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by OPOVV, ©2020

Photo: PublicDomainPictures at Pixabay, License

(Jan. 29, 2020) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to ‘The Pulse of the Nation,’ the show that saves you a lot of effort going hither and yon searching for the truth when it’s right in front of you. Hello, my name is Roving and I’ll be your host for this new series we’re trying out: ‘Nobody Gives a Hoot After You Croak.’ Did I read that right? Seems a little harsh, don’t you think? Oh, I’m sorry, let me introduce to you the director of the ‘Department of Elder Abuse Report Center,’ Amy Vickers. Hello, Amy, and thanks for being on the show. So let me ask you this, Amy – may I call you Amy? – what is it that you do at the center?”

“Glad to be here, Roving, ‘Pulse’ is a very popular show in our neck of the woods. As you may know, DEAR (Department of Elder Abuse Report) is a government agency, so we’re all employed by the State with more than 300 offices, mostly located on prime real-estate on a lake shore or river bank. We aim to look after the esthetic, recreational and psychological needs of our employees, Roving.”

“That sure does seem like a lot of offices, doesn’t it?”

“Roving, in order to justify our budget we must demonstrate a continuing and increasing need, so we broke elder abuse down to two categories: those who are among the living and those who passed on to, hopefully, greener pastures. Today I’m here to address the blatant disregard of the wishes of the newly departed, if I may.”

“By all means.”

“Thank you. We have been inundated with complaints from family members about items missing after a loved one has gone to the far beyond.”

“Missing? You mean, like stolen?”

“Pure and simple theft, Roving. They attack like vultures, gabbing this and that, anything they can lay their grubby little hands on. The worst are the administrators and directors, followed by the hired help and the relatives of the deceased. Actually it’s based on a ‘first-come, first served’ order.”

“I suppose even disorder has some kind of order.”

“Yes, that’s quite true. We have seen honest people lying, which is a shame. We have seen those vested with POA (Power of Attorney) empty bank accounts and every conceivable account they find.”

“Such as?”

“Maybe there’s the matter of $361 left over from the funeral home: they’ll grab it like it’s Judgment Day.”

“Too bad it isn’t.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more. In many instances, the children, the rightful heirs of the property, live miles away and must travel great distances, taking a day or more, to claim their property, only to have it stolen by the aforementioned crooks.”

“So what do these people do with the stolen property?”

“Some keep it or give it to friends; some visit pawn shops; some sell it online; and some just trash it, throw it in the dumpster just for spite and meanness. There may be a painting by one of the children that the mother adored: trashed.”

“But one would think that the retirement home or nursing home would’ve called in professional movers, move all the items to a storage unit: end of story.”

“Of course, it’s a no-brainer, but the bad guys steal the stuff immediately, while the deceased isn’t even cold yet. No, it’s the ones who never call for professional movers that we have our eye on.”

“So theft is common, stealing from the dead?”

“It’s rampant, and not just in Minnesota. We get complaints, but it’s awfully hard to act on since we’re called a day or even a week late.”

 “The horse has left the barn. So, how do you prevent dishonest people from stealing family heirlooms*?”

“You can’t. You can’t legislate good manners, sad to say. Look, when we catch the bad guys we throw the book at them; it’s the best we can do.”

“Well, good luck with that. It sure is a shame that the watch your father wore every day of his life was stolen within five minutes of his death. Maybe it wasn’t an Omega but a cheap drugstore watch, but he cherished it just as you cherished your father, and now that reminder has vanished because too many of us never took the commandment, “You shall not steal” to heart. And that’ll do it for us, and so, on behalf of the crew and Amy, I’ll be wishing you all a goodnight: Goodnight.

“Stealing from the dead, that’s what it is; taking candy from a baby. You know, there are some really terrible people in the world. Burger time: my treat.”

[*heirloom: doesn’t have to be worth much, or even anything at all. I treasure my Dad’s old tackle box.]

Ooh La La” (3:34)


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