By Buck Dopp.
Stinky White was a man who lived life his way. He refused to go along with the crowd, seizing every opportunity to rebel against society’s conventions and expectations. He died like he lived: on his own terms.
Cancer took White’s life after a four-year battle at age ninety-five.
Lacy Mae White, Stinky’s fourth wife, was distraught. She faced the prospect of living alone for many decades since she was only forty-four. What would she do after she burned through all his money?
She summoned Stinky’s son, Freddie, and daughter, Zelda, from their homes in Phoenix and Tucson respectively to help her adjust to life without Stinky.
When the siblings arrived, Lacy Mae grabbed her purse and, before walking out the door, paused to speak. “Thanks for coming to help me sort everything out,” she said. “I’ve been stuck in this damn house for days. I need a little retail therapy.”
The first order of business for Freddie and Zelda was to write an obituary for the local paper and sort through boxes of his pictures and documents. Freddie volunteered to write the obit while Zelda sorted through the boxes in White’s office.
About an hour and a half later, Lacy Mae returned. She burst through the front door with a big smile and carried two large shopping bags.
Freddie helped her unload the car, then yelled down the hallway to his sister, “Lacy May is home. Come on, Zelda. I want to read you guys the obituary.”
A sweaty Zelda sauntered into the kitchen. After grabbing a beer from the fridge, she flopped down on a kitchen table chair.
“Let’s hear it,” she said as she popped open the beer.
Freddie cleared his throat and read the obituary.
“What do you think?” he said.
Zelda shook her head. “It took you almost two hours to write that? You sure are slow. It’s fine except, why are you the ‘beloved son’ and I’m only ‘daughter’?”
“I can change that. It’s only a rough draft,” he said.
She held the beer up to her mouth, “How about we change that to ‘beautiful daughter Zelda.’”
“That’ll work,” Freddie said.
Lacy May put her hands on her hips. It was her turn to comment.
“You need to juice up that part about me, Freddie boy,” she said. “I was the love of his life for cryin’ out loud. He even called me his soulmate, and I held his hand as he passed. Those things need to be in there for sure.”
Freddie nodded. “Not a problem.”
When he was finished rewriting the death notice, he called Lacey May and Zelda back into the kitchen for his encore reading.
Charles “Stinky” White passed away on June 15, after a long illness. His wife of three years, soul mate and love of his life, Lacy May White, was at his bedside when he died.
An insurance executive for fifty years before his retirement, White sold his business to his beloved son Freddie who continues to run it with the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
White also leaves behind his beautiful daughter Zelda, whom he loved dearly.
There will be a celebration of life at the Jacobson Funeral Home on 21 June at 1:00 p.m.
The revised version was approved by Lacey May and Zelda, so Freddie delivered it to the newspaper offices the following morning. When he handed over the obituary, the editor smiled.
“We already have an obituary for Mr. White,” he said. “A day before he died, he sent it to us with the instructions to publish it today.”
“You’re kidding. Can I see it?”
“Sure. It’s in today’s paper,” the editor said, then handed Freddie the section.
Charles “Stinky” White recently passed away, leaving behind his wife Lacy May, son Freddie and daughter Zelda.
For those who didn’t know, Stinky got the nickname in early childhood, for the rectal turbulence caused by his excessive gaseous eruptions. His closest friends knew not to light matches or lighters near his rear end—for fear of igniting the insane methane that would detonate the thunder from down under. The ensuing explosion would be capable of causing severe hearing loss while leaving all exposed body hair singed.
Stinky was proud of the memorable time that he took the butt cheek screech to a new level. On one hot Fourth of July, he bottom blasted the Star Spangled Banner to the cheers and applause of his friends. He concluded the concert with a rump roar that registered eight on the Richter scale thanks to a few Budweiser’s he had chugged an hour prior.
He ran his own insurance company for almost 50 years and told close friends and family it was a license to steal. However, he knew his customers also benefited from their insurance policies by having peace of mind. In return, he thanks his clients for the seven Cadillacs and the help they gave him to pay for three divorce settlements.
He apologizes for the crappy service his customers got after he sold the business to son Freddie, but it was the only way to keep the kid from borrowing money. He feels if they were in his situation, his customers would do the same.
Since she never came to visit him, some may not have known that Stinky had a daughter. Stinky always felt that Zelda and a female dog had one thing in common: their nickname. He was proud when her high school class voted her the most likely to conceive—and they were right. He still misses those teenage years when she would come into the kitchen and scream, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.”
Stinky is sorry to leave Lacy May all alone, but consoles himself with the fact that she will now be able to spend the rest of his money without asking thanks to his life insurance policy. He added, “Besides, you’re never really alone when you have money.”
He says people can celebrate his life any way they want. He suggests they get drunk.
When Freddie finished reading the paper, he handed it back to the editor.
“What do you think,” the editor asked.
“I think Dad got the last laugh,” Freddie said, then slowly walked away, shaking his head.