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Requiem for a haberdasher

Eulogized on June 8, 2008.

I have terrible, terrible news to convey to you this week, my dear readers—news so terrible I completely forgot to try and remember anything that happened to me this week. It’s just awful, awful, so awful—so terrible I can barely hold the pen to my monitor long enough to scribble it down in my web blargh.

My good friend, Thaddeus C.L. Harshbarger, the local haberdasher, is dead.

Thaddeus C.L. Harshbarger, who hated me with unrelenting passion after I mocked his bald spot, horrible obesity, and his whorish daughter’s goat fetish, is dead.

His entire family was in attendance at his funeral—except his whore of a daughter, of course, who couldn’t get time off from the brothel in order to attend. Word is her feet—and her goats—are in high demand nowadays. Even though ol’ Thad hated me, and I had so many more important things to do at the time of the funeral (such as clip my nails or lick photos of Alyssa Milano and the Spice Girls), I simply had to attend the funeral, since I was a self-declared friend of his. I’m sure that his family either wouldn’t mind, or would have me arrested for stalking him. Fortunately that slut Eunice wasn’t there, so that restraining order didn’t matter. As for the rest…

So, I put on my best all-black suit (the one I dyed and furred myself), painted it purple, tied a stick of pepperoni to my neck, and set off in the direction of the cemetery on Terwilliger Street where the service was being held. Nothing was going to hold me back, nothin’s gonna stop me now… It’s my life, my dream… nothin’s gonna stop me now…

Whistling the Perfect Strangers theme song as I galloped into the Terwilliger Street cemetery, I arrived just as the service was beginning. His entire family, sans Eunice F.G. Harshbarger, was lined up in a graceful parabolic arc—more of a straight line, really—behind the casket, bawling their eyes out and making a general mess of things. The funeral director, a man by the name of Mann, was already reciting a eulogy or elegy or something like that. I forget. I hate funerals. All sad and stuff. Bloody old bugger shouldn’t have died, if you ask me—damned selfish of him, I think. But anyway…

“Hey, Harshbargers! Phillip’s here! Woo-hoo-hey!” I shouted, crossing my eyes, sticking out my tongue, and making a very silly face as I ogled Mrs. Harshbarger’s well-clad body. “Let’s get this party started! Wait, hey… why the long faces? Did someone get stomped on by a horse?” I joked.

Then I remembered it was a funeral, not a party. Oops.

Mortimer V.I. Harshbarger VI, Thaddeus’ son, burst into tears again, bawling all over the open casket. Mrs. Harshbarger—I don’t know her name, and since I’m sure it’s something pretentious and stupid, I don’t care—glared at me with eyes full of wrath, hatred, and alabaster. Other than crash their funeral, act like it was a party, and completely disrespect the mutilated corpse laid out in front of me, I had no idea what I’d done wrong. It wasn’t like I had urinated in the coffin or anything, although I had to admit to myself that doing so was on my itinerary.

“Whaaaaaat?” I tried to dismiss their looks of pure hatred. “C’mon, guys! It’s not like anyone died or anything!”

Oh, right. Funeral. Casket right in front of me, mutilated corpse with horseshoe-shaped dent on forehead within.

Hmm.

“Okay, okay, so someone’s dead. What the hecklegroober happened to the ol’ bugger anyway?”

“You ass!” Thaddeus’ sister, Beatrice I.T. Carparker-Harshbarger, growled at me.

I looked down at the corpse again. The gears in my mind slowly started turning, the little monkeys that push and turn them within my cranium finally getting back to work. Hmm. Horseshoe-shaped dent on the forehead. Joke about being stomped on by a horse. Hmm. A connection, a possibility…

“Horsebuttock riding accident?” I queried. Mrs. Harshbarger nodded sullenly. Mortimer continued blubbering. Beatrice, living up to her initials, hurled death threats in my direction. I suddenly got a feelin’ like I needed some kind of change. Well, nothin’s gonna stop me now. Sometimes the world looks perfect, and there’s nothin’ to rearrange. But sometimes, you just get a feelin’ like you need kind of change—for example, after your best friend died in a horsebuttock riding accident.

And then, suddenly, it happened. Suddenly… a thought popped into my head. Caught off guard by the sudden appearance of any thoughts in my head, I opened my mouth and gave voice to it before I could stop myself.

“Hey, you guys know what everyone down at Madame Beaux-Pieds’ says Eunice’s initials stand for, eh? Baa-aa-aa-a-a-a!”

Sudden silence.

Mrs. Harshbarger turned white. Mortimer turned green, and Beatrice turned red, then purple. I started thinking about turning and leaving, and fast.

Beatrice charged like a raging bull.

I turned and left, fast.