You might remember about a month back - and if you do, please seek professional therapy - that the Salad was all abuzz about a certain carrot that appeared to have a penis.
Yes, we were all amused. Up until the point that a tragic, dehydrating Ziploc accident took the carrot away from us in the prime of its vegetable life.
So it became incumbent upon us to send out the penis carrot in a way befitting a legend. Namely, a viking burial at sea. Or at least the Hillsborough River.
Thus so determined, I went to secure the finest buoyant wood possible to craft the funeral barge. I wanted something that spoke of penis carrot's grandeur, it's importance in the living world. I wanted it to have meaning.
So, you know, I went to the crafts aisle at Wal-Mart and bought some balsa and popsicle sticks.
They weren't easy to find.
"You're building a what?'' the blue-smocked septugenarian craft helper at the store said to me.
I could tell I would have to complete this quest without assistance.
Once I got the materials home, I assembled them at the kitchen table and began to craft the barge. About an hour later, Salad Wife walks through the kitchen and sees me.
She puts a hand on my shoulder.
"I'm worried about what your friends will think when they see this,'' she says.
There is real concern in her voice.
As I knew deep in my heart, concern was not necessary. My friends not only accepted my attention to penis carrot funeral barge detail, they embraced it. The barge brought peace and tranquility into their hearts. It rended the seam torn by the loss. It made us whole.
So as we walked to the river's edge in search of a suitable launching place, we walked as one. A band of penis carrot brothers.
But it's not like we really prepared. As we walked out of the office, Rommie plucked the book “Freud’s Requiem” by Matthew von Unwerth from a shelf on our way out the door.
Something innate told him there would be an adequate passage to read during the ceremony.
After walking a bit, we found a clearing along the seawall that looked suitable for our send-off. We had to hoodwink a security guard with a little "Reservoir Dogs" bravado, but it didn't take much effort. It was as if the soul of the penis carrot was guiding our every move.
I gently placed the barge on the seawall for the ceremony.
Mitch plucked the miniature casket from his pocket as Rommie dabbed at the corner of an eye.
Perhaps I should have anticipated the moment, but I didn't expect to be so moved by the placement of the body into the funeral barge.
We then bowed our heads as Rommie read the eulogy from "Freud's Requiem," making the necessary adjustments in the text:
“The castle in the dream was Duino, beneath whose walls the Penis Carrot had passed during the crossing on his recent journey. It was the same place where, fourteen years later, the Penis Carrot would hear in the wind the first words of his Elegies, in which imagined his death as an interior transformation. In the end, before his own death, perhaps even in his own poetry, the Penis Carrot deceived himself and made others complicit in his deception. While in dreams, he, too, might have longed to deny death, the Penis Carrot would not allow himself to fall into the same error.”
Then, in accordance with viking custom, we attempted to light the barge on fire. But since none of us were latent pyromaniacs, we lacked proper accelerants. So we substituted a miniature bottle of rum.
Unfortunately, it only warped the wood and smeared the burial markings on the barge. Flamage did not ensue.
Rommie brought the bobblehead skull as a sort of offering. I thought it was a nice touch.
We then lowered the barge into the water using fishing line and set our friend upon the sea.
After which, our friend snagged upon a submerged rock. It was as if he was crying to return to our fold.
So I descended to the rocky shoreline and used a ceremonial limb to dislodge the barge and set it free.
The challenge then became: How do I haul my ass up over this ledge?
Staying in character, I employed the traditional Drunken Rolling Viking method of gaining vertical position.
As I wobbled to my feet, untucked and soiled by the shoreline's industrial waste, I had but one thought: "Penis Carrot, we hardly knew ye."
After we returned to our desks, Bob brought forth another amazing discovery:
A Penis Peanut.
Seems he was roasting some peanuts the night before and found this rather odd-shaped legume.
As Bob so sagely put it: "It's like what they said in 'The Sound of Music'; When God closes a door, he opens a window."
Yes, Bob. Yes, He does.
Posted by Jeff at August 16, 2005 07:47 AM