No, Mickey is not dead. So, don’t worry… or if you are celebrating, stop it!
I just got to thinking that since I am feeling ill again, and every time I have a cold or flu or a Covid variant it could easily be the death of me with my six incurable diseases, I really ought to have the chance that Tom Sawyer once got to eavesdrop on his own funeral.
Of course, there would undoubtedly be more laughing and joking at my funeral and less crying than there was at Tom’s.
The purple mouse-man would begin the service. He would be wearing his best polka-dotted bow-tie. And he would say, “We come here today not to praise Mickey, but to bury him. He was nothing like Julius Caesar. In fact, he was nothing like anybody we know of from history, recorded newspaper accounts, or Shakespeare plays like Julius Caesar. He was a novelist and an amateur cartoonist. And the best thing that can be said about him is that he was a public school teacher for many, many, many, probably too many years. And he never killed a student (that we can prove,) and he never made a student leave his class dumber than he was on the day he entered the class (and Jorge is not an exception to that statement because the drugs he took that melted his brain came from a San Antonio drug dealer, not from Mickey’s wonderful teaching.)”
And then there would probably be former students that wanted to say something. Clint would probably say something like, “I never had a teacher as funny as him. We would put tacks on his chair, and he always would see them before he sat down, but he would yelp even though he had secretly removed the tack first so that he could tell by which one of us was laughing hardest who was probably guilty. But he never blamed me for the ones I did. He blamed Robert for those. He only blamed me for the ones Robert put there. And Robert put more of them than I did, so it was not fair that I had to talk to the principal more than Robert did. That’s why I ratted Robert out and we both got put on in-school suspension for a week. And then, when we both came back to class, he was laughing harder than I ever saw him laugh before. And I began to suspect he was really evil then.”
And then Leopard Girl would stand up and say, “He was also a good teacher for imaginary students. We would be exposed to all kinds of books and stories, and we had to read and have opinions about stuff. And if we liked a character in a story, he would make us write an imaginary conversation with that character and argue with them about treating the environment better, or being nicer to other people, and think about things from the story that impressed us the most. And you know what? I think sometimes he tricked us into actually learning things.”
And then it would be the talking dog’s turn to speak. And he would get up front, sniff the podium, pee on it, and say, “He was not very smart. He thought dogs could actually talk to people. Like this one time we were walking in the park and this German Shepherd started barking at him. He tried to tell me that the dog was saying good morning to us and inquiring about Aunt Mabel’s lumbago. I told him the dog was barking in German, so he couldn’t understand what it was saying. He claimed he took three years of German in college. I told him that what the dog really said was that if it could get off of its leash, it would come over and eat us because we smelled like burglars. He told me that I was a dog and didn’t actually understand German, and that the word actually meant a person from Hamburg in Germany. I told him I was just a dog and I didn’t actually speak English either!”
I have to admit, my funeral will be nothing at all like this. My sisters wouldn’t stand for having a dog talk at my funeral. And my wife would want to have me cremated and put into a coffee tin to save money, forgoing the expense of an actual funeral so she would have a bit more money to spend on shoes.