I organize funerals on behalf of the state for people without any family. I have to search through their homes for any information about them, and I often turn up odd and interesting stuff.
I had one for a guy who had lived in the same flat for over 30 years, didn’t have any family and only knew his landlord and maybe one or two neighbours. ‘Nice man, but very private, always kept to himself’ is a common thing I hear and it applied to this person – I’ll call him Harry Smith.
I searched the property, found nothing unusual and the funeral was held with a minimal attendance. A few weeks later, when his estate was being wrapped up, we discovered that ‘Harry Smith’ (same name, same date and place of birth) had died years earlier in a different country.
How could someone have died twice? More investigation turned up the fact that Harry had had a brother who had gone AWOL from the army in the 50s and never been heard from again.
The real Harry had died first, and his brother must have assumed his brother’s name and lived in virtual isolation for half a century, I assume terrified of being caught.
#13 Oh yes, totally. You can also take this up.
You know those fire evacuation maps that are entirely useless because no one’s gonna stop and look at a map on their way out of a burning building? Yeah, I design those.