In the aftermath of Kim Jong-il’s funeral in North Korea, we learn that those of his subjects who didn’t cry hard enough or convincingly enough, together with those who did not attend official mourning events, are being rounded up and herded into labour camps. Sentences start at six months. More in the Daily Mail here.
Meanwhile, the dead dictator is, we hear, to be disembowelled and embalmed for the lasting enjoyment of his people. It is rumoured that the work will be carried out by the Russian corpse-preservation team which looks after Lenin.
In order to keep him in mid-season form, Lenin, whose afterlife now numbers 87 years, has to have a month-long restorative formaldehyde bath every eighteen months. While being gazed at by his adoring public a little pump in his chest cavity maintains the correct humidity in his insides.
Woe betide any dead dictator who doesn’t get the Russians in to do it. The Chinese did it their way for Chairman Mao and, working from text books, cocked it up. They pumped in so much formaldehyde ‘n’ stuff that Mao swelled up most remarkably and embalming fluid was seen to seep through his pores.
A worse fate awaited Klement Gottwald, president of Czechoslovakia, who died in 1953. They didn’t get the experts in for him, either. First his legs rotted and had to be replaced with prostheses. By 1962 the whole of him was in a dreadful state, so they cremated him.
Moral of the story: don’t try this at home.
If you can bear to look, there’s a picture of Lenin having a bath below. If you can’t, look away now.