‘Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see – because I do not happen to be ‘Somebody’ or ‘Alive’ – why my diary should not be interesting. Please excuse the handwriting as it is not easy writing with pen and ink when one’s fingers are wont to drop off at the slightest knock.’
Charles Pooter (deceased)
‘In which we settle down in our new crypt’
My dear Wife Carrie and I have just been a week in our new crypt, ‘The Laurels’, Brickfield Cemetery, Holloway – a spacious residence with room for four good-sized coffins, and a niche for the servant. We have a nice little urn by the front door which Carrie keeps full of flowers, and an old concrete trough, of dubious provenance, by the tradesmen’s entrance. I shall have a word with the landlord tomorrow about the trough’s replacement with something more appropriate.
After my work in the City, where I am senior clerk in a well-respected firm of afterlife insurers, I like to be at home. What’s the good of a home if you are never in it? ‘Home, Sweet Home’, that’s my motto. I am always in of an evening, unlike many of the ‘deceased’ who seem to like nothing better than to roam the streets in search of brains. Do they not know there are tradesmen who deliver? And shops with clearly marked signs above their entrances: ‘Families butchered, brains a speciality.’ Can they not read?
My friend Cummings, who lives opposite, believes that that may very well be the case. The newly deceased these days, according to Cummings, are a sorry bunch indeed. Cummings blames the Church. ‘They should know by now that Hell is full and Heaven has a strict quota system. But do they prepare their flocks?’
Cummings blames the medical profession too. He is quite ecumenical when it comes to assigning blame. ‘They should conduct more research into Alzheimer’s and senility. Is it any wonder so many of the deceased wander the streets in a vegetative state? They were like that when they died!’
I do not care for such morbid discussions of an evening. And neither does Caroline. We prefer the quiet life. There is always something to do at home: tending the garden area to the side of the crypt, a picture to be hung, a piece of carpet to nail down – all of which I can do with my pipe in my mouth; while Carrie is not above putting a button on a shirt, mending a coffin lining, or stitching a finger back on.
By-the-by, that reminds me, we must purchase a cottage piano and invite our friends along to a musical evening. Carrie is a most accomplished musician and, if may say so myself, my singing voice has improved considerably since my ‘demise’ – who would have thought having a ragged hole in one’s neck would add such a pleasing timbre?
Charles Pooter is a recently ‘revived’ Afterlife Insurance clerk living in a well to do crypt in Holloway, London. His favourite book of the moment is International Kittens of Mystery which he is pleased to hear will be released on April 3rd.