A Funeral, an Appendix, and a Dead Concert


PK lived in Jersey when her childhood friend’s mum was terminally ill in Boston.  Her friend called to say her mother had died, and PK woke up, wanting to go to the funeral and surprise her friend.  She felt bad but thought it was the heat.  She loaded up her three-year-old daughter and took off for the Jersey Turnpike.

For lunch she stopped at McDonald’s, since her daughter liked the chicken nuggets.  PK never ate there, but that day she had a Big Mac and then felt worse. The E Coli scare was going on right about then, so she blamed her bad feeling on the food.

That evening PK got to her brother’s house near Boston and went straight to bed. The next morning she woke up feeling worse. She tried to shower for the funeral but realized she was too sick to go.  Her brother’s three young children and her own daughter kept coming into the bedroom to look at her as she lay there. She’d open her eyes.  Lined up alongside the bed were four tiny faces staring at her

Saturday night her brother took her to the ER in Gloucester. They got caught in a Festival of Saints traffic jam. At the hospital, the ER was filled with drunks.

“I’m in a lot more pain than he is,” PK said, pointing across the waiting room.

“It’s all about you, isn’t it?” her brother teased.

Sunday morning PK had an emergency appendectomy. The doctor made a long vertical incision even though she protested.

“What if I want to wear a bikini?” she asked.

“Guess you’re out of luck,” Dr. Slicer said.

Meanwhile her brother called PK’s husband back in Jersey.

“You should come,” he said.

“Well, how bad is it?” PK’s husband asked. “I have Dead tickets.”

The husband came the next day, and a year later Jerry Garcia died. The marriage died, too, but that’s another story.

Couldda Wouldda Shouldda

PK should’ve listened to her body, skipped the funeral, and stayed home. But then her husband would’ve left her to go hear Jerry Garcia, and she would’ve had no ride to the ER, so maybe it all worked out the way it was supposed to.

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