Friday, July 1, 2011

A Eulogy For Steroid Joe, and A Letter From The Dead

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. If everyone could please take a seat. Amy and Lara, please don't fight. Everyone will get a chance to spit on the casket once [Maris] and I are done.

Thank you.

Now, I know some of you were reluctant to come to this service, but I for one am glad you did. I also know that-- okay, family members, you're not going to be allowed to remain in the front row if you continue to throw things at the casket. Nice touch with the rotten eggplant, but please, just let me get through this.

Thank you.

Where was I? Yes, I also know that many of you are uncomfortable with having me, Real Joe, eulogize our departed friend and loved one, Steroid Joe. Yes Carrie, we all know he was a dick. But he was part of our lives for over four years, and we're going to be respectful. Stacy, please lower the crossbow and douse that flaming arrow. There's a bucket of water in the back of the-- what? That's manure? Really? Okay, who brought manure? MOM?? Wow. Okay. Mom brought manure to her own son's memorial service. Yes, I know he wasn't your "real" son, Mom. Settle down.

Thank you.

Now, I'm going to try to keep this brief and-- Jeff I am not fooling around - put the noose away! He's dead already. What? For dragging the corpse through the streets? No. We're not doing that. Gross. Look, everyone just sit down and give me five minutes, then you can do whatever you want to the body, okay?

Thank you. Okay, Steroid Joe died as he had lived. Fighting. It took nearly two hundred stab wounds to kill him. I know. I counted. But I think we all know that he was tormented, and that his hateful agitation with the world around him was simply a matter of chemistry, and . . . okay, I tried. He had his moments and you know it. He's gone now. Rejoice. Defile the corpse. Do whatever makes you feel better. But while you do what you gotta do, I must - in accordance with Steroid Joe's dying wish - read aloud this letter to Prednisone, his most loved and hated drug:

[pandemonium ensues]

"Dear Prednisone,
Hi. How are you? Sure is hot, here. Ha Ha Ha! Seriously, though. I'm sorry you're still in jail because of our little spat at the house. Maybe if you hadn't actually spat at the house...
Anyway... As I lay in this ditch, dying from a couple hundred stab wounds, some shrapnel and more than one boot in my butt, I have been given the gift of what I think must be clarity. Unfortunately, it's a clarity that escapes description, but I'll try to put it into words for you.
First, it hurts to have to say this, but I don't think I ever really loved you. I needed you. I used you. I was sick and I was scared. I'm sorry. I honestly thought you knew the score. You're a drug. I was a patient. It seemed pretty cut-and-dry to me, but obviously you did not see it the same way, and for that, I apologize."

[chaos and violent epithets aimed at the dead fill the chapel]

"Second, I'm sorry I burned all your stuff after the cops took you away. If it makes you feel any better, I received a citation for having an open fire not properly contained, and the fine was like fifteen hundred bucks. Ouch, right?
Finally, thank you. I will never forget what you did for me. Sure, I bitched up a storm over your side-effects, but they were nothing, NOTHING, compared to what I was facing without you. You are a complex drug. That's what I plan to say if anyone asks about you or our time together. I can't ever speak badly of you or color you as some sort of monster. You healed me. I am grateful. You must move on and heal others.

Now, you know how fond I am of Peter Murphy. I leave you with this, from his "Cascade" CD:
Hark and be well
Go catch the light in every cell
Let the fire take the fire, and the rain wash the pain
May your soul's waters never wain

Make Eden here
Send angels' prayers
May your garden be sweet
Let the fire take the fire
Let the fire take the fire, and the rain wash the pain

(Okay, I guess I loved you a little bit)

Steroid Joe



  1. A humorous outlook on a serious situation. Well done, friend.

  2. Thanks! This is one of those posts that ended up nowhere near where I had set out to go. I love it when they take on a life of their own!