I woke up at eight exactly. Not a minute earlier nor a minute later. I dashed into the kitchen for my cup of joe, kissed my wife, Pam, on the cheek the way I always do.

“How do you want your eggs,” she asked in the usual way.

I gave her the same answer I do every Saturday morning. “Scrambled with a bit of pepper and don’t forget the cheese.”

I poured the coffee and headed out into the morning for a good breath before the day heated up. It was spring in Florida and the day always heats up, except when it doesn’t.

Standing on the back porch, I took a good gander at the lawn. Yep, I decided. The lawn needed a-mowing. And I was ready for the challenge. Nothing like mowing the lawn to make a man feel like a man.

Pam stuck her head out the door. “Breakfast is ready.”

“Yummy,” I said without thinking and made my way to a table set for a king. OJ just the way I like my O J, good and cold and with lots of pulp. And the eggs laid out just so on the plate with a couple of slices of bacon.

Pam and I sat and enjoyed our leisurely breakfasts the way we had for the last thirty years. We talked politics and religion and just about disagreed on both but that was what kept our marriage interesting.

I got up and went to the bedroom and changed into my work clothes. Right then and there I fell over. No pain. No nothing. One minute I stood in my bedroom, the next I was spread-out on the floor. A door knob couldn’t have been deader than I was.

Next thing I know I am standing up, looking down on the me that once was. “What happened?” I asked no body in particular, and nobody in particular answered. Then it hit me. I would say like a ton of bricks but there were no bricks around to be hit by. I was dead.

Since I had never been dead before, how did I know. I could have been having one of those out of body experiences people talk about all the time. But I was pretty darned sure Big D had made a house call and that was it.

Then a second thought hit me. I had not paid the mortgage. And it was due on Monday. I had meant to. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. And, oh yeah, there was another thing. I had forgotten to pay for the life insurance. What the heck had I been thinking? Didn’t I realize that I wasn’t going to live forever. And here I was proving that point.

Poor Pam. She was going to find herself out of a house and with no money unless I could contact her and let her know where I left the checks. They were already written and I had been too darn lazy to get them sent. Now they would have to be delivered. And Pam didn’t know.

I headed off into the kitchen. She was at the sink, washing the dishing and humming “The Sound of Music” the way she always did.

I had to do something to get her attention. So I made an effort to grab her arm and stop her. My hand went through her arm. Oh, no. I’m dead for sure. What am I going to do?

“Why don’t you whistle?” A man stood next to me. He was dressed in a black suit with a bright red tie. His head was covered with a bowler.

“I don’t think that will do any good.”

“You’re probably right.” He reached over and shook my hand. “My name is Mr. D.”

“Mr. D?”

“Yes, I am the one who made the house call. I had some free time, so I thought I would check back and see how you’re doing. You haven’t been to orientation yet, have you?”

“Orientation? Oh, no.”

“So what are you waiting for?” he asked, getting a little pushy.

“Unfinished business.”

“There is no unfinished business here.”

“I need to contact my wife. It’s urgent.”

“No can do. Well, you can do but you’re going to have to wait till tonight when she goes to sleep. You’ll have to appear to her in a dream. What was the unfinished business anyway?”

“It’s a secret.”

Mr. D laughed. “There are no secrets here. You can tell me. I might be able to help.”

“Well, okay. I wrote a check for the life insurance and for the mortgage. I put them away and forgot about them until just a little while ago. I don’t know what’s got into me lately. I’ve been kind of out of it.”

“Where she going?” I wanted to know.

“Oh, she’s going to find your body.”

“It will be quite a shock.”

“I’m afraid not. Let’s follow her.”

Pam had already left the kitchen. As she went through the living room, she picked up a few magazines and straightened up. She seemed to be in no particular hurry. Finally, she opened the bedroom door. Did she scream? No.

I turned to Mr. D. “What’s gotten into her?”

“You don’t know?”

“I don’t know.”

“Poison,” he said, that sly grin on his face.

“Poison?” I asked as I watched her kick my body.

She was kicking it hard. “I told you not to vote for that…that…person for President.”


The Three Monkeys

Marge looked at the three bronze monkeys her husband brought home and shook her head. “Just where are you going to put those?”

“In the living room?” Tiller had hope.

“Over my dead body,” Marge said, and she meant it. Ten years she’d been married to this fool and it was always the same. He’d find some piece of junk, bring it home and end up tossing it out because there was no way Marge was going to let the damn thing into her house. Just once, she wished he’d ask her first.

The thing was that this was one of the things she loved about Tiller. His attraction to odd ball things. Curioddities, she called them. Unfortunately, the curioddities were not something a woman would want in her house.

“But I paid good money for them.” Tiller thought he was using logic on Marge.

Marge wasn’t buying. “Get your money back.”

“I can’t. It was a no return policy. You buy it, you keep it.”

“Figures,” Marge said and went back into her kitchen.

She was baking bread, and the aroma of the bread eased out to the living room. Tiller loved Marge’s bread. Nobody could make bread the way Marge did. He sneaked up behind his wife as she was checking the bread and put his arms around her.

“Get out of here.” She turned and pushed him away. “You get rid of those monkeys or there’s no bread or anything else from Marge, you hear?”

Of course, he heard. He always heard. Just once why wouldn’t she give in?

Marge went back to her baking while Tiller lingered for a few minutes. Her back told him she meant everything she said.

But he wanted those monkeys. He wanted to keep them bad. What to do?

Tiller was not a man to give up on his dreams. That was how he’d gotten Marge to marry him. He’d wore her down with his persistence.

He went back into the living room, took another look at the monkeys and shook his head. Something must be done. That was when he made up his mind to do what he’d been thinking about for quite some time. It would be the perfect solution. He would have his bread and eat it too.

He went over to the front door and opened it. He stuck a chair under its knob to hold it into place. Then he walked over and picked up the first monkey. Damn, it was heavy. He lugged Monkey See out the front door. Then it was back for Monkey Hear and Monkey Speak. He carried them into the garage and closed the garage door.

Later in the day, Marge heard some banging from the back yard. She walked out onto the porch. Tiller was building something over in the corner of the yard. What was he building? A shed. Damn fool, she said to herself.

Marge was having none of this either. She hurried over and tapped Tiller on the shoulder. Her husband turned around to face his wife. She said, “Not in my back yard.” She went to turn but Tiller stopped her.

“It’s not in your back yard,” he said with a big smile on his face.

“What do you mean,” she said. There was no smile on her face.

“I mean it’s not in your back yard.”

“Of course, it’s my back yard.”

“No, it’s my back yard.”

Marge couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “What?”

“I bought the house behind us. And the shed is in my back yard.”

For the Birds


A couple sits on a balcony overlooking New York City. They are eating their breakfast. A pigeon is on the balcony’s ledge looking at the couple. The couple are looking at the pigeon.

Carla, the bird, says, “Okay, guys. Here’s your agenda for today.”

“Joe, I can’t believe we are taking orders from a bird.”

“Jill, this bird has made me a fortune. Before Carla here, I was bankrupt. Carla comes into my life and within weeks I am rolling in dough.”

“Okay, guys. Here’s the plan.”

“I don’t know, Joe. Seems real stupid to me. Don’t you know your own mind?”

“Of course, I know my own mind.”

“Hey, guys. Listen up.”

“Joe, it don’t seem like you do.”

“Jill, I can make my own decisions. It’s just that Carla does a much better job. She doesn’t let things get in the way.”

“Guys, you want me to leave. I’ll do it, you know.”

“Jill, you got to quit doubting my decisions.”

Carla up and flaps away.

“And my decision is to follow Carla. By the way, have you seen Carla this morning?”