The funeral

The funeral of Vesuvius the Pimple took place on an overcast day.

Ikey played somber tones on his Feline-Farfisa. The guests gathered around the tiny gravesite. I saw Hector, Evangelina, Ms. O, Sylvester, Morris, Sandy “Bad Boy” Starling, Archy & Mehitabel and a small group of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria.

The casket — a plain matchbox — sat next to the gravesite. Since the murderer J. had disposed of the evidence, so to speak, the casket contained only a piece of paper with “Vesuvius” written on it.

With a signal to Ikey, the music ceased. My eulogy began.

“Friends,” I said with gravity, “we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of our friend Vesuvius the Pimple. His life began as a simple clogged pore. He grew into a strapping young fellow and led, by all accounts, a pleasurable life. Towards the end he became inflamed — and who, looking around at this world of double-dealing and state-sanctioned murder, would not become inflamed? — and, at the height of his anger, was murdered by the feckless J.

“Friends,” I continued, “some may draw from the story of Vesuvius’ murder the conclusion that when faced with evil, one must not become inflamed, that if one becomes inflamed, one risks death. But I beg to differ: The growth of our national kleptocracy and its snitch and military apparatuses; the continued repression of the poor, the outcasts, of Native Americans, of African-Americans, of Hispanics; the building of a global gulag archipelago by our leaders, so-called; the continued enslavement and murder of our Iraqi and Palestinian brothers and sisters; who among us can ignore these outrages, who cannot become inflamed?”

I concluded, “I think here of the words of the bard Neil Young: ‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away.’ I implore all of you here today to remember these words as you carry on with your lives. Thank you.”

Ikey and I then lowered the matchbox into the grave, covered it with a couple of spoonfuls of dirt, tamped down the dirt and placed upon it a simple rock.

There were a few tears.

We then retired to The Abbey.


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