One of my Cousin Kat’s best friends was Don Waters who ran the funeral home. She needed to go to Mason City to see her eye doctor when Don mentioned he had to make the trip to pick up a body at the airport. Cousin Kat was tight as Dick’s hatband and not a bit squeamish about a little thing like riding with a body. Turns ou it was Mabel Peter’s Who she’d ridden to work with for over twenty years. Surely Mabel, dead would be less aggravating than Mabel, alive. There was no reason in the world to waste her high-priced gasoline driving over the mountain when she could ride along with Don and Mabel. The hearse’s passenger side door didn’t work, but Don never gotten it fixed since he rarely had a live passenger. Mabel had gone off to live with her daughter in Medford till the diabetes got her.
They left early. Don’s hearse was quite comfortable, but a mite cool for her tastes. She was glad she’d brought a sweater along. Good thing Mabel had always been hot-natured. It used to make Cousin Kat mad how she wouldn’t turn it on the heater in her car till it was nearly freezing. “You know how stout folks are.” Don was a big guy and moved a little slow. She got a few strange looks climbing out the back door of the hearse when she got tired of waiting on Don to let her out the driver’s side. Don waited while she had her eyes checked, then they went to lunch. Always interested in what was going on, at the airport, she climbed out of the back of the hearse and followed Don into the cargo area. Mabel’s coffin was being bumped and jostled to the loading dock just as they got there. Prior to signing the receipt, Don lifted the coffin lid, tiny cousin Cat crowding right in beside him to see how Mabel looked. No Mabel!
“She ain’t in here! She must’a dumped out on th’ way!” A plane could be seen taxiing for take off.
“0h $;@”:#%+! Somebody stop ’em! They lost the stiff!” one of the workers shouted.
Meanwhile Cousin Kat’s nosiness paid off. She spotted a little something in the coffin. Pointing it out to Don Waters, he lifted the lower panel of the coffin where Mabel’s leg-less body had slid during transport, making the coffin initially appear empty.
After retrieving What was left Mabel, Don and Cousin Kat were on their way. Cousi Kate was well satisfied with her adventure. She’d gotten a free ride to Mason City, Don had bought her lunch, she’d seen how bodies were shipped, and she was the first in the neighborhood to know about Mabel.