True stories by Murl Harpham

































There are those time when nothing needs to be said----just an understood look and a laugh.   Like the time my partner and I responded to a cheap boarding house on a dead body call.  We entered the room and the smell was overwhelming.  We  found the body in a crouched position on the floor by his bed.  He’d been dead several days---many days. 

We called the coroner and proceeded to open all the windows in the room.  The maggots had multiplied by the thousands.  My partner commented that they looked like moving rice.  The landlady showed up while we were waiting for the coroner’s arrival and she started closing all the windows.   I followed behind her and reopened them so I could suck fresh air into my lungs. 

She noticed the windows reopened and asked,  “Who keeps opening the windows, is there a smell in here?   I have a sinus condition and don’t smell anything.”   “You’re lucky,” I replied.  This got a chuckle from my partner but nothing like the one we would have about a half-hour later. 

When we cleared the call it was our code-7 time and I had invited my partner to dinner.

When we sat down to eat my wife served chicken cacciatore covered in RICE.  We both started giggling uncontrollably and my wife looked at us like we lost it.

Murl Harpham