RIP Professor Emeritus Sir Bankwell Brokely Esquire III

The professor's slippery fingers pried a button from his hundred-dollar moehair suit and fetched a cigarette, because he knew the house-fire or the cigarettes were going to kill him sooner or later. It was the house-fire that did it, though. (Ommmmm Namah Shivaaaaaaa)

Let's remember the man.

His career was kind of distinguished. Despite a staggering lack of interest and a trick deck stacked three stories tall against him, he forged the Piss-Ant Genome Mapping Project. He even let me count the piss-ants as he dropped them from tweezers into a pyrex beaker. ...Memories...

"ONE!" ..we screamed together...

"TWO!" ..spit shooting from our trembling, trembling mouths...

Last summer I helped him move from one small laboratory in downtown Shanksville to another across the street, and while we were struggling with a bench that he initially described as "more awkward than heavy," we began to ponder some very deep and metaphysical questions. What if life is just a big dream and someday we'll all wake up in a different universe with different sensations and lubricants?

"If life is a dream," he said, "and I've spent the dream conducting experiments on piss-ants, then I'm going to choke a toddler when I wake up."

Brokely's father was a Sergeant in the sixth Barbary War. His mother dressed in riddles and adhered to a strict diet of curried twigs and bumble bees. Of their nine children, eight lost a prolonged, if not extremely short, battle with wet tail.

The professor is survived by his apprentice, that is, myself, and maybe a handful of notebooks filled with musings and sketches that I'm lucky enough to be in possession of and will make public as soon as feasible. A sample:

If I could be a ship
I'd be one in a bottle

No wind to break my clip
No crew to set my throttle

And if my glass should break... OK... there's a guy coughing in the coal shaft next to mine and it's not just a normal cough that you can ignore and work around. It's like a wimpy, persistent cough that sounds intentionally annoying and unproductive. Just get it out of your system, guy. Cough hard a couple times and end it. None of this piddly-ass "mmmbuuhhh...mmmbuuhhh...mmmbuuuuuh...mmmbuuuuhhh"  nonsense. Cough like a man. Loud and clear and authoritative. A cough that commands respect and applause even, or at least a good eulogy when you die from dust pneumonia.

- Professor Emeritus Sir Bankwell Brokely Esquire III

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