I Must Not Be Included
James Robert Smith
I went out to eat dinner at a seafood restaurant with Carole, her mom, her dead brother’s daughter, and her Aunt H-- and Uncle S--. As usual at these gatherings of my in-laws I just sat there and listened—I don’t generally have anything to add to conversations about people of whom I know nothing. But Carole’s Aunt H-- began telling a brief story about another Aunt: P--. Now, P-- I do know. She’s about as horrid a person as I’ve ever met. Pure snob, bossy, and completely without tact: a classic example of the self-centered jackass. I loathe her.
Apparently, another relative had died (don’t ask me who, but she was rich), and P-- had hoped to inherit some money from this relative, but didn’t. So, still trying to butt her way into the death situation, she sat down and wrote an obituary, which she wanted to be placed in the local paper. But she wasn’t in a position of authority for this, and so had to hand it off to the woman, a cousin, who had been named in the dead relative’s will as the sole beneficiary of a couple of million dollars. When the obituary did appear in the paper, it was obvious to P-- that the one she had labored over had been cast aside and a new one written. This angered her. (And quite amused me.)
Since I assumed, from the catty quality of the story being related by H--, that H-- didn’t care for P-- any more than I do, I smiled, and blurted:
“Aunt P--: She puts the bitch in obituary!”
This went over like a fever blister. No one laughed, or smiled, or said anything. Carole revealed to me a bit later, after we left, that H-- and P-- are as tight as Jennifer Lopez’s jeans. Which doesn’t, however, preclude her from telling catty tales of P--.
Oh, well. I thought it was funny.