“”University Alumni Office, my name is Penolope Plinth, third p is silent, and how might I help you today,”” said the cheery voice.
I was abruptly taken back to an incident 46 years previously when a well known M’s Plinth fell asleep during a History of Ancient Antarctica final exam. I was accused by my friends O’Malley, Rothstein, and Saaunderscuke (Cokehead), of blowing marijuana smoke up her nose during a pajama party the night before. Will she remember and start a hissy fight, I said deep inside myself.
“”I’m calling you about bringing my profile up to date,”” I said.
“”And what year did you graduate?””
“”Goodness, that’s my grad year too! What was your major subject?”” Mine was abnormal psychology and embalming””
Well, might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, I said to myself, while in deep mystery about what was to come.
“”Biology,”” I said with heart in throat.
“”OOOoooah…..ahhhoooo-ah,”” and realizing there was a lurch between the “”oooo”” and the final “”ah”” I figured I was in for much rage and condemnation.
“”And what is your name please?””
“”T-t-t-om O-O-O-O-B-u-u-r-i-en,”” I stuttered.
“”Let me see here, I don’t recall your name…..were you on the dean’s list?””
I choked. After five years in a three year program, the dean ordered me flushed …. off the campus … and said I’d lose my essentials if I dared return. (He never appreciated freethinking)
“”Nope, I missed that class too.””
“”Oh yes, we have you listed as deceased,”” she said carelessly and without care and no hint of emotion.
I was caught without words. I felt better when my finger discovered a pulse near my thumb.
“”Well, I’m now breathing unassisted.””
“”So what, the records show that you are dead, as a result of a dog sled collision, in Miami Florida, and that was reported by three of our very fine graduates, namely O’Malley, Rothstein, and Saaunderscuke.””
This is too good to be true, I said to myself and my mind raced in search of gaining an advantage on my ancient sophomoric friends.
I straightened my face.
“”Is O’Malley still flying loops around the Ambassador Bridge and causing havoc in Detroit?”” I asked.
“”Goodness no, he is a Rabbinical Scholar,”” she said somewhat irritated.
“”Who informed you of that?””
“”Bishop Rothstein, Bishop of Manitoba and Prince Rupertsland.””
By now I had forgotten about my demise and inquired of Cokehead Saaunderscuke.
“”He’s a Supreme Court Judge.””
I waited for the return of any ability to talk normally. My numbed head shook while thinking about past pranks involving borrowed hearses and city buses.
Then I uttered, “”What must I do to get deleted from the page of stiffs?””
There was a full mortuary silence. “”You might try talking with the dean. I’m sure he remembers you.””