Can You Hear Me Now?
by Mad Dog
Face it, if your name is going to be called to enter heaven
I don’t think you’ll need a cell phone to hear it.
||They say you can’t take
it with you, but that’s not stopping people from trying. Take the
latest trend, which is to be buried with your cell phone. And why not?
You use it while driving, walking down the street, sitting in a
restaurant while ignoring your tablemates, and before the movie starts
during the announcement that asks you to turn off your cell phone, so
why not take it to your grave? At least there you won’t be bothering
This news comes courtesy of
Future Laboratory, a London-based think tank, and the editorial director
for American Funeral Director magazine (motto: “People are
dying for our services”). They say the trend is growing, especially
for those under the age of 40. And those who have the iOuija app
installed on their iPhone. Apparently hope springs eternal, even in Life
2.0. But face it, if your name is going to be called to enter heaven I
don’t think you’ll need a cell phone to hear it. And if it’s not
going to be called, a text message with an emoticon of a devil’s smile
is the last thing you want to get just as the concept of eternity starts
to sink in.
Some people are even going to
the afterlife wearing Bluetooth headsets. Hey, nothing leaves a nice
lasting memory of a loved one like looking in a casket and seeing an
eerie blue light flashing in their ear. It’s not just cell phones,
either. Funeral directors say people are being buried with their
Blackberrys, Game Boys, and iPods too. This won’t come as much of a
shock if you’ve ever tried to pry a Nintendo DS out of someone’s
hands, given up on getting a friend to turn down the volume on their
iPod so they stop shouting “What did you say?” each time you ask
them to turn down the volume, or were one of the 35 percent of people
polled in the Sheraton Work-Life study who said that if forced to
choose, they’d take their PDA over their spouse. And for the record,
that stands for Personal Digital Assistant, not Public Display of
A company called Eternal Image is releasing a line of
caskets that feature the colors and logo of your favorite Major League
Baseball team. And another that looks like a “Photon Torpedo” from Star
Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
It’s hard to figure out what this means. Are we really that
attached to our phones or do some of us actually believe that being
buried with one that has a ringtone of Oingo Boingo’s Dead Man’s
Party means we’ll be able to answer it? And if you think it’s
weird now, how do you think it’s going to be interpreted thousands of
years from now when archeologists discover our grave, open the casket,
and find a pile of bones with a small, primitive electronic gadget in
the casket? Since it won’t be nuclear or hydrogen powered they
probably won’t be able to turn it on—hey, the battery didn’t last
a week, better yet 2,000 years—so they’ll have to guess what it is.
(NOTE TO SELF: Make sure they put a charger cord in with me.) Was it a
religious fetish? A cooking utensil? It has letters and numbers on it,
so maybe it was a primitive computer. Or one of those typewriters that
were mentioned in the history holograms from third grade. If I remember,
they were invented somewhere between the Iron Age and the Ion Age,
How would they have any idea
what a cell phone was? Recently, when scientists opened a newly
discovered 2,600 year-old sarcophagus in Egypt and found a well
preserved mummy wrapped in canvas, they said they planned on scanning it
because there could be gold amulets inside that were meant to "help
the deceased in the afterlife." How? By driving off evil spirits?
By giving them something to play with and pass the time? By giving them
a way to call home? Who’s to say? Maybe they were some type of
communication device we can only begin to fathom. You know, like two
gold amulets with a string stretched between them so if you hold one to
your ear you can hear the other person talking to you in hieroglyphics.
ago there was a bumper sticker that read: “He who dies with the most
toys wins.” You can tell it’s dated, because now it would read:
“He who is buried with the most toys wins.”
And what will they think of the caskets they find us in? A
company called Eternal Image is releasing a line of caskets that feature
the colors and logo of your favorite Major League Baseball team. And
another that looks like a “Photon Torpedo” from Star Trek II: The
Wrath of Khan, complete with the Star Trek insignia on it. There’s
even a Precious Memories casket that features one of those darling
little Hummel-ish angel figurines that would make even Gandhi wish he
had a sledge hammer handy. Granted, none of these hold a candle to the
beautiful gilded Egyptian sarcophagi, though for all we know the people
depicted on them weren’t villagers, hunters, or the royal court as we
suspect. They could have been the Memphis Scarabs baseball team on the
way to winning the Ancient World Series.
Years ago there was a bumper
sticker that read: “He who dies with the most toys wins.” You can
tell it’s dated, because now it would read: “He who is buried with
the most toys wins.” Can you hear me now?
©2009 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country.
Read them while waiting for that phone call from beyond.