- I have been working hard for the past two days transferring information, stories, poems and photos from a tall stack of storage disks from old computers. This story was found in a diary entry from 2006 when I was visiting friends on Baja California. I swear, none of this is made up or embellished!!! So, here we go. Please excuse my irreverence. As penance, I grant you permission to tell any story you wish about me once I depart this earth.
He is a very good-looking guy, younger than most at the party in this little ex-pat-swollen community on the coast of Baja California, and very tan from a recent fishing trip. As I join the group clustered around him, he has just started telling a story about that trip–an incredible story about going to get ice to ice their bait, finding the bait shop man dead, and being asked by the police to take the body to the coroner in the next town. Since they have a pickup, after they’ve loaded the body, the police ask if they’d just pick up another body on their way. Seems the police chief’s brother from a neighboring town was playing around with his brother’s gun, shot himself in the head and died.
So they drive thirty miles or so with the one body to pick up the other body to drive to the coroner. When they arrive at the coroner’s office, he asks them to wait a minute and they can just drive the body back to their own village. With this said, he rips the body open groin to throat and starts removing organs. After pronouncing the cause of death as heart attack, he fills two buckets with the organs, sews up the corpse and puts all back in the bed of the pickup.
The drama continues at the funeral, when the casket won’t fit in the hole. When it gets wedged in at a slant, the lid pops open to release, in addition to the obvious odors, myriads of flies. They pry the casket back up, close the lid, and the grave digger gets down to remove the liners from the grave to make more room for the casket. When he does, the walls of the grave collapse and he is buried.
Frantically, all jump in and start removing dirt. Once the grave digger is extricated and the grave freed of sufficient dirt, they once more lower the body into the grave, but as they are shoveling dirt over the coffin, someone remembers that although the body is safely buried, that they have neglected to put the now neatly bagged parcels of organs back in the coffin. So the deceased is exhumed before ever being properly covered, someone is dispatched to fetch the organs, and he is finally intact this time as they shovel the dirt over.
After the dirt is brought up to almost ground level, boards are placed over the grave and it is cemented over. Puzzled, our narrator asks why this is done and is told that it is to keep animals from digging down to the body. Finally, the departed is laid to rest, but not so his ending tale, which has been making its round of cocktail parties ever since.