On the morning of his 42nd birthday, Crabwell Gromet awoke to the peal of particularly ominous thunder. Glancing out of the window with his bleary eyes he saw written in fiery letters across the sky, ‘Someone is trying to kill you Crabwell’ With shaking hands Crabwell lit his first cigarette for the day.

He didn’t question the message; you don’t question messages like that. He’s only question was ‘Who’? At breakfast as he salted his fried egg and buttered his toast, he told his wife Raechel, ‘Someone is trying to kill me’ ‘Who’ she asked with horror, He slowly stirred the cream into his coffee and shook his head, ‘I don’t know’ he said. Convinced as he was, Crabwell wasn’t going to the police with his story. He decided his only course of action was to go about his daily routine and hope to somehow outwit his would-be murderer.

He tried to think on his way to the office, but the frustration of trying to make up time by beating the lights and switching lanes occupied him wholly, nor once behind his desk could he think a moment, what with the jangling phones, the urgent memos, the difficult decisions to make as they did each day. It wasn’t until his 2nd drink at lunch that the full terror of his position struck him. It was all he could do to finish his Lasagne Melanise. ‘I can’t panic’ he said to himself lighting his cigar. I’ll simply have to continue with life as usual.

So he worked on to 7pm as usual, drove home fast as usual, had his two cocktails as usual, ate a hearty dinner as usual, studied business reports as usual, and took his usual two sleeping tablets to get his six hours of rest. As the days passed, he stuck to his routine, as the months passed, he took a perverse pleasure in his ability to survive. ‘Whoever is trying to get me’ he said proudly to his wife, ‘Hasn’t got me yet’ ‘I’m too smart for him. ‘Oh! Please be careful’ she replied, ladling him a second helping of beef stroganoff. The pride grew as he managed to live a few years longer, but as it must to all men, death came at last to Crabwell. It came at his desk on a particularly busy day. He was 53 years old.

His grief-stricken widow demanded a full autopsy, but it showed only Emphysema, Arterial sclerosis, Duodenal ulcers, Sclerosis of the liver, Cardiac mycosis Pulmonary oedema, Circulatory insufficiency, and a touch of lung cancer. How glad Crabwell would have been to know thought his widow, smiling proudly through her tears, that he died of natural causes.

Got this illustration from Ed Forman

Keep healthy, wealthy, and wise


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