A clerical error by Death, the Grim Reaper has permitted the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards to enjoy three decades of life beyond his allotted time on Earth.
‘We just found his collection form down the back of the old desk’ admitted an embarrassed Grim Reaper, ‘he was due to be collected back in 1977, at the pit of a downward spiral of heroin addiction and cocaine use.’ Yet despite the raddled, deathly appearance of the ageing rock star, no-one seemed to notice the bureaucratic oversight, and Richards was permitted to carry on living for thirty years longer than he was supposed to.
‘It’s all very embarrassing…’ said a spokesman for the office of the Grim Reaper, ‘we have apologised to Keith Richards and his family, and said that we will do our best to rectify the situation at the earliest convenient date. Although at the time of speaking, they still haven’t got back to us.’
This is not the first time that the Grim Reaper’s office had let a collection slip through the net. Other major figures well past their death-due-date include Jimmy Carter, Gary Glitter and the IRA informer who was working for the British secret services.
The Grim Reaper’s office explained that the process of converting from a manual to digital indexing system had left a number of individuals disappearing from the records altogether, with the result that they may never be called to meet their maker at all. ‘We can’t seem to locate the file on Lady Thatcher either. It means she will just have to remain on Earth forever, going older and madder, but always ready to return to 10 Downing Street if you ever decide to give her another go.’