Monday, February 12, 2007

Last Will and Testament of Alan Lawrence—
Letter of Directions

Dear Jane,

If you’re reading this, either I’m dead or you inadvertently discovered the combination to the floor safe that I hid behind the furnace. If it’s the latter, it would probably be best to put everything back as you found it, lock up the safe and walk away. Sometimes too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

If it’s the former, however, I’m sad to be dead. Well, I would be sad if I were still a sentient being (ha ha). Hopefully you’re sad, too, although if I died by your hand, presumably you’re not that broken up by my passing. Anyway, however it happened, I’m dead, gone, kaput—in short, without life.

First things first; you’ll find all the financial records in the second drawer of my filing cabinet. All the banking files and investments are arranged alphabetically in different folders (you’re welcome). Don’t be surprised, though, if there’s not as much money there as you thought. More about that later.

The next thing you need to know is that my computer password is alshung37. When you sign in, you’ll probably see a pop-up screen inviting you to a site called Bondage Babes. Don’t pay any attention to that. Simply click on the “unsubscribe” button.

By the way, if my next credit-card bill includes a charge for Bondage Babes, it’s definitely a mistake. But to avoid all the hassle of contesting it, just pay the bill since it’s not likely to happen again.

You’re probably wondering what to do with my collection of “sports” tapes and DVDs. Whatever you do, don’t watch them. Some of those tapes are old and could be damaged easily. Anyway, you’re not a sports fan. Just pack them up and give them to Chuck. He’ll know what to do with them. Let him know that the tape marked “1987 World Series—Game 2” is of particular interest to him and probably Hank, too.

By now you’ve probably checked my banking records and discovered that the $50,000 emergency account I often spoke of has a balance of something like $60. You’ll have to trust me on this; the account at one time did have $50,000 in it. It’s just that the fishing trip to Utah that Hank, Chuck and I took in 2003 wasn’t just a fishing trip.

You see, Jane, we made a slight detour to Las Vegas. One thing led to another and, before I knew it, I was down $90,000. I managed to make up the rest of the debt by drawing on the kids’ university education fund but I haven’t had enough time to replenish the emergency account. Sorry about that, honey.

Now I can almost hear you shouting and screaming “That miserable son of a bitch!” or “How could he do that to me?” Before you get too carried away, remember that I still have my pension from work. Or at least I did until last year. Hopefully the government will bail the fund out and you’ll realize at least a small annuity out of the whole mess. See? Things really aren’t that bad.

Oh, another thing. If you should start getting puzzling phone calls from someone named Mary, don’t pay any attention. The world is full of crazy people with their wild tales of second families in different cities. Frankly, I’ve never even been to Toledo and it’s beyond belief that anyone, particularly me, could balance two such separate lives. Heck, Jane, you know I can’t even balance my chequebook or the wheels on the ’99 Camry.

By the way, that reminds me. I think I may have told you that the Camry was all paid for. My bad. I was getting close but then that fishing trip kind of threw a wrench into the works. But as far as I know, we only owe maybe $6,000 or $7,000 tops on it. Shouldn’t take you long to pay that off, right?

One last thing I want to give you a heads up on is the small trunk in the back of my bedroom closet. It’s locked for a reason. Probably best if you just leave it locked and either throw it out or give it to Goodwill. There’s nothing in there I’m ashamed of but there’s no point in causing unnecessary pain at this point. By the way, if you do send the trunk to Goodwill, you might want to let the folks there know that most of the items are a size 24 and the shoes are probably too big for resale, especially the ones with the three-inch heels.

Jane, I’m sure you’ll agree it was a great ride we had. All my love to you and the kids and have a great life.

Your loving, albeit dead, husband,

P.S. If you’re wondering about the life-insurance policy, don’t bother looking for it. The last time I checked, it was in Toledo.

David Martin is a bureaucrat with the Canadian federal government but also does productive work by writing humor on the side. He is the author of the political satire collection entitled My Friend W (Arriviste Press, Boston) and blogs (who doesn’t?) at

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