SAVED BY THE BELL: Being Buried With My iPhone

When a celebrity dies, sometimes they ask to be buried with a prized possession. I assume, of course prior to passing away. Although in master escapologist/magician Harry Houdini’s case, maybe he asked afterwards. Houdini is rumored to have his mother’s letters of correspondence next to his corpse. Frank Sinatra is said to be buried with Jack Daniels (the whiskey), cigarettes and a lighter. Is that even safe? In President Kennedy’s Casket, an antique tooth from a bull whale engraved with the Presidential Seal. Jamaican singer Bob Marley has a Bible and cannabis beside him. And then there’s Marilyn Monroe who took some secrets to her grave.

And then there’s my favorite, because I think it’s brilliant! You might remember back in 2010, there was rumors about Jamie Lee Curtis’ dad, legendary actor Tony Curtis (also known to Flintstone’s fans as Stony Curtis), was buried with his iPhone! Although it’s an iPhone 4, and Apple doesn’t update those any longer. So there’s no FaceTime capability. 

When I heard about this, I shouted, “Genius!” So I made it known that I too want to have my iPhone by my side when I die. You know. Just in case there was a mistake and I wake up. I can call someone.

"Hello? Hi,'s me. Nope. Apparently…not dead! I know, crazy, right? What? No no. No worries. Listen, we can talk about forgiveness over breakfast at Denny’s when you get me out. 20 minutes? OK. Sweet. I’ll be here checking my messages on Facebook. Thanks. You're a lamb. See ya in a few."

All this reminded me of the ol' fabled meaning of, “Saved By the Bell”. No, that’s not when you’re about to get punched by Zack ‘Preppy’ Morris, and Slater enters the room, audience applauds, and saves the day. Some say the term saved by the bell came from the 1800’s where if someone who, let’s say was in a coma, was mistakenly pronounced dead. They would be buried in a coffin that had a bell string tied to their toe or hand. If they moved, a bell above ground would ring, alerting a grounds keeper. These were known as 'safety coffins’. Designs registered in the 19th century like the Improved Burial Case. Patent No. 81,437 Franz Vester, Newark, New Jersey. August 25, 1868. I think that’s one with the glass top. So as the coffin was lowered into the ground, if you wave goodbye to a loved one and they wave back, you can pull them back up from the hole.

Now, many dispute this version of origin of the phrase saved by the bell. There are historians who say the expression is slang from the sport boxing. There’s a boxer in the ring who is losing a bout. As in, he’s about to get knocked out. Suddenly the bell rings, marking the end of the round. “He was saved by the bell!” Hummm. So maybe the whole Zack Morris and Slater scenario is closer to the true meaning! Someone get Principal Belding on the phone. He’s still alive, right?


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