Remember the lady who retired?
Well, this morning she sent word to me from beyond the grave!
…in the form of her friend, who I also don’t know.
As usual, I was hard at work (using our new 3D software to design a crypt and accompanying mausoleum for a wealthy family), when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“Allo, James! Ah, ci vous—”
“Whoa-whoa-whoa! On on-glay see-voo-play!” (It was in French, but we’ll pretend for you Onglay.)
“Sorry! I was uh…wondering if you could draw the husband of the lady who retired? Remember? You drew her?”
“Anyway, he’s sixty. And she wants to give it to him on Friday!”
Hmmph. Two days. Not a lot of notice for something as important as a sixtieth birthday, but—
“…and if you could have that by the end of the day for me?”
“Say WHAT!? ” I said, gesturing to the high-tech F16-like cockpit I was sitting in and its surrounding 42″ monitors. Cemetery management, people. It’s no laughing matter.
“When exactly do you expect me to do this? These bastards need to know that their luxurious eternal resting place is ready and waiting! You know our credo!”
I pointed at the brass plaque on the wall of my corner office on the 13th floor. I was promoted recently and no longer have to deal with mass graves and corpse-shredding delegation and the like. Privileged classes only.
The plaque reads:
“THE NATIONAL CEMETERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL: WEALTH SECTOR —
PROVIDING LUXURIOUS ETERNAL RESTING PLACES FOR RICH BASTARDS SINCE 1989.”
“Look, I’m leaving at noon today for a week of vacation, so fortunately you caught me in a good mood. I’ll stay for a maximum of half an hour and do what I can. Picture?”
She handed me the photo and an accompanying card with the inscription. Normally I insist on creative license, but…whatever.
Twelve noon came pretty quickly and, true to my word, I started the chronograph on the ol’ Speedmaster and got to work. Half an hour and I’m gone. Keep in mind I have no idea what the quality is going to be like at this point. Sometimes I hit, sometimes I miss. There are a lot of variables at work with this stuff.
But, since there was cash money on the line (we reached an agreement) I did my very, very best to produce the following photo. You know…just to fuck with her?
I did it with great ceremony.
“First, here’s your photo back…annnnnnnnd the little card! There you go. Whup – almost dropped it there! Ha ha! Okay, ready? I really hope she likes it!”
I have to commend her for keeping a straight face. She even had the cash in her hand, ready to pay.
“Wellllll? Whadda you think?” I said, smiling eagerly.
“It is uh…what she asked for, yes. Uh…yes, it is…very good, and…” (She began to hand me a twenty)
“—Awwww, I’m just messin’ with you. Here’s the real one. Yoink!”
I snatched the bill.
“See ya in a week! Woot!”