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Friday, September 17, 2004

No telephone in heaven

Interesting little mystery story on the CBC site, Nfld. man telephones during own funeral. It's a bit like an anecdote Sam Spade might tell to his secretary in a Dashiell Hammett novel. Since it deals with that quintessentially Canadian situation--Newfoundlander lost in Toronto... with a twist--we can assume every CanCon novelist from Fogo to Tofino will be inspired to write a new grant proposal. I particularly like the reaction of the daughter, described by her uncle, brother of the "the-reports-of-my-death-have-been-greatly-exaggerated" non-deceased [italics mine]:

"This was Dane [her father] on the phone, so she actually thought that she was dead or talking to a ghost or something and just about lost her mind."

I wonder what inspired the sister to misidentify the body in the first place?

One of my favourite Carter Family songs is "No Telephone in Heaven." The lyrics tell the story of a young child going to the corner store to use the telephone to try to call her dead mother:

"My child," the merchant murmured as he stroked the anxious brow,
"No telephone connection where your mother lives at now."
"No telephone in heaven..." and a tear sprang in her eyes
"I thought God had everything with him up in the sky."

Posted by Kevin Steel on September 17, 2004 in Books | Permalink


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