You've all heard the old joke about the Western Union guy who comes to deliver a telegram. "Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Murphy. Telegram for Mrs. Murphy.
The woman who answers the door asks: Is this a singing telegram? The delivery guy squirms and reveals, "Well, ma'am. It's rather sad news."
Disappointed, the woman bemoans, "I've always wanted a singing telegram."
Not wanting to disappoint and also hoping to protect his expected tip, he clears his throat and begins...
Dada, dada, da ,da
Your sister Rose is dead.
I'm here to tell you that she died in bed,
And even though the broad was feelin' nifty,
Though she'd just turned fifty,
Your sister Rose is dead!
Mistakes happen. We've all made them. But this one's quite a whopper.
Well, either this story is the real life TRUE BLOOD or WALKING DEAD lost episode, or stay tuned for the Jesus Resurrection II. There's a new living corpse in town, and this time its a woman. Here's the story from Philly.com.
At an open-casket funeral in the Campbell Funeral Chapel in Trenton this month, more than 50 friends and relatives gathered to say goodbye to Sharolyn Jackson. She had lived a troubled life, but the service and nearby burial celebrated the people-loving, 50-year-old mother of five.
I know I've heard of mourners coming up to an open casket and discovering that the body inside wasn't who it was supposed to be. That's usually just the undertaker, Digger Holes, brought the wrong box up from the cellar. But it's discovered and the right body is put on display and is interred.
But Sharolyn Jackson has five kids, a father and other friends who passed by the body box and nobody noticed anything strange? Some friends and family they are. Okay, they were grieving. I guess I can understand that.
Now, it's understandable that a person in death may not look as well as a living, breathing individual, and the family could have made a mistake identifying her through a picture. I'd sue the photographer for starters, though. But there were other precautions that could have and should have been taken.
Yet is was someone outside the family who realized this dead woman was still alive. The mistake was uncovered almost two weeks later, when Mrs. Jackson was spotted at a shopping mall by a person associated with the social-service agency that saw to her needs, her family said. Someone who sees her once a month recognizes her but her family doesn't?
Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives said he had apologized to the Jackson family, who were very thankful. The Medical Examiner's Office is reimbursing the family for the funeral.
How thoughtful, considering they didn't need a funeral in the first place. And if the cops had done there job, all of this confusion and grief could have been spared the family.
Walker said more stringent identification procedures could have prevented the drama. "There were some other checks that we could have made here to prevent this from occurring," such as checking the found woman's fingerprints against the ones they had on file for Jackson, Walker said. The Medical Examiner's Office, on the other hand, denied any wrongdoing. A family member identified Jackson, and that was sufficient.
Of course, matching finger prints that you have on record isn't necessary when you've got an ID from a picture.
But consider this as well -- 50 friends and relatives walked by the open casket and didn't recognize the mistaken identity. Was the deceased a doppelganger for Sharolyn? We don't know, because now the real mystery begins. Who's in that home away from life in Bone Yard Acres? Anyone got the number for CSI?