For a while Frankie questioned the wisdom of serving a good ole fashioned Texas Bar-B-Q for funeral refreshments, but I couldn’t think of anything that would be more appropriate, my father was such a ham. We invited a lot of his old fond friends who were in their ways grateful for Archie’s many and various inanities: late one night he’d left a voice-mail for Nancy Sinatra telling her about his free underwear. “He was right, the underwear they sent wasn’t very good. But I’ve always appreciated thrift,” said Nancy.
In the end the funeral party was only ruined by one thing, and that was Archie himself. After dinner we watched some of the least painful of my father’s films. While he failed again and again in his attempts to deliver dialogue convincingly, his oldest fondest friends restricted themselves to respectful comments, which means for the most part they sat in silence, and Nancy sipped from a flask on the sly and burped discreetly into her handkerchief, which she’d also got from that “Freebies for Seniors” website. Next day while Nancy et. al sat on the patio, bleary eyed in the mountain morn, I was in the kitchen coldly furnishing forth the breakfast table with the funeral baked meats and counting chickens before they hatched as I considered the rather large sum of consoling money that would be coming my way in lieu of flowers when Archie Shitsville himself, adding schlock horror to his credits, appeared at the window, quite green, and said, “Honey, I’ve come back…” failing spectacularly as always to deliver the line without sounding actually illiterate or only slightly drunk.