His four children were gathered around Mr. Stanley's deathbed.
As the eighty-year-old man seemed to doze off in a blissful
sleep, the children started to discuss the final funeral plans.
One wanted to spend a hundred dollars for a coffin, a second thought a
plain wooden box would do, and the third was even ready to dump the
remains into a paper sack.
All agreed there was no reason to spend much money, as their father
would never know the difference.
Mr. Stanley stirred. Having heard every word, he thought it was time to
set the record straight.
"Children," he said, "I've never told you this and never wanted to, but
I can't go to my final resting place with this burden. My darling
children, your mother and I were never married."
His oldest son was aghast. "You mean we're all bastards?"
Mr. Stanley said, "Yes. And cheap ones too!"