She had a movie star name but she didn’t have movie star fame or fortune. She didn’t have movie star looks, although she was often dubbed a “cutie pie.” She would consistently pout and declare, “I don’t want to be cute. I want to be glamorous.”
As a young girl, Claire had an unnatural obsession with death. Finding a dead bird or a field mouse, especially in the final stages of decomposition, fascinated her. Examining the remains, was like opening a gift on Christmas morning. She carefully studied what was left of any dried and shriveled up organs, and the skeletal construction of wings and/or appendages.
She dreamed of someday becoming a coroner. Cutting someone open and poking around was her idea of striking gold. She would of course, marry a doctor and tease him by saying, “when you kill someone, I will be able to tell you what you did wrong.”
She studied hard and became a coroner, but found true love in the form of a young man named Willis, who was on his way to becoming a Master Electrician. He was only a journeyman but he was driven and determined.
There was no money to burn, and they lived frugal lives, saving for a brighter future. Her work day began a few hours before his and every morning, she would pack his lunch before she left for work.
They had fun together, but her sense of humor could sometimes be a little disturbing. One morning Willis awakened, swung his legs over the side of the bed and noticed a toe tag attached to his right foot. He shook his head and took it in stride.
Claire loved to talk about him in the break-room. She’d giggle when she told them about the pranks she pulled on the unsuspecting Willis. Once, she sent him a registered letter. When he opened it, he found a certificate of death…his.
One day she came to work and seemed to be a little “not herself.” In the break-room, she announced that Willis was making her quit her job.
This was the time when roosters ruled the roost and the hens did not yet rule the roosters. It was the time when, in marriage vows, the woman promised to love, cherish, and “obey.” Claire was going to obey Willis.
Millie, one of her co-workers asked why Willis was making her quit her job. Claire said, “well, he unpacked his lunch the other day and I had put an ear in it.”
The entire break-room erupted in laughter. “An ear?” Millie asked. “Yes,” said Claire. “Willis was so mad at me, but he wasn’t as mad at me as I was at him.”
Millie asked what she meant.
Claire said, “The ear came from a woman who had donated her body to science, and I didn’t figure she’d be needing it, so I cut it off and took it home. It had been pierced at one time, so I put one of my earrings on it and packed it in Willis’ lunchbox.”
“And?” Millie asked.
Claire said, “Willis was so mad, he threw the ear away…with my earring on it!”