we received the letter last july, 6 months after laying uncle arthur to rest. seemingly their had been a hospital administration error and they had mistakenly pronounced my enduring uncle arthur instead of the dead man in the next bed. my uncle arthur was foremostly listless and so this seemed believable.
the coffin was exhumed on a damp wednesday by a yellow jcb digger. my uncle was in a rather churlish mood and refused to pose for a photograph for the local newspaper. on seeing my uncle alive, my aunt doris broke down, weeping uncontrollably. inconsolable, she tried to mount the jcb digger to rebury him and had to be tazered then restrained by a local constable.
my uncle was happy to be home of course, but we all sensed there may have been some lingering resentment at having been buried alive. the real dead man who had escaped burial at my uncles expense was found exactly where the ambulance service had left him 6 months previous – rigored and propped up against a hydrangea bush beside his front door. the postman had been sticking his letters in his back pocket which had burst under the strain leaving his trousers around his blue and green ankles. a family of blackbirds had hollowed out his head, filled it with straw and were using it as a gruesome penthouse apartment.
the postman and the milkman who were later questioned on why they did not report a rotting corpse in the front path, said they heard him whistling and tweetering away every morning and assumed he was a happy eccentric. the judge claimed that death was not a common sign of eccentricity and sentenced them to 2 weeks community service in the city morgue so as to spot the difference.
my uncle is fine. he hides it well, but i know sometimes he yearns for the coffin.