Thursday, February 5, 2009

And you thought it was bad when it rang in the middle of the night

A local Seattle television station, King 5, has this news report about the growing trend of being buried with a cellphone.

According to the story, it is the second most popular request, after the request to be buried with a pet's ashes (which is currently illegal in this state.)

My first thought was that the trend was a throwback to the days when people were buried with a string that connected to a bell above ground that they could ring in case they had accidentally been buried alive. If you have your cell phone, theoretically, you could call someone if you somehow got buried by mistake.

But it does go further for some people.

The funeral director interviewed for this piece says the trend makes sense to him. The reporter finishes the thought, saying "it keeps the lines of communication open." Can I just say, no it doesn't. I'm pretty sure making a phone call to a cellphone buried six feet underground, in the possession of a dead person, is closed communication. No conscious person is receiving that message.

I can't embed the video, but here's a link.

In the great extreme, a woman in Manhattan has kept her husband's cellphone contract current two years after his death, and has carved his phone number on his headstone so other people can call him. Does she realize the digital technology will not reanimate his body and will not allow passers by the talk to his dead, no-longer conscious form? In that case, it seems an extreme version of not being able to let go.

On a side note, the funeral director interviewed for the King 5 piece says the thing he is most often asked to put in caskets is a can of beer: "One for the road." Really?