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Checking In

gravestonesBrad and Mike are two old retired widowers who reside close to each other and do constant welfare checks on each other. Much of their relationship is based on pragmatism rather than real friendship or personal affection.

One day, as he drinks his morning coffee, Mike opens the morning paper and turns to the obituaries page.

He gets the shock of his life when he sees his own obituary in the column.

He realizes that the query for info on him by the local newspaper several months earlier, was in preparation for this event. He correctly surmises that it is a mistaken entry from their database.

It still excites and rankles him, so he calls Brad up.

"Brad, are you up yet?" asks Mike.

Brad sleepily answers, "Yeah, but I'm only now starting my coffee."

"Brad, open the newspaper to page 31."

"Why, what's in the paper?"

"Brad, get the paper and open it to page 31 NOW!"

"Ok, Ok, I've got the paper here, so what's in page 31?"

"Brad, open the paper to page 31 already!"

"All right, don't be such a pain so early in the morning already. So, what's on page 31 that's so important?"

"Brad, look at the bottom of column 4."

"Why? What's that story on?"

"Brad, read the story on the bottom of the column already!"

"OK, OK, I'll start reading the column if you stop yelling in my ear!"

The paper rustles for a few seconds, then a long silent pause ensues.

Finally, Brad comes on the line quietly and fearfully asks, "So Mike, where are you calling me from right now?"

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