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Imagine for a moment that you’re at a funeral. Suddenly, a scratching sound becomes a somewhat shallow thumping from inside the coffin. What do you do? Do you open it?

Now, hold on a second. You should think this one through because plenty could go wrong. For one, if you open it and out jumps the first zombie-virus-spreading beastie, long after you’ve been eaten, you’ll be remembered as the idiot doorman for the world’s destruction.

“So, which idiot opened the casket?” a group member will ask while leaning against a barricaded door.

“It was Steve,” someone will sigh.

“Did it get him?” another will ask.


“Good,” others in the group will simultaneously whisper.

Another possible outcome might be that the person inside was pronounced dead by mistake. In that case, when the formerly deceased emerges from the casket, having realized those in attendance were genuinely incompetent health advocates, I suspect a few estate changes and maybe even a few lawsuits. It might be better for the funeral attendees to crank up the sad songs and cry a little louder.

Humor aside, having read an article about this happening recently in Ecuador, I shopped the scenario to an AI chatbot. I asked the not-far-from-Skynet device what should be done if this happened. Its advice proved its programmers’ ridiculously inhuman middles. It gave five different long-winded answers, all keeping the person in the casket waiting. Apparently, there are legal things to consider. Also, the folks outside the coffin must be emotionally prepared for whatever might happen next. It would be good to fetch a certified counselor for a preparatory session.

How about this instead? Let the terrified person out of the casket. Who cares if the funeral director is the only licensed guy to do it? Who cares if the mourners are emotionally prepared or not? Trust me. They’ll all get over it. The only one who won’t is the person who has less than an hour’s worth of oxygen left in the cramped blackness.

If this were ever to happen to me, I can assure you that whoever lets me out will inherit my earthly treasures at the hour of my actual death. I don’t have much. However, I have a lovely whisky collection. I used to want to be embalmed and buried with its editions, but in this circumstance, I’d pass it along to the one who cared. I’d almost certainly ensure the collection had a nice full bottle of the Aberlour A’bunadh, particularly Batch 64.

A cask-strength delight bottled at 59.9% ABV, this edition is certainly appropriate for the embalming process. But it’s so much better utilized through the lips than the veins. And as I said, it would most certainly be a part of my rescuer’s inheritance.

Pour some. You’ll see—a swirl and sniff lift sherry, some sherry, and then a little more sherry. Add a little water, and suddenly, cinnamon begins twirling at the sherry’s edges, promising a spicey interface. The palate delivers on the promise. However, its fulfillment isn’t cinnamon but peppery brown sugar—a uniquely wonderful nip that steers its enjoyer right back into the sherry.

The whisky’s crisply dry finish—consolidating everything experienced so far—begs your return to the store for another bottle. You realize this limited-release one won’t last while you’re alive, and if you’re going to have a worthwhile thank-you for that singular person who cared, you’ll need to have another one on deck.

By the way, it might be a good idea to make sure this bottle is on hand and ready at the funeral scenario previously described. If I’m alive, I’ll likely want to participate in its joy with my rescuer. On the other hand, if I’ve become some undead creature, I’ll be counting on that rescuer to turn his courage toward everyone else in the room’s concern. At 59.9%, the A’bunadh Batch 64’s flammability could be a helpful asset.