The Living End
(They tend to, anyway.)
Staring Death in the Face
My honorary son, Joe, gave me a great gift a few weeks ago: a story to tell.
He put me in the ranks with Mark Twain, who , upon reading his own obituary in a newspaper, sent word that "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
On his vacation as a Marine Sargent, Joe and his fiancée were up from the flatlands visiting in Vermont for a few days and went to pay their respects at Joe's mother's grave.
Little did they know that I had bought a plot and installed a tombstone a hundred feet away. On his way out of the cemetery he saw the stone which has my first and last name on the front, and he did a double-take. "No".
There is only a birth year on it; maybe they haven't got around to putting the final year on it yet. Wonder if . . .
The next day he and his fiancée were having supper INSIDE a Dartmouth hang-out where I always eat on Tuesday night. I sit at a cafe table on the sidewalk in good weather and the people inside don't see the people eating outside. Two different worlds.
Get the picture?
As they leave the restaurant and see me happily munching my burger at the sidewalk table, Joe does a triple-take, definitely not expecting to see me after yesterday.
"You gave me a scare yesterday. I went to the cemetery. I thought you were dead!"
It was worth the price of the tombstone just to have this story to tell.
As a friend of mine said, "That was pretty expensive practical joke!"
Thanks for the story Joe.
If you look at the photo of my stone above you can see the flash from the camera reflected in the black granite. If you look closely, you can also see me on my knees, taking the photo: Staring Death in the Face as my friend Alan said.