This is one of those stories that no one believes, so Iím just going to tell it and let you make up your own mind. If you like, you can contact me and I can get all the people involved to tell you that, yes, this is in fact how it happened.

A friend of ours, Corpsegrider, the Satanist from Boston, called us up one morning asking if we wanted to help him clean out a house. When asked whose house and why he explained that his family had run away to the eastern seaboard and left a house full of stuff. Okay, well that half-answered the question.

Corpsegrinderís older brother had ripped off a coke dealer and decided at the last minute that that was a bad idea. So the brother holds up a Blockbuster and that isnít enough to pay the guy off. In a moment of desperation, he calls up the parents and explained how badly he fucked up and begs them to help him. Corpsegrinderís dad empties the family savings, realizes that still isnít enough to pay this guy, packs the family into the car, and they drive away to the northeast coast. Corpsegrinder had never really gotten along with his family, so he opted to stay behind and work things out for himself.

Now coke dealers are exceptionally nasty people, at least thatís my understanding. If you steal weed off someone, theyíll probably sarcastically offer use of their pipe as well and then not return your phone calls for a week; but if you steal coke from someone, theyíll probably skin you alive with their razor.

Corpsegrider felt safe in the house because his brother hadnít lived there for some time and there was nothing really linking the two together. I think his folks spilt town for other reasons as well. The house was being rented and the electricity was shut off a week after they skipped

But we went over there and started divvying up shit. All the electronic anything went to pawn shop. The clothes, dishes, and furniture found their way to a consignment store. Phil scored a garage full of tools and a Gameboy with Tetris. We scored hundreds of comic books and sold them to a local comic shop. I made $80 credit and $40 cash selling Jesus books to a used bookstore ("So why are you selling these?" "I discovered it was all bull-shit and Iíve found consolation in money.").

We found no porn in the house at all. It was spooky. There were no romance novels, no swimsuit edition, nothing. And it was during the top-to-bottom search for porn that we found Joyce.

I was digging in the front hall closet when I found a cardboard box; it was about the same size as one of those big family Bibles--the kind you write marriages and births in. Inside the cardboard box was a gray plastic box, inside the plastic box were a piece of paper and a plastic bag, and inside the plastic bag was Joyce. According to the piece of paper, she had died on the winter solstice 1998 and was Corpsegrinderís grandmother. She had been on the top closet shelf for the past year.

Corpsegrinder was visibly upset that she had been forgotten there. He may be a Satanist, but he loved his grandmother.

Several ideas were passed on what to do with the remains. I suggested making paper mache angels; Joyce would have liked that. Donovan suggested growing pot with her; Donovan would have liked that. Someone suggested making a paste and smearing her on our naked bodies while dancing around a bonfire on the winter solstice. That was nixed. Eventually, Joyce was just sorta divvyed, like everything else we found in that house.

Oh, the fun that can be had with ashes.

Uberdave used her to win a chess match. Now, Dave has become a pretty good chess player these past few months and he uses whatever psychological tricks he can to win. My favorite is dressing up the king piece with a cape off a Spawn action figure. You see, Dave plays the black pieces and when the cape is in place, itís you versus Evil. He also does these little chants whenever he moves a piece--itís very distracting but quite effective. Anyway, he was losing a particular match once, so he did a shot of Joyce with an orange juice chaser. Itís the fist time Iíve seen necromancy used to win a chess match. I think itís also the first time Joyce ever won at chess.

Little John used to carry her around in a plastic bag whenever he went out of town; I guess he figured she needed to travel more. One night, on his way back from Austin in a rental car, Little John was pulled over by the cops. They took his jacket and shoes (?) and asked him to stand with his hands on the roof. I have no idea what they thought he was going to do; maybe the piercings and dyed hair made them think they had to go to extremes.

Finally, having not found any outstanding anything on John, the cop asked if he could search the car.

"Now, weíre not going to find anything, are we? It would be a lot easier on you if you told us now."

"Youíre not going to find anything."

"Youíre sure? If you just tell us, we can go easy on you."

"Go right ahead, itís a rental."

So the cop searched Johnís car and found . . . Joyce.

"I thought you said we werenít going to find anything."

"Those are the ashes of a friend. I was taking them to Dallas to be scattered."

"Well, weíll just see about that," and the cop took a nice long suck on his index finger and shoved it into Joyce. Then, like some sort of Lic-a-Stic from hell, the cop opened his mouth...

...And realized that John was telling the truth and yes, those were ashes.

After throwing up on the side of the road, the cop told John he could leave. John stood there for a minute and the cop asked what the deal was.

"Can I have my licence back?"

I can tell you right now, embarrassing a cop--thatís one thing Joyce never did while alive.

Don't Believe me? Read John's version of the same story.

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