My brother Ross died a week ago in a freak accident involving a slow loris. Turns out, they're related to monkeys, and poisonous. Who knew? I never knew Ross was into slow lorises, anyway. The doctor said there was a rash of slow loris attacks recently, which is strange, because they're kinda like sloths otherwise.
Anyway, Ross died, and the whole family gathered for the funeral. Everyone was sad, you know, like you're supposed to be. Ross was never the family favorite, always a bit weird, but whatever, family is family, and he was young. His casket was open. The funeral home really did a great job at cleaning Ross up. Can't believe he's really gone. Are slow lorises even native to Boston?
So, yeah, everyone was kinda in shock, but things picked up for the eulogy, though. I remember it clearly: "Ross. He was a sorry sack, in time. Life was all the pressure of reform and the purse. Think, for a moment, about the vittles he led and powerful tacky skin he scored. Was this a man of rage? Of ricin by the aliquot? No! Ross knew the buttery encapsulation of a full life. Like, I remember when he and we and they and he all went to the shivering place and there was just too much marshmallow. Tallow fat. We all cringed and wailed, but Ross? Nosiree, he just split open the pustules and boom! Esophageal ulcers for everyone!"
Oh, that Cousin Johnny. Always such a riot. By the end of that, we all were in stitches. After a speech like that, I could barely keep a straight face as I walked up to the casket, took the knife, slashed my wrist and bled for Ross.
When I was done, I passed the knife on to Aunt Bridget, and looked back at Ross one last time. That's when I noticed something weird. His gut was beginning to expand. I stuck around to watch as this bulge in Ross's belly started busting through his tux, all purplish and pulsating.
In the middle of Uncle Earl's turn to bleed, that growth ruptured, spraying Earl and me and Fr. O'Reilly and Johnny in a real pale concoction that was like half-blood, half-pus. Did you know that the spleen is the home of up to half of all the lymphocytes in the body? I didn't. Still don't. Not sure why I said that. Anyway, Ross's spleen ruptured and sprayed us all. A couple of tentacles emerged from Ross's spleen and started grabbing at the metal hinges on the casket and the knife. Steel, iron, the tentacles were grabbing anything made of iron and started turning them into tin cans. Ross, from the casket, still dead, apparently, said, "Always recycle your iron!"
Johnny just stared at Ross. He was not expecting this. I mean, who could?
We were wondering how we were going to finish bleeding for Ross without the knife when the rest of us started developing pains in our left side. Soon, everyone's spleen was rupturing and spraying blood. Well, that solved the knife problem, even if this was really freaking us out. Everyone except Johnny, who was just standing there, desperately trying to restore order in the whole bloody mess everything had become. He just started prematurely regurgitating his blood and wood pulp into the casket, before Livvy and Amelia were able to add their blood to the coffin. Ross's spleen tentacles just started slurping up Johnny's slurry like it was a shake or something.
Johnny was distraught. There was no way to fill up the casket now. Also, everyone was bleeding out their sides and making a mess of the church. We were all pretty much running around confused. So, I guess that's why no one noticed when this bloody human in a hot London suit and spats rose out of Ross's abdominal cavity.
Stepping out of the corpse, the party crasher wiped the blood from his face and dude. Duuuuuude. It was that guy from all the shows. You know, that guy. We just had a TV star crash Ross's funeral. He called out, "Smile and laugh!" He reached over to the tabernacle and opened it up to reveal a hidden camera! Then, he went over to Aunt Maureen, stuck a finger up her nose and pulled out another camera! Oh my god, we were on a prank show all this time! That's what was going on! We all started laughing. This was way over the top, and you know Ross would have wanted it this way.
Well, Cousin Johnny wasn't laughing. He was just perplexed. He always did have a weird sense of humor, Johnny. He just emitted a loud chittering and left the stage/church.
The announcer closed with, "Spleens! Storing blood, recycling nutrients, producing lymphocytes, and making laughs! They were associated with melancholy in the past, but they provide nothing but mirth and merriment now. Is there anything that this oft-neglected organ can't do for us? We hope you enjoyed a good deep belly laugh and had a chance to vent your spleen! Vent your laugh! Come laugh with us. And remember, LAUGH IS FUN!"
I had forgotten how fun funerals are. We should have them more often.