Most of us have a pretty close relationship with our lead apron. We take the time to choose an apron that reflects our style and preferences. The color, function, weight, logo and name, with applicable initials, are all very important decisions that we make during the selection process. Once our choice has been made, we become very territorial about our precious apron. Heaven forbid that a visitor from another facility should prepare to scrub for a case and randomly grab YOUR lead apron from the rack. Horrors! Some of us will go as far as to gently (or otherwise) pull it off of the uninformed person. After all, it is our suit of armour, our buddy, it’s full of OUR sweat, iodine and heaven knows what else we’ve baptized it with. Understandably, it was difficult for me to retire my lead apron and replace it with another. I contacted Infab, a local, friendly lead apron supplier here on the West coast. (No, I don’t work for them.) After careful consideration of the various options, I made my decision. I did choose to keep the same pattern, partly out of respect for the old apron and partly due to my complete lack of imagination. Two weeks later, my new, brightly colored, lightweight, lead apron arrived. Oh, the new smell of it! I preferred to avoid contemplating the toxicity levels, but it was time to start with the new. I wondered how to resign the old apron gracefully. Infab supplied me with a return label and box to send it back to them for disposal. I carefully wrapped my old friend up, gently laid it in the box and enclosed a note. Since I’m such a sentimental fool, I wrote the following, Please take good care of this old lead apron, as it has served its owner well over the years. Kindly dispose of it carefully and give it a final blessing as you do so. I figured that was the end of it. I said goodbye and quickly became friends with my new apron. Three weeks later, I received a box from the company. In the box was a velvet-lined, heart-shaped box. I opened the lid and found a small brass urn with a label on it. It read, R.I.P. Lead Apron. How I laughed! There’s actually something inside the brass urn. What exactly, I don’t know perhaps the actual remains of the lead? What a terrific sense of humor the Infab representative showed. I continue to enjoy the velvet box sitting on my desk. Although I don’t think that the Infab company does this on a regular basis, you’ve got to admit that they went the extra mile for my dear old apron. I hope you enjoyed this story. The levity is good for us tired, old, crusty CCL personnel!