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Willis Jackson Dies from a Diff’rent Stroke

May 1, 2012

(Here is another installment from my series TV Character Obituaries.)

SCARSDALE, NY – Willis Jackson died over the weekend when his little (as in four-foot-eight) brother, Arnold, whacked him with a tennis racket while the two were playing at The Scarsdale Mythical Country Club. Willis had served a ball that flew clear over the fence that he nonetheless insisted had landed inside the white line, which prompted Arnold to say, “Wha’choo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?” This comment in turn led Willis to approach the net with mounting anger, all the while going off on a diatribe:

“You pint-sized – no, make that shot-glass-sized – fuck, are you ever going to come up with new material? Or at least begin dropping the apostrophes, for chrissakes? We may have spent our first few years in Harlem, but, shit, our white guilt-ridden adapted dad made sure that we both received Ivy League educations. There is no reason why you should be leaving out consonants.”

Arnold started to also linger toward the net, though more in perplexity than outrage, and again said: “Wha’choo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?”

“Are you stupid, Arnold? Or should I just call you ‘Arnol?’ Who cares if I have an undergrad in Russian Lit with a minor in Medieval Dance, because, wow, suddenly I can’t pronounce the ‘d’ at the end of ‘Arnold!’ And who cares that you have a Master’s Degree in Bipedal Anthropology, and a PhD in Lame Comedy of the Nineteen-Eighties, , since you continue to talk like a Harlem street urchin. I should just beat good grammar into you like how those Catholic nuns used to do to Irish and Italian immigrants…”

“Right, Willis,” said Arnold, now rising to the angry bait, “Catholic school boy, Tony Soprano, is a paragon of elocution who sprinkles his conversation with literary allusions. Yeah, I hear ole Tony, while he’s crushing in the head of another ignorant spaghetti-bender, likes to quote from Macbeth. ‘I will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.’”

“Wha’choo talkin’ ‘bout, Arnold?” said Willis, who winced at what he had just come out of his mouth.

“Hah, you hypocrite, not to mention you shameless plagiarist,” mocked Arnold, twirling his racket in his diminutive hands.

“Oh my God, see what you’ve done to me?” screamed Willis.

“Puh-leeze” laughed the black troll dressed in white shorts and a pink polo shirt, “you’re just using my tendency to use ghetto-speak to get easy laughs to mask the fact that you still resent me for stealing our adapted sister, Kimberly from you. By the way, she and our two kids say hi.”

Willis jumped over the net, and yelled: “What kind of sick prick are you? Kimberly is our sister!”

“Wha’choo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Does it look like my dearest Kimberly and I are brother and sister? I know that all of humanity can trace its DNA back to a common ancestor, but this so-called sister of ours, a tall white chick with breast implants, and me, a brother condensed to the size of a Chunky Soup can, would have to go back five-hundred million years to the Cambrian Period to the first Chordate to find evidence of incest.”

Willis’ raised high his tennis racket in preparation to smote his little brother, but the little brother beat him to the punch by whacking the knees of Willis, who then fell to the ground where he received another twenty-six blows from a Wilson K Factor with a string tension of 60 lbs. Afterward, Arnold tried to catch his breath while standing over the expiring mass of flesh laying at his size-four feet. The bloodied man moved his lips.

“Wha’choo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?” panted Arnold, as a smile began to form across his round face. “Oh, excuse me, let me rephrase that: What meaning are you attempting to convey through oral means of communication?”

The last words of Willis Jackson were: “This is just like a Dostoyevsky novel.”

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