Saved by the Bell

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Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by ADMIN-TOM

Have you ever wondered where certain sayings come from? Saved by the Bell is one that’s especially dear to my heart. The saying is supposed to be a reference to boxing, where the ringing of a bell signals the start and end of each round. The bell that sounds to signify the end of a round can be referenced to saving a boxer from defeat if he is close to losing. Personally, I don’t buy that explanation.

The Victorians had a particular dread of being buried alive. Why? Well, it was something that happened quite a lot with medical science being in its infancy and instruments for detecting a heartbeat being rudimentary. Some bright spark produced a device for fixing a bell to the gravestone which, in its turn, was connected by a rope or string down into the grave and then into the coffin, nearby to the poor unfortunate’s hand. If the dead person were indeed alive, they had a chance of being rescued by pulling the string and the bell would ring. Hence, saved by the bell.

Of course, these days with medical science being so advanced we have no need of such gimmicks… do we?

Well, I hate to spoil your wake, but as recently as this week, an old woman in Ecuador was declared dead after a stroke. During her wake, where the dead person’s clothing is changed, the 76-year-old lady was found to be breathing.

In 2015, a man from Mumbai suddenly woke up after his post-mortem examination. A Polish woman, in 2014, spent 11 hours in cold storage having been declared deceased. Mortuary staff were astonished (I’ll bet) when they noticed the body bag moving. The lady in question was very much alive and was taken home, where she declared she felt cold.

In 2018, a South African woman was discovered alive in a cold storage facility in a mortuary. She had been declared dead by paramedics at the scene of a road traffic accident, only for mortuary workers to discover she was breathing.

I could go on because this sort of thing happens more often than you think. Now do you think a bell attached to a string is a silly idea. I certainly don’t because I must admit it is my worst nightmare. I have no fear of dying, but I do have a fear of being buried alive. My option would be to have my body cremated. Except here in Cyprus, there are no crematoria, unless you are a cat or dog.

So, I have two options open to me when my time comes. Either start a GoFundMe campaign to have my body sent back to the UK and cremated. That’s going to be around $5,000 for the full works including flight. Or I can buy a dog suit and dress up as fido in the hope nobody will notice that the deceased is human.

I wonder if they do burial at sea here…

Copyright © Tom Kane 2023

 

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