Ted Butler, recorded February 10, 1964
[He explained in a previous portion of the recording that he remembered a truck coming at him, but that is all he remembered. What happened next follows.]
Greene: But how did you actually find yourself?
Butler:Eh? Find myself?
Greene: Yes. What sort of conditions?
Well, I don’t know. All I know is, that I saw a crowd of people all standing, looking down at something…and I had a look with the crowd and I looked and saw someone who looked exactly like me!
I thought…well, at first I didn’t realise it was me. I thought, “well, that’s a coincidence. That fellow looks the same as I do, exactly the same. It might be a twin brother.” And it was me of course. I didn’t cotton-on* at the time.
And, uh, then I realised that my wife – who was there crying her eyes out, of course – she didn’t seem to realise I was standing beside her. She was making such a fuss and how-d’ya-do*, of course, which is all very natural, I suppose, naturally. But she didn’t seem to know I was there. I thought, ‘well, this is a rum do* this is.’
And uh, anyway, they put the body in the ambulance, you know, and the wife got in. And some nurse or some woman was there – I think she must have been a nurse – and I naturally got in with the wife and sat in this ambulance thing…and she didn’t seem to realise I was sitting there at all.
And gradually it came on me that, that was me lying down there and I was sitting there as right as rain, you might say, but the wife didn’t seem to cotton on to the fact I was there. And I went to the hospital and…oh! Then, of course, they put me in a mortuary and I didn’t like that at all. I didn’t fancy that, so I got out that quick and went home. And the wife was with Mrs. Kitchen next door, trying to comfort her, you know.
Oh dear, it was a time. I think that was the worst time of the lot, the first week, I suppose it must have been. Then there was the funeral and all that. Of course, I went to that and I thought to meself at the time, ‘well I don’t know. There’s all this fuss and how-d’ya-do and expense for nothing’.
‘Cause there I was. I was in the carriage, an horse-drawn carriage the wife had, ’cause she knew my love of horses. They did have motors, but she wanted this horse-drawn I suppose. And I thought, “it’s all very touching”, but at the same time it all seemed so damn silly to me, because there I was.