people (most people?) start reading at page 1, but I figure the author has too much incentive to put good material on the first page. I want to see a more representative part of the book, so I open it up at random. Usually, I open in a few different places, and if they all seem interesting, I'll buy the book. I opened up "Stiff"--which is a book about cadavers, as you can tell from the cover--to a chapter called "Eat Me"--which, as you can imagine, is about cannibalism--and read about a little medicinal concoction called "mellified man." Well, that may have been the most amazing thing I've ever read about, and the author writes quite entertainingly about the subject. Really, just as an exercise in writing, this book is a marvel: how did Roach make so many things about dead bodies so interesting and so much fun? So, go pick up this book and read the part about mellified man or anything else. I'd try to say what mellified man is, but I can't put it as well as Roach. Let's just say it involves a lot of honey and 100 years.
Why the sudden interest in a legendary medicine made from the corpse -- soaked in honey for 100 years -- of a man who killed himself by eating too much honey? I think it's the name of a band with a song people are interested in, funnily enough.

UPDATE: Ah, no -- thanks, readers -- it's this.


john(lesser) said...

2 days ago boingboing.net linked this story. I smell something, and it isn't honey.

SippicanCottage said...


I'm mellified man, I am!
Mellified man I am, I am!
I got eaten by the widow next door
She's been married seven times before
And just because she's old testament (testament!)
She wouldn't eat a Lobster or a Ham (no Ham)
I'm her eighth old man, I'm mellified
Mellified man I am I am, Mellified Man I am!

Second verse, same as the first!

Barb said...

The Mellified Man also appears in "The Dervish House" by Ian McDonald...