Sunday, April 1, 2012

Copper Sunset

It's April Fool's Day. But if I may, I'd like to set aside the levity of the day to speak about something very serious. While most of you are running around this afternoon with joy buzzers and flowers that squirt acid and those pens that shock people when they try to use them, I'm sitting at home mourning the loss of a loved one. Someone very near and dear to all of us has passed on, and I would like to take this opportunity to provide her with a brief but poignant obituary. To further increase the emotional weight of this situation, please feel free to play "My Heart Will Go On" in the background whilst reading.

Today, we mourn the loss of our dear friend, Penny.

I was very small the first time I was introduced to Penny; still a baby, in fact. She found her way into my crib and I tried to swallow her, giving my nearby parental figures a minor heart attack to be sure. But from that moment on, a friendship was forged that has withstood the test of time. As I grew out of babyhood and into toddlerhood, Penny was always lying around the house, watching me, making sure that no harm came to me. And as I got older still, Penny would jump gleefully into my pockets and willingly offer herself up as a sacrifice if I ever decided I wanted a pack of bubble gum from the corner store.

One of my fondest memories of Penny was her excellent proficiency at hide-and-seek. She would always win! No matter how hard I searched, I'd never find her. And once she found a hiding spot, she would stick to it! One time, after several hours of searching, I had to give up and admit defeat. Several years later, I was renovating the house when I removed a section of the baseboard and...there she was! Smiling at me as if to say, "What took you so long?"

Penny's big brother, Nick, had this to say about his sister's untimely demise: "When we were younger, I always used to tease Penny because I was bigger than her. But she never let it get to her. She grew up to be such a confident, strong person. I'm really going to miss her now that she's gone, especially since it means I'm the new low man on the totem pole."

Aside from her hide-and-seek skills (which were considerable), Penny often enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. She was fond of long rolls on the sidewalk, and taking soothing baths in Coca-Cola. She was also a huge fan of philosophy: she had a soft spot for words of wisdom, often overheard saying, "Take me or leave me, but saving me is earning me in the long run!" We're still not quite sure what she meant by that. Penny could be confusing at times, but it was part of the reason why we loved her.

I'm disappointed to say that not everyone is as fond of Penny as I am. Many people have been overheard calling her things like "useless" or "annoying". I've often walked past groups of folks muttering under their breath about her, wondering why we even keep her around. But I didn't listen to those people. Penny's worth comes not from her immediate value; it comes from the little things, the small favors she's always done for us without ever asking for anything in return. When we needed exact change, she was there. When we had to make a hasty decision on the fly, she was there. When we were drawing cars in kindergarten and we needed to trace something circular to make the wheels look good, she was there. The smallest favors are the ones we're always so quick to forget. But Penny never forgot about us. Resilient, loyal, and dedicated to the end, we could always count on Penny to turn up.

So we bid you a very fond farewell, old friend. And as you leave this world for that great big Franklin Mint in the sky, I hope you know that we'll be forever grateful for all the little things you've done for us throughout the years. Goodbye, Penny. And thank you.



Discontinued...but not forgotten.

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