Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Boxing Bill

After a long morning in meetings and interviews several of my friends were ready to let off some steam and we went out for lunch. One of the guys told mother-in-law stories about how she wants to have her cats cremated. That reminded another friend, Elyse, of a story.
Elyse married at age 20, for the first time. She married Bill. They had a son together - Eric.

The good times didn't last and he eventually became very physically abusive. After a long time, Elyse got it together and left Bill. Time passed and Eric grew up. He finally reconciled with his father, following his own marriage. Not long afterwards, Bill was diagnosed with cancer. He soon died, was cremated and Eric came to be in possession of the ashes.

Eric and his wife began having problems of their own, so Eric moved back home for a few weeks. He brought Bill with him. Bill owned property on a lake near Dallas, and Eric had planned to scatter Bill's ashes there. Before long, Eric made up with his wife and packed his bags to head back home. He came to the box. The Box O' Bill.

"Mom... can you please keep Dad for me until I can get back?"

"Oh no! Not me! No way!"

Before long, Eric left and Elyse was official caretaker of the box. She agreed to hold it until Eric could return and take it to the lake. Elyse's mother is a staunch catholic of the old school variety. She was most shaken by Bills earthly remains and would not sit in the room with him. She crossed her self furiously each time she had to walk past the box and begged Elyse to get rid of the candles and palm fronds surrounding the box. Elyse said she'd never had a dead guy in the living room before and thought the candles were a nice touch. She muttered something about expecting he would feel at home, surrounded by flames.

We all thought there was more to the story and waited expectantly. There was not. That was it. Bill's earthly remains were incorporated into the living room decor, patiently awaiting a final trip to the lake.

After a moment's silence, everyone at the table burst out laughing.

Are you trying to get Bill to Dallas without buying a plane ticket? Dad's a carry-on! Or is it carrion? Box o' Dad! Goin' round and round the conveyor belt. What if they lost your luggage? Think outside the box - that's what Bill's doing? Dad, squared! And finally, when the laughter lulled just a little, the quietest voice at the table chimed in. "This brings whole new meaning to the bumper sticker "Ex-Husband in Trunk"!

No comments: