The Eulogy Of Gordon "Ken" Purse

The following is a story, a completely untrue story, but one of creation nonetheless. You see, God had decided it’s been a long time since his last return, almost 2000 years by this point. The world had changed so much since his last visit and he was suspecting he needed a refresher on what life was like. God’s last attempt at anthropomorphism didn’t go so well. Yes, he was able to amass a few immediate followers, but ultimately, many at the time thought he was a bit of a rabble-rousing prima donna. His lessons and parables were considered a bit preachy. God learned his lesson. This time, he’d go back and not preach one bit, but teach through his creations. Much like last time, he’d have to become a carpenter. So, in 1927, he decided to descend into a little baby boy about to be born.

Upon God’s rebirth, his parents dubbed him Gordon. Well, as Gordon grew, so did the confusion surrounding him. This wasn’t due to letting a childlike miracle slip out here or there, but because his cousin was also named Gordon. So, with his first real test in teaching the world to share, God relinquishing his identity. His cousin could remain Gordon, God would take his middle name, Kenneth, or Ken. Some people donate their old clothes. God…Gordon…Ken, donated his name.

As Ken grew, he became quite the model of happiness. Again, God wanted to show a happy spirit was the way to a full life. His smile was infectious. His playfulness and humor transformed sad souls into believing followers. But this time, God wasn’t their leader, he was their instructor. He taught those near him happiness, and possibly some harmless pranks. What’s the point of being God if you can’t use it for a little fun? Ken, the ultimate creator, created an aura, a cloud, or whatever you want to call it, that surrounded him. When people stepped into his cloud, a little bit stuck to them even though it was undetectable, and with that, they were changed for life. They were infected.

The suburbs held God back and he needed to see the world. So what if people were dropping bombs on each other all over the world? At 17, Ken enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Some thought he was going to fight in the war. Others claimed it was because he liked big boats. Really, Ken just liked to play with monkeys in the South Pacific and thought sharing his pranks with the rest of the world might lighten the mood. He was perfectly safe throughout his whole time in the war; after all, who’d try to blow up God’s vessel? Ken always felt guilty that others died while his cloud kept him safe. But then again, his cloud kept many of his friends out of harm’s way as well. In this case, Ken created life-long friendships. (As a side note, Ken also created a very smooth, clean, and fresh-looking drawer in the officer’s desk. It was tradition that officers would sign their names on the drawer as a sort of makeshift yearbook. Ken thought it looked messy so he decided to sand off the names and make it look new again. It was beautiful. Too bad none of the officers felt the same and really wanted to find out who wiped away their legacy. I suppose Ken created refinishing as well.)

Home from the war, Ken joined his older sister in the Drum and Bugle Corp. where he created music as well as hundreds of stories, most of which will remain a mystery, not because he refused to talk about them, but because he couldn’t stop laughing long enough to finish a single one. This is where he infected his future wife, Irene, with his jovial antics. With her, he created life.

Well, what does a sailor, marching band member, and near-carpenter do with 3 children, his beautiful bride, and some odd cloud surrounding him which seems to always make those around him cherish the good times? What else, but take over a hardware store. In those aisles, 3 kids were raised. It turns out being nearly infallible (God in deity form is infallible, but in human form he’s been known to curse rarely for effect), Ken didn’t actually have to hone his carpentry abilities, only refresh his 2000-year old profession. To do this, while giving in to his all-encompassing personality, he began volunteering at the local community theater guild. His family, all infected from his cloud, joined in his endeavor and created the world of fantasy. The Wizard of Oz, the Odd Couple, Guys and Dolls, and much, much more were brought to life in a magical, one might even say miraculous, way. Ken worked tirelessly on the set construction before coming to life on stage himself. He even went so far as to commemorate each production with a personalized carving of the actors in their roles. He created wooden figurines who came to life with the spirits of the actors. One might say he was Geppetto, creating his little Pinocchios.

As Ken brought more fantasy into the realm of reality, his cloud grew, not in size, but in strength. He moved up into Off-Broadway and movies. His creations were growing too. Pumpkin stage coaches, man-eating plants, countless forests and castles were brought to life with his touch, at least for the night’s performance. Unlike the last time he walked the Earth, he wasn’t going to let anyone take him before he was ready to go. Perhaps this is why Joe Mantegna thought it would be OK to murder him. Or why Anthony Edwards stole his payphone. Even Walter Matthau invited him over to watch a flower bloom. Jack Nicholson enlisted his services to assist in ridding the labor world of Scabs. Harrison Ford once passed by when running from the law. Ken even once gave us his largest clue when he became a Bishop for a short time in the ultimate foreshadowing event which went widely unnoticed. Trying to better inform the world, he worked on public service announcements for 9-11, the emergency phone number, but had to stop when no one could find the “11” button on their phones. Ken helped others create the worlds they saw.

It wasn’t long before Ken had infected yet another generation. Grandchildren were his new audience. He brought his fantasy worlds home with him so his grandkids could live like pirates, cowboys, knights, baseball players, and more. As his workshop churned out Easter Island heads, the statue of liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and magic shows, it was also bringing to life wooden guns and swords, a jail, and a little red schoolhouse which would never be shared with the world at large. They were imaginary worlds meant only for his grandkids. Ken created childhoods. And when the squirrels ate all the birdseed, Ken created squirrel feeders alongside the birdfeeders. What kind of God would he be if he discriminated against the wingless creatures?

Many happy, love-filled years later, he sat smiling at all he had done. As a previous book once wrote of him, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” He had done much better this time around. Of course, the calendar hasn’t reset itself yet to align with his rebirth, nor have any worshippers made themselves known to date. However, it could be said that he infected so many more people during his life this time around. They were infected with the sense that they could be better, that they could do more, that smiling and laughing are truly some of the most precious commodities of life. He created an army – an army of loved ones who will go on telling his larger than life tales, his miracles.

Ken’s beloved Irene left him a few years too early. Although he wanted to be with her more than anything, he knew the world still needed him. He was ready to go, but we weren’t ready for him to leave and he was well aware. His cloud began to lose strength. His last venture on Earth, he thought martyrdom would be most efficient on getting his message out. This time, he showed us how to live and love, and recorded every minute of it through his movies, his friends’ stories, his artwork, his craft, and his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. And, in 2015, or what soon may be dubbed year 88 BLTT, or Better Luck This Time, God decided to go back home. He had accomplished everything on his list. He created legends.

To close, Ken had a favorite joke which most of us already know, but it seems fitting right about now. He said, “It’s a good thing the last time I was here they crucified me on the cross. That way, we make the sign of the cross when we pray. Can you image what we’d have to do if they stoned me to death? Instead of the making the sign of the cross, we’d be doing this (bangs fists against head).”


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