It wasn’t the first time Tom intoxicated himself. Yet, he had never induced himself into such an alcoholic stupor at a wake.

He was sure no one minded all that much. He regarded Aunt Emmie in the same way as Christmas lights: he only put up with them once a year and wouldn’t come near either for the remaining 364 days. Besides it was not every day that he hit an open bar. Stevie really pulled out all of the stops for his dear mother. She would have wanted it this way.

Tom’s wife still wasn’t on speaking terms with him when the second surprise hit the small community of Chiselville at Aunt Emmie’s estate sale.

“You see Tom,” cried Steve waving a tattered wooden frame in one hand, “You see this, I told Mary she was marking everything too high. Now we’re stuck with all of this junk.”

“Mary always was the optimist out of the three of us. How much did we make?”

I made six dollars. But who cares? I just want to get rid of this stuff so we can sell the house. We can’t show it with all of this rotting furniture littering the place.”

Tom’s head snapped backwards with the impact of a life-altering idea.

“Are you alright?” inquired Steve. “Don’t throw a fit on me. It’s not that big of a deal.”

“No, no,” cut in Tom. “I’m, I’m fine. Really just fine.”

Steve threw a suspicious stare at his brother. “Tom, I don’t like the look on your face. You had that same look before you made Marge an engagement ring out of bottle caps.”
“Hey, it all worked out because I wouldn’t have met Jenny if she didn’t toss the ring into the river and leave town. But anyway, listen, I can take care of Aunt Emmie’s stuff.”

“Are you sure? I thought you hate old furniture.”

“I’m not dragging it home or anything. I have just the place for it all. Just leave it to me bro!” Tom enthusiastically jabbed Steve before prancing out the door.

“Wait!” yelled Steve. “Why are you so chummy all of a sudden, and where are you going?”

“Just leave it to me Steve. I’ll have this place cleaned out in a few hours.”