Wake up, America!

Buried alive? You’ve got a real problem and not much time to solve it. If you’ve been embalmed, of course, your problems are over. You are more than dead. Not even a worm would eat you. You’re going to be more than dead for a long, long time. 

But if you should find yourself in the situation of awakening in a coffin, first ask yourself how you know you’re in a coffin and not just some dark, horizontal telephone booth. Do you remember dying? If so, odds are you aren’t in a coffin. You’re in bed and you’re asleep and having a bad dream. Try waking up. 

If waking up doesn’t work, try going to sleep. That will minimize your consumption of oxygen. You’ll live longer. And then die. Like everybody else. Just be glad you weren’t embalmed. 

But you may be too excited to fall asleep. Who could blame you? It’s like your first day on a new job. You’re confused. You’re nervous. You want to do things right, but you haven’t received proper training. They're thrown you into a new situation, and you’ve hit the ground running. Or in this case, lying down. 

Relax. You’ve got enough oxygen for a couple of hours. You’ll wake up in time. Because really, you’re just dreaming all this. 

With a little luck you’ll dream you were buried with your cell phone. This is far more likely than being buried alive. Of course it’s also likely your battery’s dead. (That’s why they buried it with you! Ha, ha—just a little coffin humor.) Of course if you were so fortunate as to have received a green burial—which may be why you weren’t embalmed—they wouldn’t bury you with a phone, not unless it’s organic. 

But maybe they forgot it was in your pocket, and the battery is no deader than you, and you aren’t in a concrete vault six feet under, just four feet under and no vault and an organic cardboard casket in a cemetery not far from a cell tower. Try calling 9-1-1, see if they believe you. Then call the most dependable person you know who owns a shovel or, better yet, a backhoe. Tap your head gently on the bottom of the coffin, and then harder and harder as you listen to the detailed instructions on how to leave a message. Make sure your message mentions that you’re leaving it after the funeral. 

Try texting. Text your entire list of contacts. And pray—pray that you aren’t doing this in your sleep. Which you probably are. And they will never let you forget. And for the rest of your life, you’re going to wish you were dead. And someday you will be—hopefully before you’re buried.