Thursday, November 5, 2009

Boris the deceased

The deceased was fat. His meaty rolls poured out of his knock off suit; a suit intended to make him look respectable for the evening. Boris’s flesh, however, was unused to such confined quarters.

In the past, these same rolls had hung happily over his velvet tracksuit pants or rested provocatively behind a sweat-stained wife-beater, but now they propelled forward, undeterred by his fancy collar. Hairy and obvious; the rolls were performing an act of posthumous rebellion against the whole decentness of the event.

Sitting in the funeral home, with the grey skies of Midwood looming overhead, the family gathered together to look upon him. Boris’s blubber was evident, in fact, it was commented on by every member of the tight-knit clan. Boris was dead and had put on fifteen pounds in the process of dying. There was no need to be polite about it. It was the truth.

The observations, which were uttered loudly between the hymns and prayers, weren’t mean spirited in nature. In fact, everyone was pretty jolly about the whole thing, a possible result of the vodka, drunk ceremoniously before the funeral. Vodka only indulged in, in honor of Boris, who loved the drink so. Vodka also partaken of in honor of Boris’s mother, his father, his brother, and his dog.

Boris’s dog , who was also fat, was also dead. Boris had wished to be buried in the same casket as Smirnoff, his furry companion, but alas they both could not fit in one final resting place.So, Smirnoff would be buried beside him in his own casket. Unfortunately, the only doggie sized casket available in the funeral home was a shocking shade of pink. Boris would most likely think the salmon colored casket was too effeminate for such a manly, and more so , such hairy a dog. But as we already said repeatedly: Boris was dead.

The ceremony proceeded on, with respects paid to both man and mutt. Everyone agreed that Boris’s wife cried gratuitously as the dog’s casket was closed. It was also agreed upon that she showed the proper restraint when Boris’s casket met the same fate.

After these short,sentimental moments, the rabbi said the usual things about Israel and goodness, perhaps, assuming that upon his death there too would be some goodness in the deceased. Then, Boris’s father, whose capacity for subtle observation was unmatched in the community, spoke.

“ He was not the smartest one, “ he began, ” Nor was he handsome or rich. He did not leave much behind for his destitute parents. He even took that shit machine of a dog with him.”
The rabbi stared down at his Torah, presumably hoping for some sort of godly intervention or perhaps overcome with emotion at such poignant words. The funeralgoers pondered this possibility for a moment. And then the moment passed.

Ivan continued, “ Boris was not kind, or funny, not very skilled with tools or the pen. He didn’t smell all that pleasant… But, one thing Boris did have was an appetite for life. No one could eat like him. No one could drink like him. And now that he’s gone, there’s finally some for the rest of us.”

On that note, most people clapped. One man sitting in the back row, burped his praise for the fine and true words. It took ten able-bodied men and one particularly stout woman to carry Boris’s casket away.

When the dirt was poured and the deed was done, the group met to drink, glad that they would all live another day to chat and honor, and mock and judge , the lives of others.


  1. Frightening and wonderful in equal measure.

  2. It's like a scene right out of my family.