Uncle Slappy returned from the shiva of Adele Zuckerman on the 15th floor. He was loaded with a shiva sampler, a piece of marble cake, two chocolate chip cookies and a schtickle of crumb cake on a small plastic plate. He was also armed with a one-liner.
A shiva, for those uninitiated, is not a somber affair, though it is tinged with sadness. It's best to remember the dead as living and usually funny anecdotes and fond memories are related. It's a cathartic week and all-together a good way to say goodbye to a loved one.
Slappy sat down in his favorite chair and began to dig into the goods. And here it came.
"It turns out Adele didn't die a natural death," he began.
At the age of 54, I have learned well my role as a straight man.
"No? What did she die of?"
"She died from drinking furniture polish," Slappy said.
He paused for precisely one beat.
"She had a horrible death. But a lovely finish."