Neither in the 12 years as county coroner nor during his decade as deputy coroner has Howard seen anything like it. Howard was absolutely certain Williams was dead.
“Please don’t sue me. I totally did my job correctly and didn’t screw up,” said the coroner. “Automatic heart defibrillator! That’s the ticket! Don’t sue me.”
This is one example of how “coroner” is not synonymous with “medical examiner.” A coroner doesn’t have to have any kind of degree or special training at all. Often they’re just some schmuck who gets paid to show up at scene and proffer an opinion on whether a person is dead.
Associated Press quoted Mr Williams from his hospital bed as saying: “Braaiiinssss…”
People just “come back to life” somtimes. It’s bizarre, astoundingly uncommon, and we don’t understand how it happens, but it’s been documented time and again.
The problem, really, is that determining “death” is pretty hard. Lack of pulse? Not breathing? Apparent rigor mortis? Lack of brain function? All pretty good indicators, but you can still be alive with any one or all of them. Even cell death can be a false flag - your system can literally start going to pieces, then just…stop… for some reason, turn around, and recover.
An anecdote, if I may.
My father is a trained medical professional, and once when I was young one of our dogs brought in a opossum, wet with slobber, stiff as a board, smelling of decay, eyes glossy and lightless. We of course knew their famous fake death trick, but my dad was hoping quite strongly that it was still alive when he first started to examine it, since it wasn’t really torn up. But he quickly became absolutely convinced the thing was dead as a doornail, the body cold, no pulse, no responses of any kind, even some ants milling about on it - dead quite a while, meaning the dog had merely found it.
He stood up from examining it, looked out across the yard, decided on a place to bury it, turned around and walked fifteen feet into the garage, grabbed a shovel, and came back to find the animal just flat out gone.
My point is, if a perfectly healthy animal can produce all the detectable symptoms of death on purpose well enough to fool even trained medical professionals with decades of experience, what’s to stop the body of a less than healthy human from accidentally exhibiting those same detectable symptoms in the course of illness or injury?
Flashback to the 80’s:
The easiest job in the world has to be coroner. Surgery… on dead people. C’mon, what’s the worst that could happen? If EVERYTHING goes wrong, maybe you get a pulse. ‘Honey, I gained one on the table today.’
First it was pencils going amok in the Ticonderoga district.
And now you’re saying the coroner’s name is… Dexter?
Let me get this straight. Your dog brings a dead opossum home. Your dad takes it, drops it on the ground and walks off. The opossum disappears. And the best explanation for this is that it got up and ran away? Yeah, the dog couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it…
Is it possible that he is undead? I suggest using holy water to make sure (just a little since the undead have rights too!).
The dogs had been brought inside by me and my siblings at our father’s request. I had meant to mention that and forgot, beg pardon.
And no, my father didn’t just drop it on the ground, he examined it to determine if it was alive under suspicion that it was merely “playing opposum”. I did, in fact, mention that.
If Holy Water really worked, Benedict wouldn’t have had to resign.
I hope they don’t charge to the poor guy for his funeral. Maybe he should have just gone ahead and done the whole visitation thing to see how who all showed up, plus he could have had some nice flowers to brighten up the place.
And now that he’s dead what’re they gonna do about his Social Security and retirement funds… you can bet that’s gonna be a real pain to straighten out.
Or any other, including potentially flighted, scavenging animal…
He was clearly only mostly dead
Hence the expression playing (o)possum.
…yes, I’m aware.
I wonder if you could sell them to people planning to ship heroin through Singapore?
Reminds me of an old Catskills and borscht-belt routine about why old Jews don’t take naps.