November 25, 2003

At least he didn't answer

OK, I can't blame this on the paracingulate cortex.

No, maybe I can. This is a story about someone's cell phone going off inside his (closed) coffin at a remembrance service. It's said that "[s]ome of the relatives were so shocked they ran into the street."

Why? If the ringing phone had belonged to one of the live attendees, the others would have been annoyed, but not horrified to the point of running out of the building. But in this case, they found themselves starting to read the mind of a dead man, which is very creepy.

[Source: transblawg]

[Update 12/1/2003: this morning's BBC World Service news program, at the end of a discussion of the new British law against using mobile phones while driving, cited a similar story as a bit of colorful trivia -- the most inappropriate place ever heard of for a mobile phone call, or something like that. However, the reported introduced the event as happening "in Israel, actually." I couldn't find any indication (via google news) of such an event being reported from Israel. Was this (a) a simple mistake?, (b) an independent story that hasn't made it into google's index for some reason?, (c) the leading edge of an urban legend, placed in Israel because for the BBC, that is the default location for anything unpleasant?]

Posted by Mark Liberman at November 25, 2003 10:12 PM