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Tombstone for Ed Barker
Felix Dennis
January 12, 2002
Mandalay, Mustique
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Ed, you silly bugger!
Damn your woolly hide,
What d’yer think yer playin’ at?
Annie, stand aside!
Rouse yourself now Eddie!
Draw me something, son!

Barker!  Are you listenin’?
Annie!  Christ, he’s gone!
Run away and left us,
Kiboshed!  Bought the farm!
Ed, you had it all, lad,
Ripcord looks and charm,

Razor wit and talent.
I can’t believe you’re dead.
Pardon me for asking...

...Why’d you do it,

The death of any friend is painful.  That of Edward Barker, a soft-eyed, quick-witted, one-off-the-wrist cartoonist of immense likability and charm still bewilders and angers me in equal measure. Ed drank himself to death — but why?  We bought Ed his ‘last supper’ consisting of every forbidden food known to man (I recall foie gras, olives, salami, oysters and lager) at his hospital bed. His doctors told us it didn’t matter anymore what he ate or drank.  I ranted at him for a minute or two as described above (Annie is a nom de guerre, by the way) but received only a knowing wink and a smart-arse reply for my pains. He died not long afterwards. Why, Ed?  Why?