My old house has been turned into three sets of flats but, with a shared bathroom and kitchen. About three years ago I was downtown and I knew one of the flats was empty so I thought I'd stay there for the night.
I went to the bathroom (as you do) before bed and when I came out there was this stiff lying on the floor.
I set off for the police station which was about fifteen minutes walk away. For some reason known only to themselves they like to be kept informed about these things. Then I had to trudge down to the coroners office which was just across the road from my house.
Some old bloke with white hair thinning on top answered the door. "You want R2" he says. R2 turns out to be room two but first he has to go to the toilets. I went with him since I'd had a few drinks. It was painful for him to pass water and I told him he had too much sugar in his diet. I can be sanctimonious about these things as I've not added sugar to my food since I was seventeen. There's enough sugar and fructrose in our food these days without us piling more on top.
Then we ambled over to my ex-house and I showed him the stiff. Poked the stiff in the back with my foot to indicate him as this coroner bloke didn't seem too bright. He knelt down and started feeling for a pulse, looking at eyelids and stuff like that. I picked up one of the stiffs legs and dropped it again. "Look" I said "He's as dead as a doornail. Can't you just get someone to drag him away?".
Apparently he could. He gets out one of those portable telephone things that give you brain tumours and calls up some sort of twentyfour hour hearse sevice (between the sugar and the 'phone his bloke obviously had a deathwish of his own). I could just imagine them sitting in the hearse in their dark coats and top hats waiting for a call out. They turned up in no time at all. Have you ever heard a hearse? I haven't, they're all silent and I reckon they run on celestial power. Either that or everyone inside's pedalling like mad.
The hearse blokes put him onto a trolly with all due respect. Fair enough but, the stiff didn't turn a hair. He was dead. For all he or I cared they could have dragged him out by the ankles.
By then I was starting to sober up so I set off for this nightclub about a mile away. We call it Big Jims but its official name is The Top Of The Town. We call it Big Jims because Big Jim runs it and if you get out of order you'll find your face embedded into a table top. Big Jim does not take disruption lightly.
I starts weaving my way home and trip over another stiff in the street. This one was all blood and teeth. I set off back to the police station so they could come and draw chalk lines around him.
It was going to be one of those nights wasn't it?