Department of Human Resources

“The Life of Kurt”

by Michael Wolman

 

Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here today to honor the life of Kurt, a man whose years cannot easily be summarized in a few paragraphs — although one of his little-known talents was doing just that for other people. Sometimes he was so concise, all it took were a few words. “Mikey,” he said to me once. “I can sum up your life in five words: ‘Not as good as mine.'” Then he slapped me on the back, even though I had a terrible sunburn, and laughed that laugh of his — that high-pitched cackle that sounded sort of contemptuous if you didn’t know him, but was really just Kurt’s way of letting the world know he was enjoying life. That was the Kurtmeister for you.

He was just so… Well, first of all, he was tall. Really tall. At least 6’4″. He loomed over people. Just flat-out loomed. And he had more money than anyone I’ve ever known. Kurt wasn’t a great family man, or a kind man, or even a particularly bright man, but he was always the richest guy in the room. Partly this was because he was phenomenally wealthy, but it was also because he liked surrounding himself with people who were struggling financially, to “demonstrate trickle-down economics in action,” as he put it. Then he would shotgun a beer, unzip his fly and — Well, you can guess what happened next. It was hilarious.

Some people get married and start families; others start foundations or serve on town councils. Kurt made millions and millions of dollars through persistence, savvy, and inheritance alone. His assets ranged from mutual funds and bonds to jewelry he would pick up on trips to Argentina that he refused to discuss for some reason. Kurt believed that above all else you should do what makes you happy, and money is what made Kurt happiest. And he was great with it. Very frugal. All the way to the end. They say you can’t take it with you, but that’s exactly what Kurt did: he’s being buried with his beloved money today. Piles and piles of crisp, unmarked, nonconsecutive Benjamins, stacked alongside him in that platinum-coated coffin for all eternity. Who else but Kurt would have the sack — the bone-deep honesty — to go through with that? No one. Just Kurt.

Some people didn’t get him, and he was OK with that, because he was confident in who he was as a person and didn’t waste time worrying about what other people thought of him. For instance, he would give these noogies where you’d just be like, “No, come on, Kurt. Stop, that hurts!” And then he’d put you in a headlock and keep going, because he knew that we’d all laugh about it later. And people who didn’t understand that about Kurt just weren’t going to like those noogies no matter what he said to them afterwards.

But I didn’t come here to talk about noogies. I came here because my wife told me I would never see her naked again if I didn’t. Kidding, kidding! See, that’s exactly the kind of joke Kurt would have appreciated if he were here with us today. Sadly, however, he is not.

Why? Well, as you all know, Kurt had quite the reputation with the ladyfolk. That may seem inappropriate, or even crass, to mention in this setting. But lovemaking — or “shattering the meat tunnel,” as Kurt called it — is a beautiful and natural thing, the most intimate expression of human connection. If Kurt was guilty of anything, it was of loving too deeply, both in the sense of making love to dozens of women and in the sense of having a freakishly long penis — according to his fourth wife, anyway. In the end, Kurt simply dipped his wick into one too many melting candles. It’s a mistake any one of us could have made. Kurt won’t be the first to die from spreading too much love, and he won’t be the last, and yet it is no less tragic. Alas, no good deed goes unpunished.

Jimmy couldn’t be here — his request for bail was denied last night — but he called to tell me that he wants everyone here to know how sorry he is, and that he wouldn’t have done it if Kurt’s mistake had remained strictly vaginal and oral. I told him what we all already know: Kurt lived life to its fullest. Some birds aren’t meant to be caged.

In the case of my own wife, I forgave Kurt long ago. That was simply the price you paid for the chance to be friends with the greatest pal a guy could ask for. BBB — Bros Before Bitches. That was usually Kurt’s motto. All the way to the bloody end.

And so, I think I speak for everyone here — Joe, Dave, and Reverend Franklin — when I say, “Kurt, rest in peace, you big queer. We’ll miss you.”

 

“Worry of One in Three — Suffering From Lung Cancer”

by Eleanor Leonne Bennett

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