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Yup, pretty much what I thought would happen…

Did you see the Drudge link to the Mail yesterday, the guy who tried to pay the property taxes on an old Oddfellows Hall by selling the coffin (and bonus enclosed skeleton) he found in the basement? And now the police are all after him because that shit’s illegal?

There but for the grace of God, ladies and gentlemen, go I. The seller, not the skeleton. Well either, I guess.

When I was in art school, my roommate and I were browsing our favorite junk shop when we overheard the owner talking to his brother about the skeletons they had just moved into the basement. And my roomie, who was a certifiable dangerous crazy person, hissed at me that we must have one. Because art school.

They were cagey as hell about it, but we were regular customers and we finally talked our way into the basement. It was stacked with coffins. I don’t know how many in total. I’d pulled an all-nighter finishing a project and it’s all a bit hazy. Anyway, three stacks of four I remember for sure, because the guys were shuffling them around to look inside.

One of the skeletons was papier-mâché, the rest were real. Several were children. The coffins were all different kinds. They were clearly very old (late 19th, early 20th maybe). We were told they had come out of an Oddfellows Hall, where they had played a part in some ritual (this is repeated in the Mail story).

Anyway, we picked the best skeleton (he had all his teeth) in a not very nice felt-covered coffin and paid $125 for it. I kept the receipt for years (“1 body in box”). We called him Uncle Wallace. I got stuck with him after school, of course, and dragged him around several apartments, still in his box. That was fun, said nobody.

At some point became aware that that shit’s illegal, but I didn’t know quite how to get out from under. I couldn’t imagine a scenario that didn’t ultimately lead to me and a big serious policeman in a little cement block interrogation room. I sweat bullets over that thing.

In the end, I…gave it to some guy. A long, long time ago. I don’t think I want to be any more specific than that. That article made my hands go clammy.

June 24, 2013 — 9:51 pm
Comments: 21