You really can’t take it with you

by Richard on March 29, 2006

It seems that an increasing number of people across the world are asking to be buried with their mobile phones.

Martin Raymond, director of international trend-spotting think-tank, The Future Laboratory said that this had started off “in the realm of the urban myth”, but was fast becoming fact.

“You hear about it, the idea that people are being buried with their mobile phones, but you can’t really believe it,” he told the BBC World Service’s Culture Shock programme.

He explained that the first cases of people asking to be buried with their phone originated in Cape Town, where some people’s belief in witchcraft meant they feared that “they could fall under a spell, be put to sleep and actually be buried.

“In fact, they were asking for the phones to be put into the coffins with them in case they woke up.”

It isn’t just fear of being buried alive that’s behind this. There is also, it seems, something about taking status symbols to the grave which suggests that the brash secularism of western culture might be nothing more than a veneer disguising more ancient instincts.

But supposing you did take your phone across the Styx. You’d have to be Bill Gates to be able to afford to use it. Orange charge £1.10 per minute to make a voice call in the USA, and a whacking £10 per MB for GPRS there. How much would they charge from “the other side”?

With a doff of the cap to Peter Glover for pointing out the story.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


blonde 03.29.06 at 6:28 pm

Just a thought - would there be any signal if you were already buried?!


Richard 03.29.06 at 7:16 pm

I’m guessing that the frequencies used by mobiles would be very much attenuated by soil, so your chances of getting a signal would be very poor indeed. On the other hand, if you’re British the chances are you’d spend up to a week at the funeral director’s premises before your funeral, and it might be handy if you wer to come round in the chapel of rest. I don’t expect to be taking mine, though.


Anonymous 03.29.06 at 7:57 pm

mm….if i were to go to heaven…would i want a mobile with me…


Jan 03.29.06 at 8:17 pm

What was that about “nothing new under the sun?” Many ancient cultures buried objects with the dear departed, so perhaps these people are really just obeying some innate thought. LOL

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