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17 April 1997: It is a Good Day to Die

Above is the last photo taken before W's latest demise. This time W managed to fall before I was able to click the shutter; by the time I snapped, he was already in pieces behind the honeysuckle hedge. The sound was described as the popping of a very thick, heavy light bulb, at the sound of which all activity froze--until everyone spotted the look on my face, whereupon a great collective cry went up: "NOOOOOOO!" Everyone rushed to the aid of W.

Vincent, assembler and caretaker of the Cathedral, surveys the pieces of Wagner. (But he doesn't look all that broken up about the Old Boy's demise, does he?)
I picked up this snail, thinking it was one of the curls on W's head. It looked so good that I was going to permanently attach it to W's head but Charles the Grape, aka "Dr. Carcass Welby," the man whose car is covered with dead animal parts, rushed to the defense of the snail. The Doctor may look like he could go Colonel Kurtz at any moment, but that appearance may be deceiving.
(Scary moment: as I typed that, I suddenly remembered that part in Apocalypse Now where Willard listens to the tape of Kurtz talking about watching a snail crawl across the edge of a straight razor.)
(What's left of) Wagner settles for the lesser permanence of a photo with the snail.
Vincent accepts Wagner's relic donation: a piece of the True Wagner with which to consecrate the Cathedral.
Vincent places the relic in the sacred vessel (actually, an old salt shaker) for installment in the Cathedral's Sacristy.
The True Wagner poses in the Sacristy.
I don't know about Ballard, says W, but I don't find anything erotic about a crash....

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