Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Funeral for a Bastard

“My friends, we come together today to bid farewell to Bob, who I think we can all agree lived a long, long life. In fact, I thought this day might not come at all. It would not have surprised me in the least if the old bastard outlived every single one of us.

“Now, I can hear you gasp, out there in the audience. But let’s be honest - Bob was a bastard. He was...and I can see that more than a few of you are nodding your heads in agreement. I think we do him a disservice if we don’t talk about Bob the way he really was.

“Joe, you grew up with Bob, which means you knew him the longest. No, don’t get up...the ushers stashed your walker back in the back. I remember Joe telling the story of how, when he and Bob were six years old, they accidentally broke a neighbor’s window while they were playing baseball. Bob ran and hid, and Joe, you took the rap for it and had to pay for the window.

“Friends, that is just one early example. Bob did a lot worse over the years. Right, Mary Jo? Don’t worry, I won’t tell that story, because I’m sure you never told your husband.

“I met Bob twenty-five years ago, when I interviewed for a position at his firm. He gave me the creeps at first, but I had no viable alternative, so I took the job. Old Bob, maybe he sensed that I was naive, or maybe he thought I was stupid. I don’t think it really matters either way, though I’ve thought about that a lot over the years - especially during my unfortunate incarceration. There is a fine line between protege and fall guy....

“We’ve all heard the stories of Bob’s generosity, but we also know the stories of his cruelty, his selfishness. Those stories didn’t make the papers, but there’s no question that they were true. Anybody here from the Kiwanis Club? You guys know what I’m talking about.

“In the end, I think we all bear responsibility for Bob’s bastard-hood. After all, we were witnesses to his behavior...but we were mute witnesses. Maybe we were afraid of Bob. Maybe we thought our silence would be rewarded. I don’t know. What I do know is, Bob is dead, and I, for one, am not sad about that. I’m sad I never stood up to him, and I’m sad none of you did either.

“Now, let’s go bury Bob. Then, drinks are on me.”


Postscript: This was another exercise in Flash Fiction, directed, in particular, to the Three Word Wednesday blog.


Sheilagh Lee said...

the eulogy no one ever tells. great story

Deborah said...