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The Grim Reaper

by Dr. Vince

There was once this family – a fairly standard family – standard husband, standard wife, standard kids, two of them, a boy and a girl, standard dog, standard house, yard, fence, cars – all exceptionally standard.

One evening they sat down to a fairly standard dinner with the husband’s parents. The little girl looked strangely at her grandmother. "You know what makes me sad?" she said to her.

The grandmother quizzed her playfully. "What?", she asked.

"Well," the little girl said, "when I’m grown up, you’ll be dead." Well, this got the grandmother’s attention, to be sure. But it also got the attention of the grandfather, who was fairly well along in his insanity.

He said, "Well, how do you know that you won’t be dead first?"

The little girl recoiled at the thought. She said, "Grampa, little girls don’t die first." This innocent rejoinder failed to shake him.

"Sure they do," he said. "They get hit by cars, trucks – they get struck by lightning, eaten by animals – kids die all the time." The little girl was shaken by this. But the grandfather didn’t notice, and so he went on. "Oh God," he said, "kids get shot, stabbed, set on fire, buried alive, torn to pieces, crunched in blenders, fried, minced, diced, sliced. Kids die every day. It’s on the news."

Well, the little girl was beside herself, and she began to cry. "You’re a mean Grampa, she said, through her tears. "You’re a mean Grampa."

But the grandfather’s insanity kicked in again, and he said to his son, "I have just two things to say: Why is the sun yellow and why in the hell is yellow a color in the first place. It would have done just as well as a sound thank you very god-damned much." And the son ignored him. And this very standard dinner continued.


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