Where there's a Web site, a will finds a new way...

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Where there's a Web site, a will finds a new way
A new Internet idea allows the deceased to have the last word.

DEATH puts a pretty effective end to most human endeavours. But it will no longer stop us from emailing our friends and relatives, thanks to a new Web site, www.FinalThoughts.com. The site archives email messages to be dispatched when subscribers shuffle off their mortal coils. A ``guardian angel'' notifies FinalThoughts.com of the subscriber's demise; the intended recipients receive email notes to visit the Web site for a message.

Given the backgrounds available for subscribers' messages clouds, angels, flowers or hearts it isn't surprising that the founder of FinalThoughts, Todd Krim, says: ``I hope no-one uses the site for any spiteful or vindictive messages.''

Hmm. If the following excerpts from memorable wills are any guide, Krim may want to consider some other background images daggers, perhaps.

``I give nothing to my Lord Saye, and I do make him this legacy willingly, because I know that he will faithfully distribute it unto the poor.''

Philip, fifth Earl of Pembroke, 17th century.

``Seeing that I had the misfortune to be married to the aforesaid Elizabeth, who, ever since our union, has tormented me in every possible way; she has done all she could to render my life miserable; that Heaven seems to have sent her into the world solely to drive me out of it; that the strength of Samson, the genius of Homer, the prudence of Augustus, the skill of Pyrrhus, the patience of Job, the philosophy of Socrates, the subtlety of Hannibal, would not suffice to subdue the perversity of her character ... weighing seriously all these considerations ... I bequeath, to my said wife Elizabeth, the sum of one shilling.''

John George, 1791.

``I leave my silver tankard to the eldest son of Old John, as the representative of the family. I would have left it to Old John himself, but he would melt it down and make temperance medals and that would be a sacrilege ... I leave Parson Chavasse (Maggy's husband) the snuff box I got from the Sarnia Militia, as a small token of gratitude for the service he has done my family in taking a sister that no man of taste would have taken.''

William Dunlop, Canada, 1842.

``Before anything else is to be done 50 cents to be paid to my son-in-law to enable him to buy for himself a good stout rope with which to hang himself, and thus rid mankind of one of the most infamous scoundrels that ever roamed this broad land or dwelt outside of a penitentiary.''

Garvey B. White, 1908.

``To employ an attorney I ne'er was inclined.

They are pests to society, sharks of mankind.

To avoid that base tribe my own will I now draw,

May I ever escape coming under their paw.''

William Ruffell, England, 1803.

The New York Times


To shuffle off this mortal coil, or not to shuffle, that is the question. How many here will meekly shuffle off their mortal coil?

Personally I've always warmed to notions of the big bang. I'd like the going out bit to be a huge bang. Preferably a tankard of finest stout with whiskey chasers and a couple of tarts sharing the bed and with the gundogs toasting themselves before a blazing hearth. That'll be a damn fine way to shuffle off this freaking mortal coil when I click a final submit on my laptop email to purgatory...

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), May 23, 2000


Some of these were quite funny, Pieter. Thanks for posting. I will not go quietly, you can be sure of that.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), May 23, 2000.

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