The following is an article that ran in Life magazine a few years ago. It is written by young Tim Humplepenis who chronicles his relentless crusade of hope as his dear friend, Earl, battled for his life. Humplepenis exemplifies the spirit of man, and shows us all that giving up on a friend, well, is never an option.
Earl’s Coma, and Me
by Tim Humplepenis
One sun drenched afternoon eight years ago my pre-comatose friend Earl and I were racing our bikes to the bottom of my hill as we regularly did. When it became clear Earl would win for the unsightly third time in a row I hurled a PVC pipe at him (I always carry one just in case.)
The impact of the durable (and reasonably priced) PVC pipe catapulted Earl onto the pavement. He landed on his back but whiplash snapped his head against the unforgiving pavement rendering him unconscious.
I confirmed Earl wasn’t faking his coma after giving him 9 wet-willies and 144 tea-baggings. But it wasn’t until the 156th time I dragged my balls across his cold soulless face did an epiphany strike. When a promising young man goes down in a freak pipe throwing accident someone must be held responsible. A generic brand PVC pipe had done this to my dear friend Earl, and I pledged to ensure the manufacturers answered for what they’d done.
Full on dismantlement of the PVC pipe industry was the only solution. Bareing this burden alone was the only option as Earl was always lazy as fuck and now seemed to be in a coma.
I found out the PVC conglomerates have a swarm of lobbyists protecting their thieving asses so they’re free to fuck dead people, go to the midnight showing of every new Adam Sandler movie, and of course put kids into comas. With that kind of political firepower starting local seemed like the only way to make real change.
A little muckraking exposed PVC as the pipe of choice for organic orchards and sustainable farms around town. So next I lobbied the mayor to impose a ban on PVC in favor of an unproven lead pipe at the suggestion of my dad. My old man is in the lead pipe business and rightfully thought the durability and limited time low prices of the lead pipe would serve Earl’s legacy the best.
I had told the mayor it was with his last breath that Earl wished for this piping change. Of course Earl hadn’t actually died but at that point I figured (and the stats will back me up on this one) that he totally would. And with every farm that chose to close instead of switching to a pipe which caused cancer or some shit, little drips of hope rained from my friend Earl’s IV.
Today, seven years and 47 shut-down organic farms later, my hard work has paid off. Earl woke up.
Upon hearing his first words were cries of my name as he smashed everything in arms reach, I knew my old friend needed me by his side now more than ever. I’m on my way to the hospital with a new appreciation for life, love, friends, and a heartfelt conviction that I won’t give up the movie rights for less than 500k and final cut.
God…(lip quiver)….god bless you all.
© Life Magazine, 2008