A group of men stood in a loose circle and stared at the body on the floor. There was quite a bit of foot shuffling and throat clearing, as well as the occasional scratching of one’s head.
“Ach, poor ol’ Bill,” one of the men said.
“Aye,” agreed another.
The man on the floor—who until recently had simply been known as ‘Bill from over near Pig’s Gate’—apparently choked to death while eating boiled turnips. A piece of unchewed turnip may have lodged in his windpipe and due to the noise in the tavern he was unable to attract any attention to his plight before he fell over backwards from his bench and ended up on the floor. Following this incident he would be forever known as Turnip Bill.
The group of men who surrounded the body shuffled their feet some more and a few of them scratched their heads, while some scratched…well, other parts of their bodies—as is typical of men when they are drunk and thinking hard.
“We should do something fer poor Bill,” one of them said.
“Aye,” agreed another. There was a long silence—if you don’t count the occasional belch.
“Er, like what, fer instance?” someone asked.
“Well,” another began, “there’s that thing they do in church fer the dead.”
“You mean when someone dies,” suggested someone else.
“Aye, aye,” agreed another quick thinker. There was another long silence, punctuated by the sudden sound of flatulence and someone began moving slowly toward the bar. To remove themselves from the noxious cloud, two others also edged toward the bar, which started a general exodus in that direction.
Once they were all steadying themselves on the long wooden frame and each had a mug of ale to fortify their ego, talk once again turned to Bill.
“So, they sing mayhap a dirge in the church, do they not?” someone asked.
“Me thinks it be more hymn than dirge, though,” said another.
“Nay, nay, ye be wrong, there,” spoke up one who was sure he knew of what he spoke. “’Tis a Latin word, fer sure, yet I ca’ no remember what it be.”
“Oh, aye,” agreed another. “It begins with the letter, ‘R’ and ‘tis…”
“A Rumba?” someone suggested.