A new messaging service from beyond the grave has been launched, allowing personal notes written prior to death to be sent to loved ones in the future.
The Last Messages Club offers busybodies and those who insist on having the last word – even when they’re dead – the opportunity to keep poking their noses into other people’s business for days, months and years after they’ve breathed their last.
For a small fee, members can write up to 100 emails that can be released once they have died at times of their choosing, such as when a loved one marries, has a child or needs prompting to put the bins out on a Thursday.
Simon Gilligan, 63, from Cambridgeshire, has signed up to the service and has written messages that will be sent to his wife, children and friends after his death.
“The messages are personal, but most of them are humorous,” he said.
“It also makes you think about smaller details, like making sure you remind someone to cancel your bus pass.”
In other words, the new service is like really low-level haunting.
Rather than all that pointless banging on the pipes at night, or moving objects or causing people to feel a chill down their spine, you can just email them and cut out the hassle-factor.
I only hope that the messages are sent under a comforting pseudonym, rather than the name of the deceased: I can see how it might be a bit disconcerting to see that the person you buried six months ago has clogged up your inbox with messages about shopping around for an insurance quote on the Mondeo or remembering to have the boiler serviced.
Otherwise, the messages might serve one purpose early – to reunite the loved one with the deceased by virtue of a catastrophic heart attack caused by sheer fright in front of the computer.
Personally, I’d find it incredibly frustrating to be limited to just 100 emails after the grave – I bang out that many in a day, and I’d hate to be constrained in the afterlife, especially as I’d have eternity to be frustrated about it.
No, if I’ve got the option, I’d like to send an email for every conceivable eventuality.
I sincerely think that my reassuring voice from beyond the grave would be a huge comfort to all, especially if it was regarding a matter of great importance, such as whether or not my daughter should get her belly button pierced (no) or if my son should be stopped from leaving the house if he insisted on gelling his fringe (yes).
And then there are other equally pressing issues I need to advise my children about.
They need to know that it’s socially unacceptable to call themselves ‘Dr’ on their chequebook and in non-academic situations after post-graduate studies UNLESS they become a proper doctor, in other words one that can write a prescription and remove in-growing toenails.
They must also be stopped from pronouncing ‘clique’ as ‘click’, dating men who wear patent shoes (or women who wear t-shirts with ‘Pornstar’ written across them or talk in ‘little girl’ voices to get their own way), thinking Peter Kay or Lee Evans are hilarious or wearing any form of yellow gold jewellery.
In fact, come to think of it, there are so many issues that I have an opinion on that I’m minded to dedicating the rest of my life to writing emails about them just in case I drop dead without any notice.
After I’ve dealt with the really important stuff – the patent shoes, the show-off ‘Dr’ titles and so forth – there are practical matters to contend with.
Who, other than me, for example, understands the complexities of the family tumble drier and realises that if you run the tap in the kitchen during the final spin it will render the entire drying process pointless?
Explaining the tumble drier alone would take 100 emails. And that’s before I’ve even started on how you make back right-hand oven ring work by twiddling a knob in several directions while giving the whole apparatus a sharp shove.
And finally, I don’t think I’d be able to pass up the opportunity to send a few unsettling emails to people who have wronged me and who deserve a damn good haunting.
You know, a few titbits about the afterlife to give them food for thought: eternal burning lakes of fire, demonic servitors of Belial, hell’s uncanny resemblance to an Ikea warehouse on a Bank Holiday Monday, that kind of thing.
It’s important to me to know I won’t be forgotten when I’m gone. My only fear is that the WiFi connection in the afterlife will be as ropey as the one I have in the land of the living.
PS I promise not to send ‘hilarious’ jokes titled ‘ You HAVE to see this!’ or links to YouTube clips or terrifying, but false, pieces of ‘health information’ that suggest wearing a bra gives you a brain tumour. Unless you’ve really pissed me off. In which case, that inbox of yours is going to need some extra memory.