Bury me with my cell phone
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2008-12-19 10:33:06  【打印
We take them with us to the dinner table, the bedroom, even the bathroom stall. But in recent years, some of us have started taking our beloved cell phones someplace really startling: the grave.

“It seems that everyone under 40 who dies takes their cell phone with them,” says Noelle Potvin, family service counselor for Hollywood Forever, a funeral home and cemetery in Hollywood, Calif. “It’s a trend with BlackBerrys, too. We even had one guy who was buried with his Game Boy.”

Anecdotal evidence suggests being buried with a favorite tech device is on the upswing. The Future Laboratory, a London-based think tank, has commented on the behavior, noting it in places like the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. But experts are seeing it happen in the United States as well.

Ed Defort, publisher and editorial director for American Funeral Director magazine, says it's a definite trend.

“I’ve even heard of cases where people are being buried with their iPod. Or one guy who was prepared for his viewing with his Bluetooth (headset) in his ear.”

But it’s the cell phone, in particular, that seems to be the burial gadget of choice.

Fairly common

While statistics on cell phone burials don’t exist, funeral professionals agree it’s a fairly common occurrence — at least among the tech-savvy and the young — and some believe we’re only seeing the tip of the wired-to-the-end trend.

“It really started happening within the last five or six years,” says Frank Perman, owner and funeral director of Frank R. Perman Funeral Home, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa. “But I expect it to grow exponentially, especially with the price of technology getting so low. It’s not that big of a deal to bury somebody’s cell phone.”

Why, exactly, are people going to the grave with their gadgets? Experts say there are a number of reasons.

Some do it for the same reason people have always tucked mementos into a casket (or tomb, as in the case of King Tut). People want to surround themselves (or their loved ones) with the things they hold dear, whether that’s their cell phone and headset or some family photos, a fishing rod, a piece of treasured jewelry.

“A lot of people say the phone represents the person, that it is part of their legacy,” says Potvin of Hollywood Forever. “It’s an extension of them, like their class ring.”

Comfort for the living

Others do it as a way to provide comfort — both to themselves and the departed.

“I’ve seen family members place iPod earphones on the decedent and play songs as the casket closed,” says Pam Vetter, a Los Angeles funeral planner who helps create more personalized services for families.

“It’s comforting to the family to think mom’s playing her iPod or dad’s still got the cell phone that was attached to his ear all the time,” she said. “It’s comforting to think those things are still with them.”

The notion of staying connected also seems to play into being buried with one’s mobile.

“I’ve seen people leave cell phones on and tell me they’re going to call their loved one later,” says Vetter. “Not that anyone will answer, but they want to have that connection. I’m sure the family gathers around the phone when they call. They feel connected with that person because it’s their phone, but at the same time it helps them realize that a death has occurred.”

When Manhattan criminal defense attorney John Jacobs died in 2005, his wife, Marion Seltzer, not only buried him with his phone and a fully charged battery, she continues to pay the monthly phone bill and even calls him on occasion (since the battery’s now dead, the calls immediately go into Jacobs’ voicemail).

She also had his cell phone number carved onto his headstone so others can call him, too, according to one television report.

Frank Perman says phone calls to the dead aren’t that uncommon.

“We had a young man die this past summer and they put his cell phone in the casket for the viewing and it rang constantly,” he says. “It was turned to silent, but you could see the phone light up so you knew people were calling. And they were leaving messages. They knew he was dead, but they were still calling.”

Ring-tone tributes

Ring tones have even become a sort of 21st century funeral tribute, says Defort of American Funeral Director magazine.

“Some people will call the deceased just as they’re lowering the coffin into the ground,” he says. “It’ll be prearranged and you’ll hear a faint ring. It’s like the new version of ‘Taps’ for people who are identified as being on the phone all the time.”

While funeral professionals cite many reasons why people are taking their phones with them to the grave, being “saved by the bell” should they accidentally be buried alive doesn’t appear to be one of them.

“The fear of being buried alive isn’t too prevalent in this day and age,” says Michael Regina, CEO and founder of FuneralDecisions.com.

“Obviously, back in the 1800s that was a huge fear and they actually (attached) bells to the caskets so if a person woke up they could ring the bell and let people know they weren’t dead. But today, people take phones with them because they’re a part of them.”

A survey of 100,000 people last year by the British charity Age Concern (sort of the AARP of England), seems to suggest both possibilities, though.

Of the top eight common funeral rite requests, being buried with a mobile phone came in at No. 2 (immediately after a request to be cremated with a pet’s ashes). After that, people wanted someone to “ensure they are dead,” and hold “a mirror over the face to check for signs of breathing.”

'Like a third arm'

Penny Sansevieri, a 44-year-old publicist from San Diego, Calif., says she already takes her BlackBerry with her everywhere, so taking it with her into the great beyond doesn’t seem that strange.

“My BlackBerry is like a third arm,” she says. “Why wouldn’t I be buried with it?”

Funeral professionals are only too happy to comply these days, as long as people don’t try to cremate gadgets along with anyone’s remains.

“You can’t cremate any kind of electronic device like a cell phone or hearing aid or pacemaker,” says Perman. “The battery will explode. If a family wants the cell phone with a person who’s being cremated, I’ll put it in the urn afterwards.”

As for those who want to stay wired in the afterlife but are worried about high-tech toxic waste? Sony Ericsson, Nokia and LG Electronics have all come out with cell phones that are somewhat green.

埋掉我的手机

我们把手机带上餐桌,揣入卧室,甚至拿进了洗浴间。但是,近些年许多人开始把心爱的手机,带到一个确实令人吃惊的地方:坟墓。

“似乎40岁以下的每个人,在他们死后带上自己的手机。”诺艾尔·鲍特维说。他是加州好莱坞一家殡仪馆兼公墓—永恒墓场—的家庭服务顾问。“黑霉机也是一种时尚。我们接手过一个小伙,随葬品是他的掌上游戏机。”

传闻中的证据表明,随身葬入一件钟爱的科技品的潮流正在高涨。一个英国的智囊团未来实验室,注意到了发生在英国澳大利亚南非的这种行为,并已作了评论。但专家们看,这同样也在美国发生。

《美国殡仪馆馆长杂志》的编辑主任兼发行人,艾德·蒂佛特,说到这是一个明确的趋势。

“我甚至听说过这样的事例,有人把iPod随葬。或是一个小伙准备死后仍能查看耳中的头带式蓝牙。”

但是,特别是手机,看起来是随葬的小物件的最佳选择。

相当平常

“许多人说,手机代表他个人,是遗产的一部分。”永恒墓场的鲍特维说,“这也是他们的一种延伸,就像他们的班级戒指。”

“过去的四五年里,这种潮流确确实实的发生了。”弗兰克·珀曼说。他是这个坐落在宾州匹兹堡的,弗兰克·珀曼殡仪馆的所有人兼礼仪师。“我希望它能成倍地增长,尤其是科技的价格在降低的时候。把某人的手机埋掉并不很难”

人们常常把遗物卷入棺材里,或者像图特王一样卷入墓中。许多人那样做也是为了同样的理由。人们想用持有的贵重之物围绕着放在自己或者心爱的人身旁,不论是手机,耳机,鱼钩还是一串珍珠。

虽然还没有手机随葬方面的统计,丧葬业的内行承认,这确实是件再平常不过的事情,至少在科技一族和年轻人中间是如此。一些人认为,我们只看到了始终连系的趋势的苗头。

“过去的四五年里,这种潮流确确实实的发生了。”弗兰克·珀曼说。他是这个坐落在宾州匹兹堡的,弗兰克·珀曼殡仪馆的所有人兼礼仪师。“我希望它能成倍地增长,尤其是科技的价格在降低的时候。把某人的手机埋掉并不很难”

为什么人们打算把这些玩意带入墓中呢?专家们说出了许多理由。

人们常常把遗物卷入棺材里,或者像图特王一样卷入墓中。许多人那样做也是为了同样的理由。人们想用持有的贵重之物围绕着放在自己或者心爱的人身旁,不论是手机,耳机,鱼钩还是一串珍珠。

“许多人说,手机代表他个人,是遗产的一部分。”永恒墓场的鲍特维说,“这也是他们的一种延伸,就像他们的班级戒指。”

对生者的安慰

其他的人用这种方式,安慰自己和死去的人。

帕姆·外特说:“我曾经见过,有的家人把iPod耳机放到死去的亲人的耳边,在闭棺的时候播放歌曲。”这位洛杉矶的葬礼策划人,帮助许多家庭创设更加个性化的服务。

“想到妈妈仍放者她的iPod,或者父亲还把他的手机一直放在耳边,对一个家庭来说,是一件令人欣慰的事。”她说到,“想到那些依旧也是很欣慰的。”

这种保持连系的想法,似乎强化到了随葬手机。

“我见到过,有人留下手机,并且告我说稍后他们会给亲人打电话。”外特说,“并没人会接听,但他们想拥有这种连系。可以确定,打电话时家人围在电话旁。因为有这个电话,他们觉得和亲人有连系。这同时也有助于他们,认识到死亡已发生。”

曼哈顿刑事辩护律师,约翰·雅各布,在2005年去世。他的妻子玛瑞恩·瑟尔策,不仅把一部手机和一块充满电的电池葬入墓中,还继续每月支付手机费,甚至有时还打电话过去。那块电池的没电了,电话打入了雅各布的语音信箱。

一份电视报道说,她还把手机号刻在墓碑上,这样别的人也能给他打电话。

弗兰克·珀曼说,给死去的人打电话并不算稀奇。

“有个年轻人在刚过去的夏天里去世了,亲人把他的电话放入棺材里,方便他查看和手机经常接通。”他说,“手机没有了声息。你能看到手机一闪一闪的,就知道有人在呼叫他。他们也留言给她。他们知道他已经死了,但还是一直给他打电话。”

铃声颂词

《美国殡仪馆馆长杂志》的笛佛说:“甚至手机铃声也已变成了一种颂词。”

“在把棺木放入墓中的时候,许多人会给死去的人打电话。”他说,“这在之前都安排好了,你会听到细微的铃声。这就像新版的丧葬音乐,可用来确认他一直在听电话。”

丧葬专家引证了人们把手机入葬的许多理由。仍活着却意外被埋,可以用手机求救,也不失为一种理由。

“在当今,担心活着被埋掉并不是很普遍。”葬礼决策的创建人兼CEO,迈克尔·瑞吉那这样说。

“明显的是,十九世纪那样的担心是很大的。人们竟在棺木里系条绳子,好让活着的人醒来后拉动铃铛,让外边的人知道他还没有死。但是今天,随葬手机只是因为这是他的一部分。”

英国年龄关注慈善机构,是和英国退休人员协会相类似的机构。他们发起了一项对十万人的问卷,显示了这两种原因都可能。

在葬礼仪式上的八个请求里,手机做随葬品名列第二,仅次于与宠物骨灰合葬。再下来是,让人确认他们已经死去,和在面前安个镜子好检查气息的迹象。

像另一只手

来自加州圣地亚哥的广告员,潘妮·桑赛外瑞到哪儿都带着她的黑莓手机。所以带着手机到来生,并不奇怪。

“黑莓手机就像我的另一只手。”她说,“为什么不把他随葬呢?”

只要人们不尝试去和他人一起火葬,丧葬内行们顺从这种要求,是在高兴不过了。

“不能和手机、助听器、心脏起搏器这样的电子产品,一起火化。”珀曼说,“电池会爆炸。如果家人要求要和手机一起火化,我会之后再放入骨灰盒。”

至于那些想和来世仍保持连系的人,他们是否担心高科技产品的有毒废物呢?索尼爱立信、诺基亚和乐喜金星电子都推出了绿色的手机产品。

文章来源:大耳朵英语--免费实用 http://www.bigear.cn