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Still Alive

Yes, I'm still alive, you bastards. I see all of you camped around the Zweibel estate, waiting to loot the mansion the moment I give up the ghost. But you're forgetting some-thing: I'm T. Herman Zweibel, and in all my long years of life, I have never, ever died! So cease your futile death-watch, you naïve fools, or I'll have my man-servant Standish sic the bear on you!

And to address the multiple queries I've received from readers, I'm not one of those living-dead folks, either. You're probably thinking of my father, Herman Ulysses Zweibel, who became a flesh-eating zombie shortly after his death and had to be cudgeled with a hog-tamer. As I mentioned earlier, death has never come upon me, and I find the idea of consuming the flesh of humans positively repulsive.

Why don't you go pick on some other famous gentle-man who is long in the tooth and could go at any time? There must be some old, ailing, senile politician, vaudeville comedian or sports-man around whose death-bed you could perch like a flock of vultures.

I'll bet that old Li Ming Chinee-man character, my chief rival for the title of World's Oldest Man, never has this problem. I'll bet the only people who surround him are a bevy of concubines who service his withered old prick at the drop of a hat. Apart from you ghouls, all I've got for regular company is my man-servant Standish, Nurse Pin-head, my iron lung, and a half-empty vial of Dr. Klimpt's Poultry Liniment.

My bed-chamber is growing dim. What's this? I can make out a small pin-point of light. Now it's getting bigger. And bigger still. Oh, what an overwhelmingly bright light it is! As bright and golden as the vault of Heaven itself must be!

...Heaven?

Could it be? Could it be that T. Herman Zweibel is going to his reward at last? O glorious Saviour, accept me into Your ever-lasting embrace, so that I may spend an eternity in the joy of Your Divine Kingdom, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, Amen!

Wait—it's actually Nurse with her kerosene lamp. She has come to swab out my rectum. All right, so I was wrong! Any-one could have mistaken the glow of a kerosene lamp for the incandescence of Heaven!

It turns out that I'm still alive, so go on, clear out of here, you army of covetous goons! Pull up your tent stakes, and go loot the house of some other elderly plutocrat who is at death's door! Amscray!

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