As explored in "40 Faces of Death: A Grim Reaper Gallery," humans are all about personifying mortality. We give it a form. We make it into an outside thing that happens to our bodies rather than something our bodies simply do over time. And as we explored in our podcast episode "The Problem of Immortality," this quest to defeat death creeps its way into everything we do.
It's deep, heavy stuff -- which is why I love the absurdity of this Victorian medical trade card for Hunt's Remedy, "The Great Kidney & Liver Medicine." The medication was supposed cure "dropsy and all diseases of the kidneys, bladder, liver and urinary organs" and was "never known to fail."
Of course it wasn't. Let's watch as our hero uses a bottle of the stuff to brain the Grim Reaper himself, who is thus far truly never known to fail in his duties.