Coroner misses a minor detail . . .

Back in Jersey City PG (PreGentrification) there was a doctor who was an immoderate imbiber. The way this was handled then was that a group of local physicians met with their tipsy colleague and explained to him that he was being offered the job of Coroner. There also was a warning: if he ever went anywhere near a still-breathing person, these MDs would make sure that he lost his license to practice.

Unable to make worse those already fatally wounded, the new Coroner soon settled into his new job. Everything worked out very well until the day that a certain old gent failed to show for 3 o’clock tea.

A woman running a local rooming house was greatly agitated when phoning the police to report that one of the residents didn’t come downstairs for his afternoon tea. The desk Sergeant at first found the call amusing and tried to explain that this did not appear to be an emergency. The land lady persisted. Every day for some years now the gentleman in question took tea exactly at 3. She’d also knocked on the door and there was no answer. The police agreed immediately to investigate if she would unlock the door.

As the door opened, the police saw a perfectly peaceful scene. The large room was spotless with everything precisely placed. An old man was sitting in an armchair with his head slumped forward. A book lay open on the floor.

The coroner arrived after a long afternoon of fluid therapy, personally administered. He asked the police, “What’s the story here?”

“Some old guy . . . Nothin’ missin’ . . . Heart attack.”

“Yeah, heart attack,” repeated the coroner, as he filled out the form.

An ambulance — now with certainly no need for lights or siren — brought the deceased to a local funeral home. Preparing the cadaver, the mortician noticed an unusual fleck of blood on the left side of the chest. With a rubber-gloved hand, he attempted to fleck it away. The funeral home director was alarmed to find that instead of the routine removal of a bit of organic debris, his finger instead had entered a bullet wound.

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