Paul Perez

Did His Casket Need A Seat Belt?

A Paul Perez Story


As most of you know, Paul Perez always had a funny story.  I loved the way each time he told his stories, they got longer and funnier.  I couldn’t help but remember this funny story when I saw him in his casket on Monday morning at the church. 

At the viewing on Sunday evening, you may have noticed his hands were folded over each other with a rosary wound around them.

In the early 90’s, my father had a stroke in Mexico.  Paul, our children, and some of my brothers and sisters went to see him.  On our return from Merida, we were going to stop for a few days in Mexico City to see our grandfather and aunts.  Paul, unfortunately, had to fly the last leg of the trip home by himself, as he had to return to work. 

As Murphy’s Law would have it, he was assigned a middle seat. When the woman who had the aisle seat arrived, Paul asked her if she would mind switching seats with him, explaining that he had narcolepsy and would definitely fall asleep and probably fall onto her and wouldn’t it be better if he fell into the aisle?  The way he told it in a nasally voice, her reply was, “No.  I’m sticking to my assigned seat.  Harrumph.”   With a big sigh he says, “OK, but you’ve been warned.”

The plane takes off and sure enough he falls asleep.  He is awakened by the woman, “SIR! SIR! Do you MIND?”  Not only was he leaning into her but his left arm had fallen into her crotch.  Again he asked her if she would switch seats.  Again her reply was, “NO.  I’m staying in my assigned seat.”

He really hated that he was bothering her, since she also got to experience the raucous snoring that only Paul Perez could provide.  He decided to belt himself in, but with his left arm tucked into the seat belt as well, so the woman wouldn’t get an arm in her crotch again. 

I smiled; looking into his casket on Monday morning remembering this story.  His left arm was no longer folded with his right arm but straight down at his side.

Did someone move his arm or did his casket need a seat belt?