from January 15, 2004
The growing band of readers of this column will recall that last month saw the demise of our esteemed friend and colleague, Mr. Orville Slack IV, who was removed from this vale of tears at the tender age of ninety-five or thereabouts. His obituary was well-penned by our editor, Mr. Arthur Unknown, and is available for perusal in our growing Archive.
For those whose holiday duties forced them to miss that obit, let me report that Slack IV’s remains were heated to a high temperature, became ash, and were placed in an urn, where they remain at an undisclosed location in a broom closet in the nether regions of the Hôtel Adiós. He left behind a small number of columns for publication.
The aforementioned readers may also remember that Mr. Slack IV was preceded in death by our fellow columnist, Mr. Ab Ennis, who was likewise reduced to ashes in the Year of our Lord 1958. Mr. Ennis, or Ab, as he was affectionately called by those who agreed with his literary pronouncements, continues to render judgments from his perch atop the Kachina Round Table of the aforementioned hotel. Indeed, so acute are his insights, so lithe his movements, that he has announced his intention of seeking the top spot on the ticket of the newly-formed Dead Rights Party. He is, in a word, running for president.
For this the Miles Junior Think Tank modestly takes some credit. Though we cannot accept plaudits for the acuity of his judgments, we had a small, indeed huge, part in making this marvel possible. It was our ingenuity that caused him to be outfitted with the devices that can allow an intelligent set of ashes to become a major player in the political game. I speak of the midget robot that enables our urn-bound man to move about in the lithe but eccentric manner that has become his trademark; of the audio device with which he is equipped; of the acrylic ocular implants that allow him to recognize the media personnel and to avoid those who ask unpleasant questions.
This said, we at MJTT have concluded that, given our stunning success in the resurrection of our man, we have no choice (given our stated intent to make the world a better place in which to live) but to use our expertise to help others achieve their lifelong wish to remain immortal.
Thus the creation of the MJTT Cremation Service, a subsidiary of its umbrella organization, The Myles Junior Think Tank.
We will, of course, need eligibility criteria. For instance, should we heed the pleas of Mr. Orville Slack IV to be outfitted with the same apparatuses that Mr. Ennis enjoys?
There are arguments on both hands. On the one hand, Slack IV has certainly provided a public service, taking the art of begging off to its highest known pitch. On the other hand, his readership has fallen off, possibly because his advice has offended such former readers of his column as the telemarketer crowd, brokers, policemen, and the Girl Scouts.
But this is but one example of the ethical dilemmas caused by the inauguration of our enterprise. We will return to this subject in our next blog, meanwhile awaiting that bolt from the blue we have come to expect in our mullings over such major matters.