Here's the Scoop: Sept. 1, 2010

Living forever
“Never put it in writing,” is a famous warning. My guess is this philosophy pays handsome dividends for folks who prefer to lie their way out of sticky situations.

For anyone who has dealt with the type of people referred to above, there’s the companion warning: “Always get it in writing.”

I guess that’s just our world. The bottom line is that the truth is usually so much easier. Just ask Roger Clemens. Maybe that’s a bad example.

I’m not here to engage in the steroids debate, but I will note that some people think it’s odd that the trainer who is accusing “The Rocket” of getting his fuel from chemical sources, allegedly kept used syringes that will prove his claims.

Sure, it seems a bit strange. But people do weird things. For instance, I heard this week about not one, but two people who save phone messages so that they’ll have “voice records” of others once they’ve left this earth for another location. Odd? Yeah, I think so.

I mean, it’s not like these are recordings of a kid in a school play. Nor is this similar to archiving some second-grade artwork that used to hang on the fridge.

Nope. These calls being recorded are more along the variety of, “Hi, I was calling to see if you needed me to pick up Q-Tips at the store?”

Chilling effect
Maybe it’s because I’m not good with the concept of death that this “taping” process is unsettling. There are plenty of loved ones who I miss, but I’m not sure that having a phone message from these folks “brings them back.”

In fact, when I hear songs by musicians who died at an early age, it just makes me sad that they’re not still around, making more great music. I can only imagine how I would feel hearing the voices of relatives and friends who are no longer around.

Adding to my problem with this concept is that, since I heard about two people who engage in this practice, I’m now wondering how many more CIA-wannabes are out there doing the same thing?
Is it safe to leave a voicemail anymore or do we all run the risk of our legacy including recordings like, “Do you know where I put those Odor-Eaters? My sneakers are practically walking themselves around.”

My natural paranoia is now kicking into overdrive. I know for a fact that I have left messages for one of these “I’m Recording You In Anticipation of You Dying” folks. What did I say on her machine? I doubt it was anything X-rated or otherwise inappropriate, but still. Now, I’m nervous.
If I play the odds — how do I put this delicately — The I’m Anticipating Your Death Recorder will probably depart these here surroundings before I do. (Geez, I hope she doesn’t read this!). Then what? After the funeral, as folks mill about at her house and reminisce, do I casually open her answering machine and remove the evidence? My guess is that are plenty of others who have her number — and will have already performed the task.
— Brian Sweeney