Hector had always been fastidious. There was not an ounce of spontaneity in his genes (nor in his jeans for that matter). When he was approaching his sixtieth birthday he made a list of the names of his parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts. Next to each name he wrote their exact age when they died.
Aunt Peggy, for example, died when she was sixty-one years and eleven days. Uncle Sylvester died aged seventy-two and ninety-six days. His maternal grandmother died aged eighty-three and two hundred and seventeen days. He would mark off each person when he passed their age. He would beat them all! He would draw a great big happy face next to each name the day he passed their death age! Ha! Ha! Ha! A happy face to celebrate!
Hector pinned his plan to the back of his kitchen door.
That was one hundred and twenty-four years ago. Not a single happy face was ever added to the list.
Trudi had made an extensive grocery list. She was going to make sure that today would be both memorable and happy. She was going to prepare a special meal. Her husband of eleven years had suggested it. Just the two of them. There were no children. Trudi had hoped for a family but Archie had said no.
Anyway, this was to be a celebration for no reason. It’s good, said Archie, to do that now and again. It was easy to say, thought Trudi, but she was the one who had to do all the work; all the cooking. Hence the long shopping list.
When she got home from the shops she had to make several trips from the car to the kitchen to carry all the food. Archie was watching the sports on tele. Trudi began to put things away in the cupboards before beginning her baking. Then she remembered. How could have she forgotten? But forget she had.
She had forgotten to get the arsenic for the pie. That was the one thing that was going to make her day both memorable and happy.