Browsing through some old files on my computer, I came across the following story. It’s so good that I’d like to share it here…
On the morning of his 42nd birthday, Bill Jones awoke to a ball of thunder. Glancing out the window he saw written in fiery letters across the sky:
With shaking hands, Bill lit his first cigarette of the day.
He didn’t question the message. His only question was “Who?”
At breakfast, while spreading margarine and marmalade over his toast, he told his wife Sally, “Someone is trying to kill me.”
“Who?” she asked in horror.
Bill slowly stirred the cream and sugar into his coffee, and shook his head.
“I don’t know!” he said.
On his way to the office, Bill tried to think of a way to outwit his would-be-murderer. But the frustration of making up time by beating traffic lights and switching lanes, occupied him wholly.
Nor, once behind his desk, could he find a moment to resolve the mystery. What, with jangling phones, urgency memos, and the problems and decisions piling up as they did every day, it wasn’t until his second beer during his lunch hour that the full terror of his position struck him. It was all he could do to finish his Lasagne Milanese.
“I can’t panic,” he said to himself, while lighting another cigarette. “
I simply must live my life as usual.
“So he worked until late as usual. Drove home as fast as usual. Ate a hearty cooked dinner as usual. Had a few more beers as usual, and sat in front of the TV until bed time as usual. He took his usual two Seconal capsules in order to get his usual six hours sleep.
The days passed, and Bill manfully stuck to his routine. His pride grew as he managed to go on living for years. But, as it must to all men, death came at last to Bill Jones.
It came at his desk on a particularly busy day. He was 53.
His grief stricken widow demanded a full autopsy. But it showed only emphysema, arteriosclerosis, duodenal ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver, cardiac neurosis, a cerebrovascular aneurism, pulmonary oedema, obesity, circulatory inefficiency, and a touch of cancer.
“How glad Bill would have been”, said the widow, smiling proudly through her tears, “to know that he died of natural causes.”