Written by Joe Janes
64 out of 365
Rev. Van Winkle, 40s
Garvin T. Jones, 20s
Widow Bonnie Cutcher, 80s
(Lights up on a memorial service. Widow Cutcher sits off to the side being comforted by the friendly and sincere Rev. Van Winkle. The reverend gets up and stands before the coffin of Harper Roscoe Cutcher.)
REV. VAN WINKLEThank you, everyone, for coming to this solemn occasion as we prepare to lay to rest one of our Lord’s finest servants, Harper Roscoe Cutcher. Harper passed away last weekend from natural causes at the nursing home surrounded by loved ones. With Mrs. Cutcher’s permission, we’d like to open up the floor to anyone who would like to say a few words on her husband’s behalf.
(Randy comes up from the audience. The reverend returns to Widow Cutcher’s side.)
RANDYThank you, Rev. Van Winkle. My deepest condolences, Bonnie. Hi. I’m Randy. Harper’s little brother. Feels strange to say that at my age, but it’s true. Harper was and will always be my big brother. After daddy left to work on the canal and never came back, Harper took it upon himself to make sure I got raised right. He helped me with my homework, rode me hard to keep my grades up, kept on me to get my chores done, and when it came to the ladies, well, he was always there to give me a firm guiding hand. Taught me everything I needed to know about how to hold and kiss a woman. Without his tutelage, I might never have met Laxana from the Ukraine who’ll be arriving here Saturday. I’m
sorry my brother, who would have been my best man, won’t get to meet her in person. But I’m sure he’s peering down on us from behind a cloud somewhere. Harp was the shining example of brotherly love and was never afraid to show his affection toward me. From mussing’ up my hair to long, steady rhythmic hugs from behind. I love you Harp and I will miss you dearly.
(He exits, passing by the widow on his way and giving her condolences. Estelle comes up.)
ESTELLEHello. My name is Estelle and I worked for Harper Cutcher at his hardware store, Cutcher’s Hardware, up until his retirement just a few years ago. Mr. Cutcher was always a hardworking man who also kept those around him working even harder. The hardware store was his life. Mr. Cutcher, I guess, is what you would call a workaholic. Aside from my secretarial duties, it was my job to follow him around with a small plastic bag to collect his excrement. And sometimes urine. He never had time to use a proper bathroom. The hardware business is always “go, go, go, go, go!” he used to say. I would then put the waste into Tupperware containers, label them by time and date, and place them in a walk-in cold storage unit. It is my understanding that Mr. Cutcher has willed that storage facility to me. (Tearing up) He was always ever so thoughtful. I look forward to spending time there, just sitting and reminiscing about this one or that one. I’ll miss you Mr. Cutcher.
(She exits, stopping a moment to give her condolences to the widow as Gene enters.)
GENE (looks at coffin, then turns to everyone)Harper was such a good man. Always willing to help out a friend. I lost my job and didn’t know how I was going to put food on the table, let alone get my kids through school and on to college. When I was down on my luck, Harper said, “Gene, what you need to do is go into business for yourself. Cut out the middleman” He donated the equipment I needed to start my own crystal meth lab. And whenever business was slow, he’d buy some, even though he was more a crack-cocaine kind of guy. Thanks, Harper. Thanks to you, I have a growing business. And my kids are also some of my best clients. I don’t have to worry about paying for
college tuition, because they dropped out of high school. They no longer have any ambition other than to blow someone for money to pay to get stoned. You helped out there, too, Harper. God bless you. You were a good man. (To the widow, tearfully) He was a good man.
(Gene exits, Garvin dressed in a purple suit with matching fedora and a cane walks up.)
GARVIN T. JONESYou all know me. Garvin T. Jones. Harper Roscoe Cutcher was one of my best clients. On a slow day, you could always count on Harper to take care of my bitches. Sometimes taking three or four of them to the motel out on route six. He didn’t need but one or two. The others would end up just posing, getting ice, cheering him on, or sometimes they would restrain him. He knew some of these bitches needed the money for drugs or for eating food and never wanted to see anyone go wantin’. And he appreciated all the hard work I put in, arranging meetings and transportation, counting money, getting’ carpel tunnel from smacking my bitches when they disrespect me. Sometimes he would tip. “And here’s a little something extra for Garvin T. Jones.” Even though he knowed I was already getting a 90% cut. The man had class gushing like a geyser out of that wrinkly old butt. It heartens me to know that some of that class is in cold storage somewheres. Helps give a guy like me a sense of diggity. I brought along with me Carmela. Come on up here, Carmela. (Carmela, the skankiest of ho’s, comes up and starts to hang on Garvin.) To show how much I loved this man, I am going to have Carmela, his favorite ho and youngest daughter; ride in the hearse on the way to the cemetery tomorrow. She gonna give Harper one last thing to remember about his time on this dirt before he goes off to the great wherever.
(Garvin and Carmela approach Widow Cutcher and both make out with her. Rev. Van Winkle comes back up.)
REV. VAN WINKLEWell, there you have it. Harper Roscoe Cutcher. An inspiration, a leader, a man beloved by oh so many. Punch, cookies and crystal meth will now be served in the other room.