Viv is the brains behind Hot Times, the crematorium I work for. Well, “brains” might be an exaggeration. She’s in charge of all the employees, the schedule, and as many innovations as she can think of, but she’s not brainy nearly as much as she’s kooky. Like, majorly kooky. In fact, calling her a kook insults kooks everywhere.

She’s Gerrard the owner’s mother, which probably explains why Gerrard decided, after spending five years in college and seven years in med school, and racking up more student debt than he’ll ever be able to pay back with earnings from this company, he decided to throw it all away and apprentice himself to a taxidermist for a year before buying this crematorium, which was called Eternal Embers at the time.

Viv wanted to rename it Heavenly Toast.

I think that’s the only time her son told her:

“No.” Viv’s son Gerrard, Owner of Hot Times

Anyway, the reason I’m telling you this is that Viv called me this morning at 5:03 am (yes, I know that’s redundant; it’s a writers’ technique grammarians refer to as Emphatic Redundancy – look it up), to announce she scheduled a mandatory employee meeting for tonight at 7:12. Don’t ask. I can only tell you that I’m almost certain she meant the meeting is mandatory, not the employees.

Anything could happen at this meeting, so I wanted somebody to know where I was going in case I don’t come back. In case somebody reports me missing.

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