Escaped to Death

He robbed a bank an’ got away
but got picked up the ver’ next day
in a local tavern, guzzlin’ beers
He got ID’d in a lineup
So he knew thet he would wind up
in the penitent’ry, doin’ twenty years

They didn’t ever find his stash
He’d hidden all the stolen cash
afore the system done locked him away
He got tired o’ makin’ license plates;
planned to break out an’ leave the States
With all the loot he’d hid, one fine day

What strategy could one prescribe?
Perhaps some guards thet he could bribe
or legal documents that he could forge?
Then he came up wit’ a plan
He found hisself a outside man –
The caretaker of the prison morgue

“If you help to sneak me out
I’ll be grateful, ain’t no doubt
I’ll reward you; let me be specific:
You’ll git half o’ all my dough
’nuff to retire to Mexico
or some island in the South Pacific”

“Well, when the next con winds up dead
I nail him in this wooden bed
An’ send him on his way to get buried.
It’s the perfect place to hide
No one ever looks inside
They won’t know how many cons they carried

“Git yerself all set to go
pack flashlight, food an’ H-two-Oh
afore I nail you in that there pine box
Lay yerself aside the stiff
Left or right, don’t make no diff
If you cain’t breathe, just give a couple knocks

“When they dump you in the pit
It’ll be skeery, I admit
Fer awhile it won’t be very nice
But I’ll come dig you out’ the dirt
I’ll bring a clean Hawaiian shirt
An’ we’ll git on our way to paradise”

All was quiet late one night
The caretaker was out o’ sight
He musta’ left the room to take a leak
There were a body in the coffin
so the con took his shoes off an’
climbed inside; he’d waited ‘most a week.

He replaced the wooden lid
so no one could see where he hid
and waited for his pardner to come back
He hadn’t heard which con was dead
he didn’t know who shared his bed;
the inside of the coffin was pitch black.

He got nailed in an’ trucked away
dropped in the ground that very day;
he knew he wouln’t be there very long
The caretaker was his trusted pard
a true frien’ bought with a cash reward
tweren’t anythin’ could possibly go wrong.

Then he switched his flashlight on
to find out what unlucky con
had cashed it in to be his ticket out
Oh my Lord! Beside him lay
the caretaker, dead the previous day
He screamed for help; but no one heard him shout.

NO! there must be some mistake
The two had planned this great jail break
Laudin’ themselves for bein’ extra clever
He thought that he could trust this man
Dyin’ wasn’t in the plan!
Now it seemed they’d be bunkmates forever

How do we know this story’s true?
Did they even have a clue?
Whatever kinda’ witness could they find?
Someone must’a spread the word
He was seen or overheard
by … I guess nobody. Never mind.

©September 1, 2015


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