(This is sort of a sequel to a fake wedding done in 2008).
The date of the fake funeral has been set! It’s November 5th (by curious coincidence, just a week after my 50th birthday). You’re invited, so please come! And bring your friends! Or, really, bring anyone who is reasonably unlikely to violently attack me or the church building. I’m not fussy.
What’s a fake funeral? Just what it sounds like. We’re going to pretend to put on a funeral. It’s sort of a role-playing game; everyone plays a part, and together we’ll throw the worst funeral of all time. (You can make up your own character, or have one assigned to you.)
The funeral will take place in downtown Portland, at The Old Church (corner of SW 11th and Clay, Portland, OR), at 7:00pm. A brief and (I hope) disastrous reception to follow.
Post questions in the comments, and email me if you’re coming!
SUGGESTED CHARACTERS TO PLAY
You’re welcome to make up your own character! But we also have these suggested characters, for you to inspire or swipe, or even to be assigned to you when you show up, if you’d like. Email me if you’d like to play a specific character listed here, and I’ll mark that character as “taken.”
Ephraim Echinodermus, aka, “The Dead Guy.” (This role is already taken).
It seems that no one really knew Ephraim Echinodermus well. Everyone knows that he was fabulously wealthy, but where has the fortune gone? Rumor says that he had a secret child who might now inherit everything, but where is it? And who knew he had a twin?
Bradford Kounterpheit-Echinodermus, Ephraim’s previously unknown identical twin. (This role is already taken).
A devoted brother, and definitely not a criminal who underwent extensive plastic surgery. Also definitely not Ephraim Echinodermus who is just pretending to have died.
The Officiant (this role is already taken)
A professional minister who passionately hated Ephraim Echinodermus, for reasons they are eager to explain, and now has to run the service and eulogize Ephraim. Will their sheer joy that Ephraim is dead spill over into their performance as a minister? I certainly hope so!
GOAL: To make sure everyone understands that Ephraim Echinodermus was scum, with specific outlandish anecdotes if at all possible.
SECONDARY GOAL: Conduct a dignified funeral service.
Shutterstock Pond: Wedding Photographer (This part is taken)
Do funerals have photographers? This one does! Only Shutterstock is technically, actually, only ever a wedding photographer, so they might need periodic help remembering the tone of the event.
Requirement: A camera. (Or use a camera phone but act like it’s a good camera).
GOAL: Capture the somber yet emotionally moving scene of remembrance from a number of dramatic angles.
An individual claiming to be Ephraim’s widow, devastated at the loss of a long and happy marriage of 4-6 weeks that took place entirely over Snapchat
GOAL: to inherit and/or to find a new victim-I-mean-fiancé
Cindy Echinodermus, Ephraim’s mystery daughter. (This role is already taken.)
She used to be Ephraim’s shoe shine girl, but now she’s trying to stake a claim to inherit the rumored fortune.
GOAL: To get people to tell her stories about times they saw Ephraim, and then to try to convince them that she was there.
Innocence Echinodermus, another mystery child (can be male or female, doesn’t matter).
An evil mastermind disguised as the sweetest, most innocent child imaginable (possibly dressed in anime style).
GOAL: To be loved by all. Also to convince everybody that any other similar-aged children present are evil monsters.
Annie Hannigan, yet another Ephraim mystery daughter. (This role is already taken)
A genuinely good hearted child, forced by her evil guardian to come here and pretend to be Ephraim’s long lost daughter.
GOAL: To find a nice adult, or adult couple, and convince them to adopt her.
Annie/Arnie Hannigan’s evil guardian. (This part is taken.)
Their goal: To get Annie accepted as the one true heir, embezzle Annie’s fortune,and eventually to rule the world in an iron fist.
Secondary goal: To subtly pump guests to find out information on subjects such as how to embezzle, how to fix elections, how do to a coup, building reliable deathtraps, etc.
Toby Wayne Tucker (This part is already taken)
All he knows about the deceased he has read in the papers, so he carries around an album of newspaper clippings about Ephraim, all of which are slanderous and libelous and other terrible things that Toby will be happy to tell you about with much indignation and detail.
GOAL: To gain fame and notoriety by associating with the deceased and anyone connected to him.
SECONDARY GOAL: To get others to think that he may have played a hand in the death of the deceased.
The attorney handling the estate (This part is already taken)
GOAL: to find the will, which they’ve carelessly misplaced, before anybody realizes
Associate representative, Empyrean Interference With Contracts and Windfalls Division
This personage has come from above, disguised as an ordinary mortal, because they’ve been tipped off that an agent of the underworld may be at this funeral.
GOAL: To investigate and question people to determine who here is actually a disguised representative of the underworld.
SECONDARY GOAL: To negotiate better deals on behalf of any human who signed a contract with the demon. (“An eternity of torture in exchange for THAT? Ha! That’s worth thirty thousand years of agony, tops!”)
A faithful but ominous groundskeeper with a highly variable selection of regional/foreign accents
GOAL: to draw attention by dropping as many sinister portents as possible
The ghost of Ephraim’s most esteemed ancestor (time period: dealer’s choice), who is just HORRIFIED at what the family has come to
GOAL: to identify the new scion that will restore the family’s legacy
The radical death-positive mortician
GOAL: to make this the most progressive funeral EVER
…and the mortician’s incongruously wholesome assistant
A couple of amateur ghost-hunters (are they siblings? Are they lovers? Nobody can tell) and the psychic they’ve hired at an hourly rate. (These parts are taken.)
GOAL: to finally FINALLY detect and capture a real ghost
Ephraim’s college roommate, who can’t stop spouting possibly apocryphal tales of their joint university hijinks
GOAL: Leverage his grief to lock down a date (did you know that Susan left him last year, can you believe it?)
Investigative podcast reporter/interviewer
GOAL: Find (or manufacture) the scoops that will turn Ephraim’s life and demise (?) into the next Serial
Jules Changepocket: Washed up Accountant
Ephraim’s accountant who just so happens to have embezzled, stole, and otherwise poorly invested all of Ephriam’s secret fortune (at least, as much as they know about). Their goal is to make sure no one knows that this has happened (until the very end?).
GOAL: Make it to the end without revealing fiscal bungles, try to score some new clients in the meantime
SECONDARY GOAL: Hoard snacks for the next few days, they’re going to need them!
Time Traveler from the Past. (This part is taken.) A classic for a reason!
GOAL: To blend in undetected with the future people.
SECONDARY GOAL: To find out what the glowing rectangles everyone is so fascinated with are and how they work and perhaps acquire one.
Gretel Radisdotter: Local Grocery Proprietor and Curious Acquaintance
Green grocer that was occasionally visited by Ephraim and/or his personal assistant-shopper. The last time they saw Ephraim, he was in the middle of telling a joke, but he had to leave for a phone call before finishing.
There’s a little voice in Gretel’s tummy saying that maybe, just maybe, the punchline of the joke has something to do with Ephraim’s mysterious death, but secretly they really just want to know what it is for yucks. Also Gretel kind of knows what Ephriam ate in the days before he died.
GOAL: Try and find out Ephriam’s favorite joke
SECONDARY GOAL: Hand out all coupons for next week’s sale
Tertiary GOAL (you know, if it happens): Solve the mystery of Ephriam’s death
Granola Stevens: Literally just another Portland hippie canvasing for some radical lefty cause. (This part is already taken)
Granola will be collecting signatures with increasingly tactless introductions like “you know if we had saved the environment we wouldn’t be going to as many funerals.”
GOAL: Collect as many signatures for cause as possible without being put in the grave them self.
Secondary GOAL: Legalize It, Dude!
Sauriel Glothigzheim: Third Assistant, Netherworld Acquisitions Compliance Department. (This part is already taken)
You’ve been sent by death themself to make sure everything goes smoothly, which is to say, no zombies or half-vampires like last time. This is your second chance before being forced to stand for a disciplinary committee, so you better not f it up. This should be easy, just make sure the deceased is really deceased until the end. Oh, and don’t get found out.
GOAL: Come up with a really convincing banal human identity and easy-to-pronounce name like “Tom Shoes” or something. Make sure no one knows they are a supernatural being.
SECONDARY GOAL: Convincing a mortal or two to sell their souls (and then trying to pass it off as a joke if the mortal responds poorly).
SECOND SECONDARY GOAL: Laura in accounting is totally dating Drekavac in marketing. You just HAVE to rant to someone who will finally understand about this juicy workplace gossip.