Having just polished off a full bottle of rum, I suppose I could be excused for walking into the first building I saw, hoping to spot a bathroom where I could puke my guts out. How was I to know there'd be a ceremony in progress? I wasn't sure what kind of ceremony, but I was sure these people needed a little cheering up. You'd have thought someone had died.
Anyway, when the guy up front asked if anyone wanted to say a few words about Larry, I was just drunk enough to assume he meant Larry McMurtry, and of course I always have something to say about Murch, so I stumbled to the front. My decision to talk like a pirate seemed appropriate, as Murch always called me a pirate for taking my fifteen percent. I always told him, if your agent be worth fifteen percent, I should be gettin' thirty, as I be the one that makes your crap readable, ye scurvy dog. He hates when I talk like a pirate.
I faced the audience. "Arrrgh," I began, a glob of phlegm flying out of my throat and landing in the lap of a woman seated front and center. "If that son of a sea biscuit Larry was here, he'd be the first to admit I made him what he is today. Where be the old dog, anyway?"
The woman in the front, who had attempted to wipe my phlegmball off her dress, but had merely succeeded in smearing it into a glistening patch the size of an ass cheek, cried, "He's right there!" She pointed at a casket, which I now noticed for the first time.
"Larry be dead?" I said. I couldn't believe it. I opened the casket, and that's when the rum decided to return from the depths to which I'd sent it. I barfed all over Larry. Except it wasn't Murch after all. It was Larry Higgenbottom, the guy who delivered pastries to my office.
I turned to the people and said, "Sorry, too much grog I been drinkin'." They didn't look any happier now than when I'd started.
And I wasn't too happy myself, realizing I'd have to do without my prune danish tomorrow morning.