Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Make My Coffin a Double-Wide

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Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today to pay our last respects to a giant of a man many of us knew, but few of us knew well.

Al Beeback lived his whole life here in Beaver Pelt Falls. He never wanted to venture far; just a homebody with simple tastes: deep-fried Oreos; deep-fried Mars bars; deep-fried turducken.

He never sought notoriety, but many of us remember back in the eighties and nineties, when Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke his name in the Terminator movies, the way Al had an extra spring in his step. He’d lumber across the street more quickly than usual to take his regular place over at Mike’s Bar, Grill & Muffler Repair Emporium. Two steaks, deep-fried, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, he’d just watch NASCAR and much pork rinds.

Friday was family time. Al had quite a large family; you could say they’re all big-hearted. They’d crowd into Al’s sister’s place, and Bertha would whip up a feast that could feed dozens; the four of them – Al, Bertha, her husband Bud, and their daughter Joleen – would do their best to polish it off in time for Bertha’s specialty dessert: deep-fried Klondike bars.

In a way, all of us here in Beaver Pelt Falls are extended family. Barely a soul in this town has not been touched by Al Beeback, especially the children. Al had a special place in his heart – and his trailer – for young folks, and never tired of showing his affection in the few ways he knew how.

As we all know, Al was not a champagne and caviar kind of guy. Al was a beer and doughnuts kind of guy, the kind of guy who had no use for the pretense of forks, or of napkins. Al was after the simple things we tend to forget to focus on, and in his presence one could only be reminded of those things. It was just an aura he carried with him.

Join me, please, in giving condolences to Bertha, Bud and Jolene; let us raise our voices in compassion, so they can hear us just outside, beyond the old, arched double doorways too narrow for them to pass through. As we sing these mournful hymns, offer thanks to God for the things that Al Beeback has given us cause to appreciate: simple wooden pews that do not collapse under our weight; bodily figures that do not condemn us to nothing but oversize sweatsuits; a pair of feet that can touch each other, unhindered by adipose-laden thighs.

We can defy angels of death; indeed, defiance is yet another thing we can learn from Al Beeback. Diabetes tried to get him, but couldn’t. No, Al would never let diabetes get him, and his heart attack on Tuesday ensured his permanent success.

Al Beeback was a giant. None of us in this room can cast as large a shadow as he did, but our metaphorical impact as individuals striving to do good can match the physical impact Al’s steps had on the floors he walked. Let us resolve together, beloved friends, to continue down the wide path he blazed for us.

I now call on the pallbearers: Joe Schenk, Bill Watters, Ed Munk, Norm Cass, Oscar Watts, John-Boy Newman, Fred Lamaar, Tony Orr, Steve Parr, Dave Charlton, Dave Morse, Peter Moss, Jim-Bob Lamont, Jim Pilgrim, Tom Steele and Mitch Donohue. There should be plenty of room around the coffin. Please help take Al Beeback to his final resting place, and let us pray that he has found peace along that stretch of Heaven with a strip mall featuring nothing but Hardee’s, Wendy’s, White Castle, Denny’s, and IHOPs as far as the eye can see.

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Written by Thag

December 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm

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