The Die Hard
by April Winters
calls himself an idea man. Folks here say
Donnies ideas arent worth a watered
down ice cube; and if he bends over, his brains
will rush to his head.
recent idea was for the only drive-thru funeral
business in Littleburgh. Just think: no
more hassles with a traditional service. John Doe
wont care hell be dead!
Customers drive up to a window, punch a code, and
a curtain opens showcasing the dearly departed.
Is that convenient or what?
Donnie had a
TV ad made emphasizing the fact that busy
families could wave bye-bye to Granny and
be off to the local amusement park in a matter of
decided to experience The Drive Bye firsthand.
After punching in a random code, he viewed some
dead old lady and declared it was the freakiest
thing hed ever seen. The nationwide media
blitz that followed brought tourists galore.
Every business in town turned a profit. The
people who used to call Donnie a flake said he
was a genius.
as fewer tourists sat in line to stare at dead
strangers, profits dwindled. Donnie resorted to
gimmicks; but honestly, how many people want
fries with their viewings?
complaint was visibility, so Donnie rigged a
hydraulic system that stood the coffins on end.
Everyone was happy. Then Prissy Jenkins pitched
out of her casket, shot through the drive-thru
window, and ended up with her face in her
bereaved husbands lap. Donnie looked
outside and saw Ed Jenkins kick the proverbial
bucket. He also saw The Daily Scoops
reporter snoop Myrtle Wisenheimer
snap pictures of the incident. Excedrin headache
#532 hit Donnie like a sledgehammer; he dashed to
the first aid kit, grabbed the medication and
munched a bunch like M&Ms.
morning, he saw the grotesque photo on the front
page: about a hundred pounds of Prissy draped
inside Eds Dodge Ram and the other hundred
or so still inside The Drive Bye. Donnie said
that shouldnt have been a Kodak moment.
The next day,
he told me, Whoever said any publicity is
better than none was on meth. One measly airborne
cadaver and Ive gone from champ to chump,
just like that. When I walked to the store this
morning, everybody either crossed the street or
pretended I was invisible.
I told him to
hang in there, but Donnie was devastated.
Yesterday he permanently shut down The Drive Bye
and wondered aloud why he was doomed to a life
filled with such rotten luck. Head in hands, he
said, Im tired of being a failure. I
have all these money-making ideas spinning in my
head; why dont they turn out right?
him to commit Hari Kari, I gave him Pep Talk 101.
said, I had an awesome dream last night; if
youd float me a loan, I could
nice to somebody and the next thing you know,
theyre sticking their hand out.
Wheres my damned Excedrin bottle?