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The Coffin Alarm

For when you wake up on the wrong side of the dead.
  [vote for,

I imagine that almost all of us have heard at least a story or two about someone waking up alive in their coffin, buried under six feet of impossible to move soil. Obviously, this is a less than desirable condition to find oneself in. Would it not be practical to install a cheap, button-activated alarm into all coffins just in case the person on the inside proves to be undeceased? The alarm could be a simple battery-powered one, lasting for no more than a few days, as this is all that would be necessary. It could just send a signal to the police or whatever other service might be needed to immediately dig up the unfortunate person. Perhaps a small tank containing an hour or so worth of air could also be included just as an additive measure. It shouldn't be too expensive, the total cost would probably add a hundred or two dollars onto the total expense; but then again, funerals are pretty expensive anyway, so it wouldn't make that much of a difference.
Pseudonym #3, Feb 06 2002

Be buried with your mobile http://www.halfbake...ith_20your_20mobile
[Monkfish, Feb 06 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Digmeup.com http://www.halfbake.../idea/Digmeup_2ecom
[Monkfish, Feb 06 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

The Premature Burial http://bau2.uibk.ac...works/p_burial.html
Edgar Allen Poe [stupop, Feb 06 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Just a cell phone might do it. And a label on the inside of the coffin telling the occupant which cemetary and plot they were buried in. Maybe a flashlight/lantern would be nice, too. And a CD player. Maybe a vcr/tv combo. Something to eat too . . . chocolate. Dark chocolate. Popcorn?   

bristolz, Feb 06 2002

       I like bristolz' deluxe option. Don't forget the piped-in music! I imagine the silence 6-feet under would be too deafening... yes, a careful selection of believed-to-be- deceased's greatest hits collection included in the package, please!
superspygirl, Feb 06 2002

       It's unusual for people to survive the embalming process. If that's not done where you are, consider becoming an organ donor if you want a second opinion.
Monkfish, Feb 06 2002

       In Michael Crichton's (excellent!) book "The Great Train Robbery", he talks about the Victorian phobia of being buried alive. Granted, there is a great deal of historical license taken with this work of fiction, but Crichton does make a very plausible case that this was baked about two hundred years ago, in the form of a string tied to the deceased's hand which was attached to a bell outside the coffin or mausoleum.
Guncrazy, Feb 06 2002

       Maybe there should be locally-appropriate methods where burial isn't popular: Vulture repellant for those who find themselves on a tower of silence, auto-inflating waterwings for those at the bottom of the Ganges, and so on. Not much to be done for the cremated, of course.
Monkfish, Feb 06 2002

       Having the battery last a few days is all nice an well, but will it help if your friends revive you using a ritual much, much later, but get chased away by a gang of biker demons before they have a chance to realize that they need to dig you up?
jutta, Feb 06 2002

       I've always found it best to shake, prod, poke, slap AND yell into ear(s) of the alleged deceased during the open casket visit at the Funeral or Viewing. If it's closed casket, polyrhythmic drumming on casket with a couple doing a westernized version of Peruvian beer bottle dance atop the casket of course. (Occasionally they get a request from the audience for Lambada). Haven't woken the dead yet, but hey - you never know until you try your damnedest.
thumbwax, Feb 06 2002

       jutta: the alarm shouldn't need to use any power until you actually need to summon help. And it should be able to last a year or two down there, even with the humidity (maybe if you take the batteries out). Revivification after about six months is very problematic due to the loss of flesh and other body parts, so you would most likely be too inhuman to care about your predicament by that stage (admittedly, not being able to extend your arms in front of your body or stagger around muttering "brains, mmm brains" might be traumatic, but this restriction is unlikely to arouse sympathy).   

       And in 20 years or so, they'll probably dig up your bones and throw them in a skip to use the grave over again (common in many European cemetaries, where plot rents only last 20 or 25 years), so I'd say your chances are pretty good. Being undead sucks, anyhow.
pottedstu, Feb 06 2002

       GunCrazy - Which is where the phrase "saved by the bell" comes from.   

       Or is it boxing?   

       Ah, whatever, you decide, I'm off.
LardyBloke, Feb 06 2002

       As you wish, LardyBloke. We'll try to remember not to turn you on.
beauxeault, Feb 06 2002

       The laughs I get from your comments are worth the risk of posting a dumb idea. Thanks, all. :)
Pseudonym #3, Feb 07 2002

       This was baked, I've seen descriptions and at one point what looked like a patent application. One of them had a little flag on a pole that would pop up and open an airway if someone moved beneath...
StarChaser, Feb 08 2002

       Heard a story recently, During a Cholera epidemic or something, the person doing the burials was very concerned about burying people alive. he was so concerned that he put spikes in the coffin. If you weren't dead before, you certainly were after you were placed in the coffin.
senatorjam, Jul 31 2002

       Isn't this another David Copperfield trick? Or was that Paul Daniels escaping from the Black Maria? Anyhoo, who cares, but should it really be legal for these so-called 'entertainers' to hide their methods of escaping such a predicament from the general public? It all seems a bit sinister, that's all. And should this apply to magicians' assistants, too? What would Debbie McGee think?
gizmo_man, Jul 31 2002


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