…ashes to ashes, amen.
We are gathered here today, on this beautiful autumn morning, to pay our last respects to Thomas Faircluff, Richard Mason, and Harold Walker—Tom, Dick, and Harry—as they were known to all of us. Three stout fellows of our community, who will be sorely missed.
Tom, sadly was blind—an affliction he bore with great fortitude, especially considering he was also deaf. His only power was that of speech and song, and we all recall his enormous voice joining lustily in our hymn singing. Of course, being blind and deaf, Tom never actually knew what hymn we were singing. Which seemed appropriate, because we didn’t know what hymns he was singing either. In fact if we were to be perfectly frank with each other, Tom didn’t actually know any hymns. So it is with deep gratitude that we recall the day when Col. Grant, using only the sense of touch, through the medium of a clenched fist, finally broke through to Tom and got him to shut up.
Needing guidance through the darkness of life, Tom was lucky to have a friend like Dick. Dick had perfect eyesight and would gladly lead Tom wherever Tom wanted to go. Unfortunately, since Dick was also deaf, he couldn’t actually hear where Tom wanted to go. But like Tom, Dick never complained about his afflictions, did he? Well he couldn’t—he was dumb. But blessed with a gift of vision (though stone deaf) he was a tremendous fan of Kris Aquino.
Being such an idiosyncratic pair, deaf to the world about them, Tom and Dick would have the permanent companionship of Harry. Harry could literally hear a pin drop. Although, being blind and dumb, he could not see to pick it up, nor warn anyone else not to stand on it.
So as individuals they were sadly afflicted. But together they were in possession of all of God’s senses weren’t they? And so it is together that we remember them: Together at their job checking eggs at the farm; Dick would look for the cracks, Tom would complain to the foreman, and Harry would do the listening to Love Radio.
Likewise in the evening when they had returned from work, they would all sit on the big red couch. Dick watching the television, Harry listening to the television, and Tom insisting it was time to buy a television.
Sadly, three days ago, their peaceful lives were ended. Dick saw the combine harvester, Harry heard the combine harvester, but neither could cry out. Tom, who could have cried out, never had the faintest idea what hit him. And so, they were all harvested together—blended into oneness at last, and now we trust are in heaven, as happy as any in that immortal host.
For Dick will see the angels choir, Harry will hear the angels choir, and no doubt Tom will ruin it for everybody.
(With apologies to Rowan Atkinson.)