Today’s “Scene from the Cemetery Dance Office” requires an introduction. Kate and I were at the office alone this afternoon while everyone else was out to lunch. The Post Office truck showed up for their daily pick-up, so we opened the big warehouse dock door, something we’ve done thousands of times over the last 10 years. Only something happened this time that has never happened before.

A few years ago, at the back of the warehouse, around the corner from the main floor, we mounted a basketball game from the top of the mezzanine. Do you know the kind of game I mean? There’s a basketball hoop with a backboard, and embedded in the backboard is a scoreboard and a timer. The game keeps track of how many shots Player A sinks in 30 seconds, then Player B takes a turn and tries to beat that score. We played this game a lot during the first six months we had it, to the point that we kept a sheet with “records” like “most points in 30 seconds” and “longest shot made,” etc. Although the game is still plugged in, it hasn’t been turned on and played in ages.

Well, today, when that warehouse door rolled up, the game suddenly turned on all by itself. We hadn’t heard the game’s musical chimes in so long that we didn’t even realize what had happened at first. Kate thought it was a noise from the truck and I thought the office’s alarm system had somehow been tripped, which means you have a few seconds to enter the code before all of the sirens go off and the cops show up.

Then we heard a very familiar sound: the special chime that indicates a shot has been sunk and a point awarded. Only the game didn’t chime once, it was chiming over and over, faster and faster.

By the time I got around the corner, the 30 seconds was up and Player A’s game was over. But the score definitely beat all of our records from years ago: