OT but it made me laugh

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See <http://www.edp24.co.uk/content/News/story.asp?datetime=19+May+2003+09%3A0

or http://tinyurl.com/c3fl

"A RIP-ping yarn"


"May 19, 2003 09:00

It has been a talking point among pensioner Mick Fowell's neighbours for weeks.

The gleaming new coffin, complete with brass handles, has been installed by Mick's lounge window
ready for the day he meets his maker. At the moment it is merely the resting place for his newspaper
and mug of tea.

But when two social-services workers visited the 64-year-old to talk to him about a benefits claim,
a joke about his unconventional table resulted in a visit from Norfolk police under the impression
that Mick had murdered his wife.

Mick, who lives in Beech Close, Gimingham, near Cromer, was left fuming when the two women from
Norwich and Norfolk Voluntary Services failed to see the funny side of his tongue-in-cheek comment
about his coffin last Thursday morning.

"Ignore the box," he told them. "This is the quietest she has been for 40 years and I'm really
enjoying the silence."

As graveyard humour went, his remark died the death.

However, Mick was perplexed that evening when two officers from North Walsham police station knocked
on his door and told him they were following up information that he was illegally holding human
remains in his house.

"I was very angry," he said. "It was a totally stupid, unreasonable overreaction from
social services.

"I invited them in and didn't think about the coffin – it's just a piece of furniture. When I
joked with them they seemed taken aback, looked at each other and carried on with their assessment.

"Later when we moved outside, the more elderly of the two said: 'When are you going to get rid of
her?' I said, 'I'll probably take her down to the allotment in a couple of days.'

"That's just my sense of humour. It was a throwaway line I never expected them to take seriously."

Insp Mervyn Pollard from North Walsham police said officers were called to Mick's house after a
report from social services of a coffin with flies buzzing around it.

"We take any report of suspicious circumstances seriously – two officers went to the address and
found the coffin was empty," said Insp Pollard.

"The officers got the impression that he was playing a prank on social services."

Mick, a retired contract manager for a pest-control company, decided to invest in a coffin last
February, and he went on to plan his own funeral.

"I have no fear of dying," he said. "I'm a single man with no family. I'm trying make it easy and
cause the minimum amount of fuss for the relevant authorities when I pop my clogs."

He added that he could have put the coffin in his coal shed but wanted to keep it in good condition.

"It's a talking point and without exception everybody else I've spoken to accepts it and knows
I'm joking."

Next-door neighbour Brian Donoghue said: "I thought it was a bit odd but not totally unusual – if
you get the coffin cheap it saves money when you die." Mick said he expected a public apology from
Norfolk County Council's Social Services or he would consider taking legal action.

A spokesman for social services yesterday said: "This is the first time this has been drawn to our
attention and we have not had an opportunity to look into the background.

"We are obviously sorry if Mr Fowell is upset.""

Cheers, helen s

Clean up the waste & get rid of the trapped wind to send a reply

Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
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