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87-year-old: I'm not dead yet!

When 87-year-old Jimmy Cornet heard that he was dead, it nearly shocked the life out of him.

Jimmy Cornet, the ‘living dead’ (photo: Edinburgh Evening News)

After all, the retired miner was still alive and kicking, so far as he could tell.

“I was standing at my gate on Wednesday morning when a neighbor came up to me and said someone had told them that I was dead,” Cornet told the Edinburgh Evening News. “Later on, when I was standing at the gate again, the fish man came by and started laughing. I asked him what he was laughing at, and he said he thought he was seeing a ghost, as he’d heard I was dead. I usually get fresh fish delivered, so he knows me quite well.”

Cornet said he’s been chuckling about it for days after having the bad news broken to him.

“I have been laughing a lot about it, but not everyone finds it funny,” he said. “When my nephew heard ‘the news,’ he was upset and came round to see what had happened, so he got quite a shock.

“He had been trying to phone and eventually came round. I was sitting there in the chair, and when he told me what had happened I started laughing. He joked that he felt like hitting me for finding it so funny. He had taken the news quite seriously and he’d been worried.”

Cornet also told the Scottish paper he’s puzzled by the cryptic nature of the rumor, as he’s clueless on its origin; so, he’s offering a small reward of less than $10 to find out.

“I’d also like to know how I died, as nobody seems to know this either,” he laughed.

Cornet decided he wasn’t going to take the news lying down. He stiffened his resolve, and after considering buying a newspaper ad, he posted an announcement at a news vendor’s shop in the town of Loanhead.

His message reads: “James Cornet would like to inform the public that he is not dead or ever has been!”

“I was shocked when I heard the rumor … especially after speaking to him two days ago when he was sounding so bright and breezy,” said Nan Hadow, who works in the store where the sign is displayed. “He is such a bright, chirpy man.

The paper says Cornet is being a good sport about ‘dying,’ especially since he claims to be in excellent shape.

“I’ve no idea why someone would start a rumor like this,” he said. “I haven’t been ill or anything. I’m fighting fit. But I’m not upset by it. I find it quite amusing and so does my wife, Agnes.”