Graceful Exits (a tersely-told tale)

(lyrics narrated with musical accompaniment)

So I’m walking down the street and who do I run into but Tony the T and frankly I’m wishing I’m somewhere else but all I can do is act naturally pleased at the happy happenstance.

Seems Tony’s got some ideas worth investigating and he’s decided I’m the man for the job, and of course I must accept, or Tony the T might get some ideas about me and find a man right for that job.

Next thing Tony slaps me on the back and shoves a cigar in my mouth and hands me an envelope, it’s a done deal, and Tony the T leaves me coughing in a cloud of smoke.

As I open the envelope that seals my fate, to reveal the nature of the task I am now bound to execute, I am feeling no little trepidation, and my fears are well-founded.

Apparently, Peanut, a well-known louse, has earned himself the ultimate distinction of being exiled from our community in the customary fashion, and I am to be the custodian of this custom.

This is outside my particular line of work, so I begin by wondering how I can shrug this deed off onto some poor schlub’s shoulders, but it’s a tough sell, given the penalties and moral outrage and whatnot.

Unless, I start thinking, someone wants to kill someone else who wants to be killed, and then it all comes in clear, and next thing I send out two feelers because of course there are plenty of both kinds of people and what they need is a broker.

Many folks are eager to do God’s work, but it’s a tall order to find a single joe who buys my blarney and doesn’t threaten to end it or flip it or spill it, but at last my pitch snares an ideal employee, a reformed man, some religion, but with skills intact.

This particular joe concurs that this is indeed a mission of mercy: fulfilling the final wishes of people exercising their ultimate freedom, while sparing their families terrible suffering, a lifetime of awful memories, and some expense, and I’m thinking this little assignment is starting to come around to my wheelhouse after all.

Meanwhile, my Graceful Exits program rustles up some candidates easily enough, and I get the old John Hancock from a number of geezers all bamboozled by my holy-rolling banter plus it’s no risk to them because of course no charges can stick to a dead man.

The first two clients are old enough to warrant merciful endings, and I’m tickled to see joe cross himself and shed a tear of joy to dispatch them to their eternal reward, and now with the pump primed I am selling joe on Peanuts’ terminal condition which, I regret to inform, is progressing with all due haste, and I laid it on just thick enough to put paid to that.

Well, ever since Peanut’s dignified demise, Tony the T has been buying me drinks, which suits me fine even though I’m flush with gelt because the geezers keep getting in line for their dose of mercy, and the satisfaction I bring my clients is genuine, so I can scarcely afford to stop providing this service.

If Peanut minds his own business, none of this happens, and I almost feel sorry for Peanut on account I’m thinking about the widow he’s leaving, but then I remember what a miserable manx she is, and sure enough within two weeks she has wrapped herself around the leg of some other poor bastard to get in his pockets.





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