Oh, catch up.
I can’t believe it’s been a year.
I can’t believe he’s gone.
Mostly, I can’t believe Nicole didn’t show up. What, she doesn’t have a black frock?
On Saturday past, a few of us gathered at the Hong Kong Rock Room at the Annandale Hotel (thanks, Kristie Kristofferson) to say farewell to Keith. The dress code was formal. The atmosphere was reverent. The beer was cold. The telly was begrudgingly tuned to the Country Music Channel, which was counting down the ’30 Best Country Driving Songs’.
At one point, I was sure I saw Russ wipe a tear from his cheek, but it turned out he just had a shard of plastic in his eye from some last-gasp destruction efforts. Amazingly, when we looked closely at the shard, we noticed that it contained a special message, completely un-manipulated by Russ. Cough.
Looks like it was written by Prince, but.
It was a surprisingly touching and emotional affair – Keith has been with us through thick and thin. Through blood, sweat and tears. Through mud, toads and cake.
We thought it was only fitting to construct a shrine to Keith, celebrating our favourite moments and allowing mourners to pay their respects to his remains. Plus, they totally had a special on photo frames at my local two dollar shop.
Even though we were at his funeral, we still thought Keith was looking a little too together for someone who was supposed to be at the business end of a destruction project. So I decided to add some rip to his R.I.P, because I’m so bloody clever with words and letters and that.
Speeches were kept brief due to the intense emotion making our voices all wobbly and the tears making the words all blurry, but they included an absentee telegram poem by Shellity, and a toast with beer in chilled champagne glasses because we’re classy as all get-out.
We are gathered here today to agree that my frock is awesome.
Then it was down to business. We basically had two big shards of CD plus a whole mess of broken-and-torn-up crap. First, we took one of the shards into the ladies’ toilet.
Keith whispered “I’ve never been in here before”.
Russ whispered “I have”.
I don't think my prom date's going to make it through the night.
Like throwing a handful of dirt on the coffin.
Next, Russ took the second shard into the gents’. I think the pictures really speak for themselves when describing what happened to Keith there. Suffice to say, beer in chilled champagne glasses just goes straight through Russ.
Whilst preparing for the cremation with a few more beverages, we were “entertained” by the Top Five Country Driving Songs blaring at us from the big screen. Magically, as if smiling down on us from the big S-bend in the sky, Keith was number one. NUMBER ONE. And the song was called… um… something. What am I, Glenn A Baker? Sheesh. We celebrated. We danced. We saluted.
Time wore on, and we reluctantly headed outside for the final cremation. For those of you who want to visit Keith’s final resting place, it’s here:
Like Haight/Ashbury, but WAY more relevant.
All was silent, save for the distant sound of passing traffic and the subtle rasp of a lighter flicking furiously into funereal flame. Thanks to the help of some toilet paper accelerant, Keith was soon on fire. We watched him burn. We inhaled his seriously foul smoke. We looked outrageously attractive bathed in his infernal glow. It was touching. It was beautiful. And, admittedly, taken out of context, it was fucking weird.
And now he’s a pile of ashes. A smudge on the side-street of life. A smudge with a suspicious-looking dribble of liquid beside him. Jeez, Russ. See a doctor.
Bye, mate. We’ll miss you.