Sunday, May 27, 2012


Guam went through a horrible influenza epidemic in 1918.  The flu killed 858 people on Guam in just 2 months.  That was about 14 people a day.  Of course, at first there was a trickle of deaths in the beginning, and fewer as the flu abated, with as many as 50 deaths in one day at its peak.  With so many deaths in a day, bodies were hurriedly wrapped in sheets and buried in a common grave.

Here's a story about this episode of Guam's history, told by a woman, now deceased, who lived through it.  It is up to you to believe it or not.

Two men hired by the government to haul cadavers to the cemetery were carrying one body wrapped in a sheet when all of a sudden they heard a muffled voice say,

"Ti mamatai yo'!"  "I'm not dead!"

One of the men said,

"Esta ilek-ña i mediku na måtai hao, pues måtai hao."  "The doctor already pronounced you dead, so dead you are!"

And proceeded to bury the person declared dead by the government.

Perhaps the men had such a tight schedule with all those bodies to bury that no unexpected resurrection was going to delay them.

Which reminds me, ever wonder where the expression "saved by the bell" comes from?  Google it.

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