What a dichotomy. You pulled a fast one and transferred all your elderly aunt’s funds into your bank account. Aunt Millie’s next of kin found out, took you to court, and the week before the judge was due to nail your ass to the wall, Aunt Millie breathed her last – bought the farm and pulled one out for the home team.
Now you’re in a fix.
In order to maintain the subterfuge, you’ve had to fake intense love for someone that deep down you knew was a troublesome bother. How else could you disparage the innocent, side with the insane and acquire the assets dead Uncle Harry designated for his now-orphaned son?
Poor Aunt Millicent went to the crematorium alone. After a day, occupying a tin can she was delivered home to her next of kin whose pension you snatched in order to set up a trust fund for your kid.
What a sorry legacy. Due to Millie’s inability to play nice with others no one is really all that upset, especially those whose unbridled joy is rooted in personal gain.
For the first time in 80+ years, the family shrew won’t be gossiping, lying, or slandering both the innocent and the guilty, or doing any further damage to progeny she punished for refusing to be controlled or take any of her crap.
In essence, the long, dreadful comedy is finally over.
And then there’s you – a person trying to ensure a financially secure future, caught between ‘a rock and a hard place.’ Or more appropriately, caught between a freshly deceased aunt and a windfall of stolen money. What to do?
You’re thrilled, but all your credibility will be shot if you don’t appear to be grief-stricken. You know the old saying: “What does it profit a man or woman to gain the world, and be exposed as a mendacious yob?”
Not to worry. Remember, this is key – you’re well practiced, clever, and pragmatic; if anyone can pull off further deception, surely you can.
A few suggestions…
One option to avoid being exposed is to steer clear of family gatherings, memorials, prayer circles, and Powerpoint presentations featuring the dearly departed.
Do not ask questions, forego the sympathy cards (which could trigger a face-to-face response), and keep a low profile. That way, after the fact you can swear you were holed up in the house, unable to sleep, eat, breathe, or count your money after being devastated by the tragic news. You can attribute the extra 25 pounds to ‘grief eating.’
Of course, if you’re a people person – and with your winning personality you probably are – there’s always the trusty Bill Clinton Lower Lip Bite.
You remember the BCLLB. At Ron Brown’s funeral, Clinton was guffawing with a group of cronies when he spotted a camera. In the blink of an eye, Clinton’s expression changed as he suddenly bit his bottom lip and assumed a contrived demeanor, pretending to be a grieving mourner.
You may not smoke cigars, mess around with interns young enough to be your daughter, or be married to the ‘smartest woman in the world,’ but when it comes to screwing people, Clinton ain’t got nothin’ on you. So why not pay homage to a colleague and put on your funeral face.
If at any point tears seem like a good idea, have a chat with the most overweight person you know, and (pssst…lean in) we both know that besides your corpulent self there is certainly at least one other well-fed grifter in your life.
Kinda like having your best bud rear-end your car to collect the proceeds of auto insurance, have Chubsy-Ubsy dig the heel of a Gucci loafer into your upper arch, the pain from which is a perfect opportunity to employ the old Clinton Lower Lip Bite.
Worry about the damage later – you have more than enough money to buy orthopedic shoes.
Photoshop also has limitless possibilities. Get a person skilled in photographic deception (wink) to insert your image into old pictures of Aunt Millie.
Then empty out your oversized wallet and replace those stolen ATM cards with photos of you and Mil. Then, at the first chance that presents itself, preferably in the company of family, bend over and let the photos spill all over the floor.
The cascade of snapshots should evoke an “Ah…you really, really loved that woman. You were so close”-response from onlookers, at which point you should gaze lovingly at the photos, clutch them to your breast, and then once again insert the always-reliable Clinton Lower Lip Bite.
Since time covers a multitude of deception, just be patient. In a few months it won’t matter that you’re glad the old battleaxe kicked the bucket, especially when you realize that now that she’s assumed room temperature, there’s even less of a probability you’ll have to give back so much as a nickel of those stolen riches.
Tomorrow – How to protect offspring from the inevitable ‘Sins of the Father’ Syndrome.