The literary world is in mourning following the death last week of Good-Time Charlie, the ubiquitous, fun-loving, archetype character who entertained generations in books, plays, movies, and sitcoms. The cause of death was presumed to be his decades of hard partying.
“I guess staying out carousing to the wee hours of the morning finally caught up with him,” said Johnny on the Spot, a friend who arrived at the deceased’s home within seconds of hearing the news.
However, another friend, Doubting Thomas, expressed reservations. “I don’t think it was his carefree lifestyle that did him in. I think he caught something from Typhoid Mary. I warned him not to hang out with her, but you know Charlie, he loved his good times.”
As word of his passing spread, reactions from Charlie’s fellow archetypes poured in. “Oh my, this is just so awful. This is the worst day ever,” said Debbie Downer.
Downer’s sentiments were echoed by Gloomy Gus, who warned, “We’re all going to die, and most of us will probably linger for months in excruciating pain before they put us in the ground to rot for all eternity.”
A memorial service was hastily organized by Jack of All Trades, who, in addition to officiating at the ceremony, served as the mortician, hearse driver, valet parker, and caterer.
Speaker Silly Billy lightened the solemnness of the day with numerous puns and knock-knock and fart jokes. The main eulogy was delivered by Chatty Cathy, who rambled through endless stream-of-consciousness remembrances and anecdotes, many of which had nothing to do with the deceased.
“Oh my, this is just so awful. This is the worst day ever,” said Debbie Downer.
Silent Sam, a childhood friend of Charlie’s, was asked to speak but declined, via text.
The service was well attended by many of Charlie’s co-workers and acquaintances, including Plain Jane, Shrinking Violet, and Peeping Tom, who witnessed the ceremony from behind a nearby tree.
Handy Andy, Ready Freddy, Average Joe, and Joe Blow served as pallbearers.
The most conspicuous non-attendees were Lazy Susan (“too tired”) and Nervous Nellie (“too medicated”). Despite press reports to the contrary, Johnny Come Lately was in attendance but arrived well after the service had begun.
One mourner present expressed complete shock and dismay to learn of Good-Time Charlie’s passing. “I thought it was Even Steven who died,” said Dumb Dora.
In the coming days, Good-Time Charlie’s body will be wrapped in colorful crêpe paper and shot out of a cannon during a children’s-circus performance. This, according to the family spokesman, Smart Alec.
John Ficarra was the editor of Mad magazine