Do You Have The Heart For It?

I hold your hand in mine, dear
I press it to my lips
I take a healthy bite from
your dainty fingertips.

My joy would be complete, dear
If you were only here.
But still I keep your hand
As a precious souvenir.

In news that echos the famous Tom Lehrer song, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that San Mateo County coroner is hot water after retaining the heart of Nicholas Picon after an autopsy. Nicholas, you see, died from an undetected heart defect last fall, and the San Mateo County coroner kept his heart after his autopsy. It is one of 105 organs the San Mateo coroner has kept from about 1,800 autopsies since 2004. All of this is perfectly legal, for there is a little-known state law that allows authorities to keep body parts after autopsies without notifying relatives.

Here’s what I think is the excessively creepy part. His parents (who have gotten the heart returned) maintain a three-tiered glass case in their home that holds mementos of Nicholas: his black baseball cap, his Jimi Hendrix tie and photos of him with his guitar and with his family. The couple keeps his heart in a polished, inlaid wooden box in their bedroom.

At least it’s not a chicken heart. We all know how dangerous those (thump-thump, thump-thump) can be.

All together now…

The night you died I cut it off,
I really don’t know why.
For now each time I kiss it,
I get bloodstains on my tie.

I’m sorry now I killed you,,
For our love was something fine!
Until they come to get me,
I shall hold your hand in mine!

Wait, what’s at the door? Hello. (thump-thump, thump-thump) Aaaagh! (gulp).

And the chicken heart grew….