“At 72, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it's under Chinese control.”
So the Dalai Lama can decide where or where not to be reborn. This raises a number of logistical questions.
How far up the Buddhist ladder of enlightenment must you progress before you have the clout to dictate the location of your next reincarnation? Does Steven Segal have a piece of the action?
And how, exactly, do you go about booking reservations for the next life? Is there a switchboard that you can call? Does it have a toll-free number, or is the number unlisted? In any event, it sounds like a long distance call.
Still, it would be useful to have the number on speed-dial just in case you see an 18-wheeler accidentally cross the median and continue in your direction. (This would also be a really bad time for dropped calls.)
And suppose there are no vacancies. I mean, what if I want to be reborn in Monte Carlo, and a number of other Tibetan monks want to be reborn in Monte Carlo? Can I bump one of them—or vice versa? Is there a standby system in case somebody cancels his metempsychotic reservations? Is there a surcharge for last-minute cancellations or no-shows?