Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Think Happy Thoughts

You know what I don't get enough of in a standard week?
The first thing that comes to mind is ice cream, but aside from that I would have to say "grim reminders of my own mortality".
There are days when my bones don't creak when I roll out of bed.
Sometimes I go for hours without stressing over the possibility that a random undiagnosed heart condition or sudden aneurysm will strike me down in the midst of web browsing.
It has been a long time since seeing a flock of geese has sent me running back indoors crying about bird flu.
There is value in considering the ramifications of my passing, though.
Shana has all the passwords for our financial whatevers.
She can also email the real-life people I know from my guild in World of Warcraft to let them know they need to find a replacement for the raid.
But what about you guys?
If I'm suddenly slain by our litter robot or Avon/Umbrella sends their goons to take me out, who is going to let you know, internet?
It could be days or a week before anyone notices that the posts are no longer coming. The first few days would be chalked up to my slacking or being too hungover to type, both possibilities completely reasonable explanations and, in fact, defined in the Pr3++yG33kyTh1ng policy manual as "Post Quality Review Process".
But after that, the final post will just sit there. Forever.
And it will probably be about something stupid, too, since that is always the way it works with accidental memorials and (more importantly) statistically speaking about 95% of these posts qualify as near-meaningless stream-of-consciousness rambling. And that is assuming the reader takes the coming robot/zombie/alien uprising/infestation/invasion as seriously as I do.
There is a company in Houston called Deathswitch which exists just to manage this sort of thing.
You give them your passwords and pre-written emails and video messages and they email you regularly and request that you respond.
If you stop answering, Deathswitch decides that you are dead or incapacitated and sends your account information to your loved ones as well as the email and videos.
I'm not sure it has ever happened, but this system could fail pretty dramatically if, for example, I leave the emails to sit in my inbox unanswered for weeks like I do with most emails.
Suddenly either flowers would show up at the house (triggering my allergies) or my video messages would be delivered and the appropriate charges would be filed against me with the local authorities.
Also, the service costs $20 a month.
I've just written a final "death post" and published it for a date in the future. If I don't log in regularly and set the date forward, eventually that post will appear here to let everyone know I finally stopped beating the odds.
I apologize if this was depressing.
Please accept this picture of a kitten which has had too much Kahlua:

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