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Reflections on mortality

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There was a man named Harold, who, in the span of three days, had the misfortune of attending two funerals. The first was for his Aunt Agatha, a woman of considerable girth and an even more considerable collection of porcelain cats. The second was for his Uncle Bert, a man of few words and even fewer teeth, who had a peculiar fondness for pickled onions.

Harold, being a man of practical disposition, found himself in a state of mild inconvenience rather than grief. He had to take time off work, buy two condolence cards, and wear his uncomfortable black suit twice in one week. But as he stood by the graveside, watching the coffins being lowered into the ground, he found himself contemplating the nature of life and death.

“Life,” he mused, “is a bit like a sandwich. You have the bread, which is the beginning and the end, and in between, you have all sorts of things – cheese, ham, pickles, a bit of mustard if you’re feeling adventurous. And then, just when you’re getting to the good bit, it’s over.”

Death, he decided, was more like a cup of tea. It was inevitable, often came at inconvenient times, and was generally accompanied by a lot of fuss and a few biscuits.

As he stood there, a thought struck him. “If life is a sandwich and death is a cup of tea, then what am I? Am I the plate that holds the sandwich? The spoon that stirs the tea? Or am I just a crumb, waiting to be brushed away?”

Just as he was getting quite philosophical, a voice interrupted his thoughts. It was his cousin Mabel, a woman of indeterminate age and a fondness for purple hats.

“Harold,” she said, “you’re standing on my foot.”

“Ah,” said Harold, stepping back. “Sorry, Mabel.”

As he drove home that evening, Harold found himself feeling strangely optimistic. Yes, life was short and death was inevitable, but that didn’t mean it was all doom and gloom. After all, sandwiches were delicious, and a good cup of tea was one of life’s simple pleasures.

And so, Harold decided to live his life like a sandwich – full of variety, a bit messy, and enjoyed one bite at a time. And when death came, as it inevitably would, he would greet it like a cup of tea – with acceptance, a bit of fuss, and hopefully, a few biscuits.

And as for what he was, well, he decided he was the sandwich maker, the tea brewer, the one who got to decide what went into his life and how he lived it. And that, he thought, was a rather comforting thought.

So, Harold went on with his life, making sandwiches and brewing tea, and when his time came, he went out with a smile, a mouthful of ham and cheese, and a cup of tea in his hand. And if you ask me, that’s not a bad way to go at all.

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1 = Keep it simple10 = Let's get wild

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