Why would you write RIP for a confirmed atheist? He’s not resting. He’s not in peace. He’s dead.
Christopher would not appreciate the idea of resting in peace.
This is an ex-Hitchens.
Mr. Praline: ‘Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(The owner does not respond.)
Mr. Praline: ‘Ello, Miss?
Owner: What do you mean “miss”?
Mr. Praline: I’m sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!
Owner: We’re closin’ for lunch.
Mr. Praline: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this Hitchens what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
Owner: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue…What’s,uh…What’s wrong with it?
Mr. Praline: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. ‘E’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!
Owner: No, no, ‘e’s uh,…he’s resting.
Mr. Praline: Look, matey, I know a dead Hitchens when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.
Owner: No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable Hitchens, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!
Mr. Praline: The plumage don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead.
Owner: Nononono, no, no! ‘E’s resting!
Mr. Praline: All right then, if he’s restin’, I’ll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) ‘Ello, Mister Christopher Hitchens! I’ve got a lovely bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label for you if you show…
(owner hits the cage)
Owner: There, he moved!
Mr. Praline: No, he didn’t, that was you hitting the cage!
Owner: I never!!
Mr. Praline: Yes, you did!
Owner: I never, never did anything…
Mr. Praline: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) ‘ELLO CHRISTOPHER!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o’clock alarm call!
(Takes essayist out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)
Mr. Praline: Now that’s what I call a dead Hitchens.
Owner: No, no…..No, ‘e’s stunned!
Mr. Praline: STUNNED?!?
Owner: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin’ up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.
Mr. Praline: Um…now look…now look, mate, I’ve definitely ‘ad enough of this. That Hitchens is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not ‘alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein’ tired and shagged out following a prolonged piss-up.
Owner: Well, he’s…he’s, ah…probably pining for the fjords.
Mr. Praline: PININ’ for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got ‘im home?
Owner: The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin’ on its back! Remarkable Hitchens, id’nit, squire? Lovely plumage!
Mr. Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that Hitchens when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
Owner: Well, o’course it was nailed there! If I hadn’t nailed that Hitchens down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent ’em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
Mr. Praline: “VOOM”?!? Mate, this Hitchens wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million volts through it! ‘E’s bleedin’ demised!
Owner: No no! ‘E’s pining!
Mr. Praline: ‘E’s not pinin’! ‘E’s passed on! This Hitchens is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-HITCHENS!!
Owner: Well, I’d better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I’ve had a look ’round the back of the shop, and uh, we’re right out of Hitchenses.
Mr. Praline: I see. I see, I get the picture.
Owner: I got a slug.
Mr. Praline: Pray, does it talk?
Owner: Nnnnot really.
Mr. Praline: WELL IT’S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, IS IT?!!???!!?
Owner: N-no, I guess not. (gets ashamed, looks at his feet)
Mr. Praline: Well.
Owner: (quietly) D’you…. d’you want to come back to my place?
Mr. Praline: (looks around) Yeah, all right, sure.