Monday, March 27, 2006

Eulogy for Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Sr.

Eulogy for Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Sr. is from Alistair Vogan's short story collection Beyond Good and Eviler.

(Recited at an undisclosed Navajo Indian reserve, Four Corners, New Mexico, 1999.)

He was what they used to call a 'hep-cat'.
He walked a 'road traveled', sure, but it wasn’t a highway.
And there was a spring and life in his gate
but the white picket. White picket? ...It was yards away.

His words were tempered, not tossed:
A box was a thing people got stuck in,
- not a void others filled up with crap then gave away on special occasions, he’d say.
...He said a lot of things.
Then, he’d clear his throat, hike up his pants...
Yes sir... he’d be ready to Bowl!

He Bowled ‘cause it was ‘the right thing to do.’
- you needn’t question everything.
Just as the ball, cold and solid, would disappear before him,
In time, it would return fresh, ...anew
"Not unlike the cycle of death and rebirth,"
the dance of Siva.
He said these things
and people took notice.

His bowling shirt and shoes were his uniform.
Well, not his whole uniform.
There were pants,
black acrylic socks;
and, for a time, a mustache.
But in this ritual,
with the team shirt and pants, the shoes, socks
and a large order of nachos with processed cheese and jalapeno peppers
‘It’ all came together
while his consort worked the room at the El Macombo Chinese Restaurant
across the highway.

Yes, indeed, there was perfection.
It was that simple.

...Why complicate it?

...Mishima Yukio
From the original forward of 'The Decay of the Angel'.

Recited by Akihiro Miwa at the funeral service for Ivan Von Noshrilgram, distinguished philosopher botanist, wild game hunter, exotic animal trainer, extinguished firewalker, linguist, writer and humanist lecturer. And bowler.

Edited by Stephen Carter


Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

Eunic. Where the heck is my slipper?

Eunice, with an "e". said...

I'd like to remind you that there is in fact an "e" at the end of my name.

Also, this isn’t a public address system Ivan. And anyway, I CAN hear you. Do you know you are talking while you type?

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

This is in no way bringing me closer to a revelation concerning the whereabouts of my slipper.

Eunice said...

Sir. You were wearing them when you passed my desk on the way to your office this morning.

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...


Eunice said...

And... that was several hours ago. It is probably best to get off the computer sir. You do remember what the optimologist said about dry eye?

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

I cannot do that Eunice for the simple reason that I cannot leave my desk without slippers. I am, essentially, trapped here.

I am asking for your help woman.

Eunice said...

For crying out loud. Shall I come in there then?

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

I am not a feeble-minded old man Eunice! I do not need you to dress me! Stay there please. I am simply...

Oh here it is!

Eunice said...

Where was it sir?

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

It's no longer a pressing issue Eunice. Obviously.

Eunice said...

I am just curious.

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

I said drop it.

Eunice said...

Sir, in the unpleasant event of a truly hideous "slipper emergency”- to avoid becoming unduly hysterical should such a circumstance arrive - it might be best if I am made fully aware of all potentialities concerning your missing slipper(s).

Please tell me where you found it. It might be best to start today a comprehensive Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP). We were talking about that, weren’t we?

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...


Kathleen O'Really said...

Dear Eunice,

What the hell is this? Are you losing your marbles??


Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

Dear Ms O'Really,

Well now. Well now, indeed. The death has been hard truly for us all. You do realize however that it has been over six years now? You ladies should stop this! It is ridiculous. He loved you both equally.

Furthermore, in addition to your language unnerving her, Eunice is now completely flustered in search of marbles. I will have to slip out and purchase some for her to find.

You have put our office in a commotion; still, I encourage you to share any memories with you may have of my uncle, Ivan Von Noshrilgram Sr. He spoke very affectionately in his final days of that tango he shared with you by the pool in Havana so many years ago. Apparently you left an impression that night. ...Such strong hands I suppose.

Yours kindly,

Von Noshrilgram, Jr.
(President of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation; Botanist, Wild Game Hunter, Extinguished Fire Walker, Exotic Animal Translator, Humanist Lecturer & Linguist)

L. Cohen said...

Hiya Eunice,

Always good to hear from ya.

Anyways, the first time I saw Noshrilgram was in Bangelore in 1974. He was doing doing his levitation routine outside a Friday mosque. It wasn't very convincing but it was kinda fun. He sure was in high spirits that day and didn't look like he did at the Four Points. Course he wasn't dead.

Anyway, I always felt real affection for the man. He was as many know the inspiration for much of my earlier work, particularly Suzanne, though I never laid with the man.

I'm sure we'll meet again in another life.

I didn't know he was a botanist though.

Jikan (L. Cohen)

Irving Johnson said...

Dear Eunice,

When will you be announcing the opening the much anticipated Von Noshrilgram theme park?

Waiting in aniticipation of exciting updates and pictures of the safari park in construction.

With regards,


Randall Brockwell iii said...

Von Noshrilgram, you magnificent bastard!

It truly shatters the soul to think that you're no longer with us, dear boy. I remember us as lads at school, scabby knees and dirty faces, running about in our nickers and ankles boots as though it where yesterday...or at the very least last week old chum. Alas, one must suppose that time catches us all. I would have imagined you out lasting us all. Your energy, your love of life or joie de vivre as you would say in obscenely affected french accent. Your passing crushes me.

There was the little matter of you stealing the love of my life and whisking her away to the four corners of the earth. Your grand adventures and tales of whimsy. Elephants on parade, charging baboons and cantankerous mules. For that I can never forgive you and I will forever despise you for it. She may have had the face of a moose and the arse of a bear, but I loved her...but your passing shocks indeed.

Rest peacefully you old jackenape.

Forever yours
Randall Brockwell iii

Thespian, angler, male nurse (retired)

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

Hi Irv,

Good to hear from you.

I see that the old girl hasn't responded to your inquiry regarding the theme park. She's been pretty taken up with the new lion wrestling program she's created at the seniors resident where she volunteers her services. Please do not take offense.

I'll check with her on its official progress and have her get back to you.

Love your work, and am honoured by your interest in all things Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Senior!

Yours kindly,

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr.
(President of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation; Botanist, Wild Game Hunter, Extinguished Fire Walker, Exotic Animal Translator, Humanist Lecturer & Linguist)

Eunice said...

Um. Randall. Ivan may have passed away, but I sure haven't. I know when I am being talked about. When you say, mysteriously, "had the face of a moose and the arse of a bear" you are hardly employing the Da Vinci Code. Yep, I am fairly confident, somehow without much expertise in symbol reading, that you're refering to me. ..."had the face of a moose and the arse of a bear". Let me think about this. Most people graciously acknowledge that I am aging well, some even say I haven't changed an iota in the last twenty-five years, so I guess that means you have inclinations that are, well, ...unusual.

This I know: I going have to think twice before letting you to take the seniors to the zoo again on your own...

And how is Charles? (To be read in a sing-songy voice.)