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Ghost-Buster

I'm sick and tired of ghosts visiting my bed-chamber. At first, I admit, it was terrifying. Then, it became endearing. But now, it is down-right tire-some.

First, the ghost of my father, Herman Ulysses Zweibel, manifested himself above my four-poster death-bed, cackling wildly and rattling his chains. My horror knew no bounds. Mortified, I begged for his mercy, but he only cackled some more.

He kept cackling. And cackling still. It was so infectious, I could not keep a straight face. So I began to cackle, or at least offer up the closest thing to a cackle my near-ossified vocal cords could muster. We both kept cackling on through the night. It was a charming moment that only a long-dead father and his near-death son could share.

As I cackled, I began to realize that there wasn't a lot that Pater's ghost could actually do except float around, rattle his chains, and cackle. My fear gave way to not a small amount of disappointment. I stopped cackling and drifted off to sleep. When I awoke, Pater's ghost was still there, hovering above the bed and staring at me blankly.

"Can't you at least knock over the armoire or make a window slam shut, or some such haunting-action?" I demanded.

"No," he replied. "The chains limit my mobility."

As the weeks drifted by, Pater continued to hover about my bed-chamber, occasionally moaning or shaking a chain or two. Then, one day, I heard an unearthly moan quite unlike the whimpers emitted by Pater. Suddenly, before my eyes appeared the ghost of my one-time bosom friend and business associate, the ruth-less steel magnate J. Titian McBrodie.

"A WARNING FROM BEYOND, FRIEND ZWEIBEL!" McBrodie's ghost bellowed. "REPENT YOUR EVIL WAYS OR SUFFER AN ETERNITY IN HELL-FIRE!"

My blood ran cold, and my mortal fright returned in full force. "J. Titian!" I cried. "Your ghostly warning has served as a bracing wake-up call to me! In my remaining days, you have my solemn word, I will try my best to make up for my century of sin and wrong-doing!"

"JUST KIDDING!" McBrodie's ghost replied. "THERE'S ACTUALLY NO HELL AT ALL! HEAVEN EITHER! I WAS JUST FUNNING YOU! HOW THE DEVIL ARE YOU, ZWEIBEL OLD CHUM?"

I was so filled with disgust that I could scarcely speak. Instead, I let the two monotonous apparitions hover about and compare boring notes with one another as I received my daily enema.

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