Posts Tagged ‘death’


When she was young, my daughter Rachael had a pet hamster. She named him Wilbur. She would set Wilbur beside her while she watched cartoons on TV and play with him during the commercials. That is, if he didn’t sneak off while she wasn’t paying attention.

Now, hamsters are not known for their longevity. One day Rachael brought Wilbur to me and said something was wrong with him. He was stiff, cold and not breathing.

“Honey, I’m afraid Wilbur is dead.” I said softly.

“No, he isn’t!” she protested.

“I’m pretty sure he is.” I replied.

“No, we have to take him to the doctor, she cried.

So we took him to a veterinarian.

The vet broke the news to Rachael. “Rachael, Your father is correct. It was Wilbur’s time to go, and he is no longer with us.” Then he said to me, “That’ll be $10 for the visit.”

Amid Rachael’s sobbing and disbelief, I asked, “You’re absolutely sure he’s gone?”

“Well, just a minute,” he said, and brought in a calico tabby. The cat licked Wilbur from head to toe, then lowered her head and gave a soft, “meow.” The vet then brought in a Golden Retriever. The dog sniffed Wilbur, then lowered his head and gave a soft, “woof.” “That’s conclusive, said the vet. “He’s definitely dead,” and added, “that will be $250 for the visit.”

“Now wait a minute,” I said, “It was only a $10 visit a minute ago.”

“Well, yes,” said the vet. “That was before you ordered the cat scan and the lab test.”


Ode to a Hamster

Posted: June 7, 2012 in Animals, Family, Kids
Tags: , , , ,

   When my daughter was very young, we bought her a hamster. She promised to take care of a hamster if we would buy her one. But anyone who has bought their child a hamster, knows how that goes.

   It became my job every day to ensure “Wilbur” had food and water. On Saturday, it was my job to rid the hamster cage of that hideous odor that was a result of the food and water. It was my daughter’s job to watch the hamster while I washed the cage. She would set Wilbur on the sofa next to her and pet him while she watched Saturday morning cartoons. When I would bring the cleaned cage in, I’d ask her, “Where’s Wilbur?” to which she would answer, “He’s right here beside… Where’d he go?” Then we’d spend the rest of the afternoon searching under beds and in closets for him.

   One day, I went to feed and water Wilbur, but he didn’t move. He had passed away in the night.

   I tried to think of the best way to break the news to my daughter. I went to her room, and sat beside her. “Honey, Wilbur died last night. He’s not with us any more,” I said.

“Well, where is he?” she asked.

“God took him to heaven to be with Him,” I said.

She thought about it for a minute and asked, “What does God want with a dead hamster?”


   A country preacher was delivering a Spirit-filled message one Sunday, when he stopped to see if his message was getting across.

“Who wants to go to Heaven?” he shouted.

Everyone’s hand went up amid shouts of Amen and Hallelujah , except for one young man in the back.

He shouted again, “I tell you it’s gonna’ be a great place – Now, who wants to go to Heaven?”

Again, there were shouts of excitement from the congregation and all hands went up – except this young guy in the back.

Well, maybe he didn’t hear me, the preacher thought. I’ll give it one more try. So he called out clear and loud, “At last we’ll be with God our Maker, Now who wants to GO TO HEAVEN?”

Again there was no response from the guy in the back.

The preacher couldn’t stand it. Why wouldn’t this guy raise his hand? “You sir, in the back. You didn’t raise your hand. Don’t you want to go to Heaven when you die?” the preacher asked. “Oh, yeah… when I die,” the guy replied and sheepishly raised his hand. “I thought you was gettin’ up a crowd to go right now.”

The Obituary

Posted: April 13, 2012 in Animals, Cars
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

   I don’t know why it is, but old people like to read the obituaries. It’s like it’s the results of some sort of an endurance challenge and they want to know who’s out already out of the game. Or, it’s like they’ve entered some macabre lottery that they see all the people they grew up with winning, and they want to know when their turn is coming.

   My Grandmother, being a details-oriented woman from the deepest, most backwoods part of East Tennessee, got very concerned reading about all the people she knew passing away and about final funeral arrangements as she and her husband were getting up in years. So she went to the local newspaper office to have an obituary for her husband put on file so in the event he should pass, she would not have to deal with that issue in the midst of her mourning.

   The editor gave her a form to fill out, and informed her that the fee for an obituary was 50 cents a word. She paused, reflected for a moment, and then said, “Well, then, let’s just put: ‘Henry Clay died today.’.”

   Amused at the woman’s thrift, the editor added, “Sorry ma’am, there is a ten-word minimum on all obituaries.” Only a little flustered, she thought things over and counted silently on her fingers. In a few seconds she said, “In that case, let it read: ‘Henry Clay died today – truck and ‘coon dog for sale.'”

That’s once…

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