UnNews:James Brown's body mistakenly switched for Gerald Ford's at Apollo Viewing
29 December 2006
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NEW YORK, NY -- In an embarrassing mix-up, the body of late singer James Brown was replaced with that of ex-president Gerald Ford at a public viewing ceremony in Harlem today. Both men died last week, and morgue officials had trouble differentiating the two.
Mourners at the Apollo Theatre on New York's 125th street were appalled when they noticed the switch. "It's whitey! They let whitey in the house!", screamed one angered man. Ford's pale white skin provided a stark contrast to the mainly African American crowd that gathered for the viewing.
Reverend Al Sharpton, a good friend of Brown, presided over the ceremonies and was deeply apologetic over the mix-up, although he insisted it was not his fault. "The switch had already been made by the time the casket got to us," he explains. "We opened the box and were stunned to see the embalmed body of Gerald Ford. But with only minutes to go till the scheduled viewing, we had no choice but to put him out on stage anyway." He added that the Apollo will seek a refund on the shipping costs.
"It's really ironic," remarked Sharpton. "Instead of the funkiest man in the world, the Appollo ended up with th unfunkiest man in the world."
Some people weren't aware of the mix-up and thought Brown's unusual appearance was due to other causes. "It's those drugs that really did him in," commented one fan, "Look at what they did to his body - you can barely recognize him!" Others thought the white complexion was an intentional change made by Brown shortly before his death; "race-change" procedures were pioneered by singer Michael Jackson.
Meanwhile, organizers of Ford's planned state funeral in Washington, DC, became very nervous after hearing of his body's presence in Harlem. "Wait a minute," said one aide standing next to a hearse by the capitol, "If Ford is in New York, then who's in this coffin?" Everyone naturally thought it was James Brown, but opening the box surprisingly revealed the body of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. "I guess they weren't kidding when they said last week he would be executed within 30 days," bitterly commented the funeral director.
Officials promised that as soon as Brown's body was found, everything would be sorted out properly. "Hussein goes to Harlem, Ford to an unmarked grave in Iraq, and Brown to Washington, right?" hesitantly asked Michael Brown, the former FEMA chief who was demoted to being the Bush administration's main funeral organizer. Then he added, "Or could it be that James Brown's body already lies a-moulderin' in the grave?"
- "Fans to bid farewell to singer James Brown." Reuters, December 28, 2006