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Laverne H. Bardy Headshot

Reach Out And Touch Someone

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Who hasn't wondered what happens to us after we die? I used to be a nay sayer, a pessimist, a doubting Thomas, certain that once we leave this world everything ends: no more parties, no more sushi, Hershey bars or shopping for shoes. Definitely no more verbal communication with people we have left behind.

Well, I have great news. I'm here to tell you something that's sure to raise your spirits. Are you ready for this? After we bite the dust, kick the bucket, leave for Headstone Park in a pine condo, we can continue to have telephone conversations with those we leave behind.

You're probably scratching your head right now because you think I'm nuts, and you find this entire topic impossible to believe, but it's true. Really.

I know because yesterday a letter arrived at our New Jersey home from AT&T addressed to Phyllis Cicchetto. I knew Phyllis wouldn't object to me opening her mail, since she's been dead for six years.

I'm so glad I did. Had I not, I would never have seen the unbeatable offer AT&T made to her. The letter says she is entitled to two free phones at a savings of $299, and the $9.95 shipping fee will be waived. Two phones! Since her accommodations are rather confining I can't see why she would need two phones but she can be a big shot and give one to a dead friend.

There were all kinds of perks, including rollover minutes. I'm assuming that the word "rollover" will require Phyllis to change her position in the coffin. There was a 30-day risk-free trial, but I doubt that a threat of risk will cause Phyllis to break a sweat. Unlimited Mobile-to-Mobile calling was also offered. This tells me that Phyllis will be able to contact other AT&T customers, both above and under ground.

Best of all, the letter states that she doesn't have to fill out pesky forms because she has been pre-approved. To my way of thinking, if she's been pre-approved, she probably also has a credit card. How else would she have obtained pre-approved status?

I doubt that Phyllis is the only deceased person to have received such an offer from AT&T. Since their old slogan was "reach out and touch someone," I imagine we can all look forward to receiving phone calls from dead people we haven't heard from in years.

Phyllis was Mighty Marc's first wife. Other than driving on the New Jersey Turnpike en route to various other states, she never stepped foot in New Jersey her entire life, so I'm puzzled how AT&T traced her to our New Jersey address. Had I known of AT&T's powers, I would never have gone with Vonage.

I don't know about other families, but from the day I was born I knew where I was going to be buried. Some families flaunt their fur coats, diamonds and luxury cars. Ours boasted that we each had our own plot waiting for us. No need to waste valuable years worrying about where we'll end up. No need for loved ones to scurry around pricing plots during their time of grief.

One by one our family plots have been used -- father, mother, brother -- and there remains just one more: mine. It's surprisingly comforting to know where I will be spending eternity.

My cousin Sandy showed me where she plans to reside after death. Her plot is far nicer than mine. It's on top of a hill overlooking a huge mall. Sandy loves to shop and sees no reason why death should keep her from something she has always enjoyed. She also loves speaking on the telephone, so death should not be a hardship for her.

As for me, I've never been much of a phone person but I think I'll take my phone with me when my time comes, so I won't have to wait six years for AT&T to find me.