Monday 9 June 2014

Rik Mayall 1958 - 2014

"This house will become a shrine!
And punks and skins and Rastas will all gather round and all hold their hands in sorrow for their fallen leader and all the grown-ups will say "but why are the kids crying?'" And the kids will say, "haven't you heard? Rick is dead! The people's poet is dead!"
And then one particularly sensitive and articulate teenager will say "why kids, do you understand nothing? How can Rick be dead when we still have his poems?" Then another kid will say--"
(Rik farts loudly and shits his pants)

Upon death, the muscles of the bladder and rectum relax in a way they cannot while the body still lives.  Death, when it comes, leaves behind a body wallowing in its own fecal matter, the chemical stew of human biology, so dependent upon acids and bacteria, begins to ferment and bubble away now that it's left to its own devices and not concerned with the occasional influx of organic material provided by the living human to keep the growls of hunger at bay.  The gases build up, trapped in kinks and corners of intestine, awaiting any movement of the corpse to loosen and free these foul-smelling pockets of deathly stench upon the world, and so Rik Mayall (silent "p") has thus farted - silently, but dead-y - and shit his pants for the final time upon this mortal plane.  He didn't do it on stage or in front of a camera, though I don't doubt he'd have wanted to if he knew it was the last time he'd have the opportunity to fart and then shit his pants for an audience, but fart and then shit his pants he most certainly did, much as every man and woman to depart this realm will inevitably do, as the saying rightly goes: "nothing in life is certain but death and then farting and shitting your pants", though it's usually abbreviated.
It's not unique to die and then fart and shit your pants, and thus it's arguably nothing special or exceptional as epitaphs go, but I like to think that the - possibly fictional - Rik Mayall who loomed so large in my childhood, pratfalling and shouting at the injustices and humiliations heaped upon him by a universe determined to see him suffer and lacking the wit or intelligence to rebuff those misfortunes in meaningful or memorable ways and so simply called those misfortunes a bastard as he stumbled towards the next catastrophe - I like to think that as he floated above his corpse and looked down upon his farted and shitted pants, realising with the cool detachment of the departed that he had indeed farted and shit his pants at the last, I like to think that Rik Mayall, or even the real Rik Mayall who energetically played out his pratfalls and disasters as a neverending tragedy, whichever of the two were truly Rik Mayall, if either were, or neither, perhaps... I just like to think in some way, through the veil of death, from the afterlife, that Rik Mayall could look down and see his farted and shitted pants and think that this was what he would have wanted.

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