by Charlene Watters
Today is July 15. Death day. My dad was first. He died nine years ago. Aunt Jessica was next, six years ago. Five years ago, Uncle Jeremy died. All on July 15. Dad and Aunt Jessica were taken by disease, but Uncle Jeremy's demise was odd in the extreme. Do you remember the man in Alberta who was decapitated by a flying manhole cover? That was Uncle Jeremy.
Dad has four more siblings left. They were pretty freaked at Uncle Jeremy's funeral. Twice is a coincidence. Three times makes it true. Once some time had passed, though, the old Shalako humour started seeping through.
They started having death day events. I went last year. Dinner conversation was somewhat twisted.
Uncle Jack: "You know if I get the news that I have something terminal, I'm going to off myself on death day just to keep the statistics interesting."
Aunt June: "Well, if I get that kind of bad news, I'm going to pick any day but death day to end it. Time to break the chain."
Aunt Jennifer: "Oh Juney, you're such a stick in the mud. I'm tempted to put a pillow over your face on the day, terminal illness or no terminal illness."
Aunt June: "You would commit murder just to keep a statistical anomaly going? You are so sick."
Uncle Joe: "Lighten up Junebug. No one's going to kill anyone."
It's almost midnight. Looks like they made it through another year.
Wait – I hear the phone.