Arnold was an amateur astronomer and knew that a certain star was going to disappear behind the moon and reappear about an hour later. To get a better view and out of the dazzle of street lights, he wandered into a churchyard with the idea of standing in the shadow of a yew tree. In the gloom, and with his eyes looking heavenward, he failed to notice an open grave immediately in front of him. In an instant, he found himself on the broad of his back. Although he could still see the stars shining, they were confined to a narrow rectangle slit.
He stood up, assessed what had happened and tried to climb out of the grave. His attempt proved futile as the wall surfaces crumbled to the touch and were slippery because of an earlier shower of rain. Despite it being summer, he was cold, and getting colder simply because he was only wearing a T-shirt and it had got wet when he fell into the grave. He resigned himself to the fact that he would have to suffer it until morning when someone was bound to come along and help him out. However, he was wrong about that. Shortly after midnight, with his teeth chattering, he couldn’t help uttering aloud, “Im cold, I’m cold, ye gods I’m freezing.”
What a shock he got when from up above, in the dark, he heard a voice, “I’m not surprised you’re cold. You’ve gone and kicked all your dirt off.”
The voice had a slur to it and Arnold guessed that his saviour was half-drunk or maybe an alcoholic.
“Thank God! Please help me out.”
“No way, mate. You stay there where they put you.”
“What are you talking about? Help me out.”
“Don’t be silly, cobber, you’re dead. You just lie down and go back to sleep again.”
“Don’t be crazy, I’m not dead. I fell into this grave.”
“There’s all this dirt up here that you kicked off, but I found a shovel so I’ll chuck it in and cover you up again.”
No sooner had this been said, than a great heap of dirt landed on Arnold’s head. His first thought was that he was about to be buried alive and there was nothing he could do about it.
Resignedly, he called out to the fellow up above, “I’m still cold, mate. Keep shoveling, don’t stop, keep shoveling.”
And that was how Arnold got out of his grave. You see, the drunk kept shoveling until he filled it enough for Arnold to hop out of it.