(Originally appeared on McSweeney's, March 2012)
It is with bottomless grief and unquenchable sorrow that I announce the following:
My dear father, the noble Mr. Anthony Walsh, beloved president of this condominium building for more than twenty-five years, friend to all, savior to many, has passed away while attending to the matters and needs of the denizens who populate his adored Ansonia Court—namely, suffering a heart attack while changing a light bulb in the mailbox area.
Regrettably, yet unavoidably, I was vacationing at San Diego Comic-Con, as part of a Groupon package I was forced to use prior to its expiration.
My father’s death comes as a horrific shock to those familiar with his otherworldly strength and ferocious power, even taking into account his previous six heart attacks—all sustained in various light-bulb-changing endeavors.
And so, with untrammeled pride and enormous privilege, I publicly announce that I, Marc Walsh, the great leader’s favored son and heir and now sole resident of 6A, in my dynamic prime at thirty-nine years of age, shall immediately assume the role of condo president-for-life, in a peaceful transition of power of which I am certain Ansonia’s late patriarch would approve, had he known about it.
As a symbol of my capacity to step into my father’s gargantuan size-eight Rockport Pro Walkers, I have commissioned a twelve-by-fifteen-foot trompe l’oeil oil painting of myself in the lobby. Yes, I am riding a stallion. Yes, it is a rental. And, yes, that is Katie Forden from 7B sitting behind me, hands clasped around my waist. Although we have not yet spoken, and she may or may not be aware of my existence, I hope that this will be an irresistible first step.
In the spirit of my father’s valiant leadership, I propose the following resolutions:
First: Starting tomorrow, each and every occupant of Ansonia Court will be issued a hat for our new softball squad, the Ansonia Marcs, featuring a photorealistic profile of me, President-for-Life Marc Walsh, to be worn at all times, including enforced 9 P.M. ablutions. I will not attend games, but will preside as general manager of the team, due to my allergy to sunshine. An aggressive demonstration of our unity shall take form this Sunday at noon in a massive march across the street in front of the eyesore that is our adversary, Gibson Estates Condominiums. Also, at the same hour and within my apartment, I shall require a large contingent of residents to reorganize my massive library of anime books, Matrix novelizations, and fantasy-board-game manuals.
Second: Someone has to change the front, back, and basement entrance locks so that public enemy number one, my erratic, unstable, younger brother Keith, may never, ever cross the “Twelfth Street parallel” demarcating Ansonia Court from the rest of Brooklyn. If you have not heard of this ostracized family pariah, it is for a good reason, as the craven black sheep moved out of the building seventeen years ago to become a periodontist in Scarsdale and only returns once a year with his wife and three daughters, on Thanksgiving, to boast about his hollow achievements.
For details of my own superior accomplishments, including my wondrous conception that took place in Atlantic City beneath a double rainbow and my birth under an immense waterfall in Brooklyn, please check out my impressive C.V. framed in the lobby, now posted to the Sign of Eternal Truth (formerly the babysitting bulletin board).
Third: All FreshDirect deliveries shall be sent directly to me for my inspection of contraband injurious to residents. Items that risk confiscation include but are not limited to: spirits; sugar cereals; and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Any such items found in apartments will likewise be confiscated by the Department of Foodstuff Security (ten-year-old twins Tim and Fred from 3D). And let’s finally find someone to fix that finicky buzzer, lest the FreshDirect deliveryman be grievously denied entry.
Fourth: I think we can all agree that dogs should be perpetually leashed on our sacred premises. And I think we can further agree that each of the building’s fifty-eight female residents shall rotate weekly as members of my presidential harem, with Katie Forden from 7B occupying the position of “first helpmeet.”
Fifth: Mandatory group yoga exercise across from my former workplace, Reel Life Video Store, on Eighth Avenue, every afternoon at two o’clock, to a chant of my new nickname, “Dear Condo Leader.” The purpose of this will be to prove, once and for all, that I did not deserve to be fired in May 2004 for “having an attitude” and “stealing from the adult section.”
Sixth: My father currently lies in state in 10A. I would like to thank Walter and Lily Kalin for their much-appreciated patience in this terrible time of mourning. I would only ask that the Kalins not turn on their air-conditioner to combat the July heat, as the condensation drops are spattering my balcony and preventing me from enjoying my midday microwavable-pancakes-and-mojitos breakfast. Furthermore, I apologize for my confused, grief-stricken state, which often causes me to barge into the Kalins’ neighboring apartments, such as Katie Forden’s in 7B, during 9 P.M. ablutions.
This has been your condo president-for-life, whose voice emanates from your newly installed Information Speakers. We will now switch to audio output of my World of Warcraft gameplay, regularly occurring between the hours of 11 P.M. to 5 A.M. Long live Ansonia Court! Long live Condo President-for-Life Marc Walsh!
Oh, and the mailbox-area light bulb still needs to be changed.
–Co-written with Teddy Wayne