Percy Picket Succumbs to Infirmities ~ A Short Story by Allen Kopp
(Published in Abandoned Towers Magazine)
Mr. Percival “Percy” Francis Harrigan Picket, of Harmony Hill, entered into eternal rest on Thursday, the sixth of September, having attained the age of eighty-five years, four months, and sixteen days. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dewey Alonzo Picket and Alameda Hortense Fredericka (Wicket) Picket; and conjoined twin sons, Alfredo Joshua Torrance Picket and Alphonse Jerome Tyrone Picket. He was also preceded in death by his beloved wife of fifty-eight years, Louisa Maria Helena (Belladonna) Picket, with whom he had ten children.
Surviving children are Victor Hugo Pierce Picket (wife, the former Beatrice Carlotta Pogue Hinchcliff); Tammany Hector Guillermo Picket (wife, the former Magdalena Maybeetle Montclair); Lawson Jervis Wicket Picket (wife, the former Clara Beedle Champagne); George Emmett Grayson Picket (wife, the former Grace Gruber Grudnick); Georgiana Victoria Regina Chinn (husband, Chang Win Chinn); Albertina “June Bug” Dunleavy (husband, Dixie Clement Dunleavy); Alice “Tiny” Wigglesworth (husband, Charles Chandler “Chick” Wigglesworth); and Lucille Lucretia Faith-Winterhaven (wife of Montague Sidney Faith-Winterhaven III).
The deceased is also survived by a brother, Raleigh Gunderson Hartselle Picket; a sister, Adelaide Emmaline Picket Moncrief; and grandchildren Arundel, Woo, Lotus, Astoria, Polly Esther, Brigadier, Judson, Lupé, Xerxes, Chandler, Trixie Bell, Enar, Gunnar, Fritzie, Bongo, Hermes, Echo, Pan, Lou Anne, Jade, Opal, Bean, Babby, Rockwell, Belvedere, Zaza, and twins Jag and Dag. Also surviving are many nieces and nephews, cousins, business associates, and friends, as well as a special companion with whom he enjoyed white-water rafting and five-card stud, Dinwiddie Oglethorpe-St. Clair, of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Throughout his long life, the deceased was known as a caring and philanthropic individual. In spite of his large family and his successful and distinguished career as a mannequin designer, he was always ready to don his white makeup, glittery nose, baggy tuxedo and red wig to transform himself into the beloved clown, Mr. Peevish Quackenbush. As this well-known clown character, he was often seen riding on floats in parades and lending a hand at charitable fund-raising events. He often stated to friends and family in later years that it was as Mr. Peevish Quackenbush that he felt most alive. He was frequently quoted as saying, “Mr. Peevish Quackenbush is more Percy Picket than Percy Picket is.”
And it was in mid-life that he launched his second career, that of a professional circus clown. Leaving behind family, home, and business, he traveled with the Fitch Brothers Circus for fifteen years as one of its star attractions. Mr. Otto Fitch, owner and founder of the Fitch Brothers Circus, has stated unequivocally that it was Mr. Peevish Quackenbush who saved the circus from bankruptcy. “We would have never made it through the hard times without Mr. Peevish Quackenbush bringing in new customers in every town,” Mr. Fitch stated. “He is what kept us on the rails.” A life-size statue of Mr. Peevish Quackenbush can be seen on display at the National Clown Museum and Hall of Fame.
In keeping with the deceased’s wishes, he will be interred in the clown car that he made famous in the clown section of the Cemetery of the Holy Ghost. He will lie in state in full clown regalia at the Seltzer Water Funeral Parlor tomorrow evening only from seven p.m. until closing. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Bring the entire family.
Copyright © 2012 by Allen Kopp