Living

The Cool Kid's Guide to Reading: You now have a gift of words

Friday was Mrs. Cool Kid’s birthday. I didn’t get her a present because she likes buying her own.

So instead, I got a present for you, O Best Ones. An original Cool Kid story.

THE SHORT GOODBYE

We buried Billy today. He insisted.

“Do it Sunday,” he told us. “It’s not football season, so no one’ll complain.”

“Eric will,” I said. “He even complained when he won the lottery.”

“He didn’t win the lottery,” Billy reminded me. “He won Fantasy 5. Which barely covers bus fare to one fantasy.”

“True,” I said.

“What?” Tru asked.

“What?” Watt wanted to know.

“Y’all be quiet,” I said.

Because I know you scamps. You’re all yakking away, no doubt, instead of reading this Cool Kid original in a riveted way.

So ... back to Billy on his death bed.

You don’t mind, do you? I’d hate to put you out by going back to my friend who’s only like on his death bed and all.

Thank you. You’re decent, country folk.

This was on Thursday. Billy knew his days were numbered.

Then again, who doesn’t?

Most months the numbers go up to 31. But not always. Ever since Pope Gregory XIII changed ... this really isn’t relevant. Look it up yourself later.

Billy knew he was dying. His innards were badly damaged.

And there was little the doctors could do, given their level of disinterest.

It was tragic. And Billy had only himself to blame. I know you’re not supposed to say that about a dying person.

But it was a self-inflicted atomic wedgie. So Billy really did bear the blame. No one was begging him to bare the acreage of his ro-ro. Take my word.

Not that one, though. I need that one for the comments section.

“Remember,” Billy said. “I want an open casket.”

“OK.”

“Next to an open bar.”

“With rotgut inside top-shelf bottles, right?”

“Right.”

“Heard you the first time,” Wright said.

Yes, since you ask. The hospital room was indeed crowded. Billy had a lot of friends.

And here we all are at the cemetery. Billy is in the ground and we’re headed to our rides.

“When I die, make sure I’m cremated,” Tru says.

“When you’re toast, we’ll toast you,” Wright assures him.

Then Wright looks over at me. “How about you?” he asks. “You want us to bury you or cremate you?”

“Bury,” I say.

“Just a sec,” Barry says. “I think I stepped in something.”

“Good Lord,” I say.

But he was with Billy.

To contact writer Randy Waters, call 744-4240 or email rwaters@macon.com.

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