PUTNEY, VT—Claiming past experiences taught him to be prepared for sudden displays of vitality, mortician Radiston Nikolov, 38, told reporters Thursday that he always keeps a hammer beside his mortuary table in case one of his embalming subjects comes back to life. “I just like knowing this baby’s within reach in the event we get the odd twitcher or moaner. Sure, it might make some families uncomfortable, but better safe than sorry,” said Nikolov, who over the course of his career has relied on a series of bludgeons from baseball bats to golf clubs to provide much-needed peace of mind during his long, solitary night shifts. “Granted, I’ve only had to use it a couple times over the years, but like my father always said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nikolov is currently involved in a legal dispute with a local widower who is seeking half a million dollars in damages and an explanation as to why his wife’s mortal remains had been pummeled to bits in her coffin.

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