An elderly man lay dying in his bed.
In death’s agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favourite chocolate chip biscuits wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed.
Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom and, with even greater effort, forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands, he crawled down the stairs.
With laboured breath, he leaned against the door-frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven: there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table, were literally hundreds of his favourite chocolate chip biscuits.
Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?
Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted: the wondrous taste of the biscuit was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life.
The aged and withered hand trembled on its way to a biscuit at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.
“Stay out of those,” she said. “They’re for the funeral.”
“I’ve come to meet my brother,” said the first man. “He’s due to fly in from America in an hour’s time. It’s his first trip home in 40 years.”
“Will you be able to recognise him?” asked the second man.
“I’m sure I won’t, after all, he’s been away for a long time.”
“I wonder if he’ll recognise you?” said the second man.
“Of course he will,” said the first man. “Sure, I haven’t been away at all.”
A tiny but dignified old lady was among a group looking at an art exhibition in a newly opened gallery. Suddenly one contemporary painting caught her eye.
“What on earth,” she inquired of the artist standing nearby, “is that?”
He smiled condescendingly. “That, my dear lady, is supposed to be a mother and her child.”
“Well, then,” snapped the little old lady, “why isn’t it?”