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  • "What would you do for a million dollars?" Eddie liked to ask us that while we were sitting around getting high. We'd be stretched out on some patch of grass somewhere on a picture-perfect summer afternoon. Some one would be strumming a guitar. We'd each pause to consider the question, before taking a hit and passing the joint on to the next guy. I wasn't too good at this game. My mind tended towards the things I would not do, not even for a million bucks.

    "I'm serious," Eddie would say. Then, if nobody jumped at it, he'd say -"Ask me."

    "Ok, ok," someone would say. "What would you do for a million dollars, Eddie?"

    Eddie's eyes would glass over. We'd hand him the joint -but he would hardly notice. This was his favorite discourse, something he spent a lot of mental time and energy on. This was one topic he'd fully considered.

    Eddie was in the land of the BIG CHECKS.

    Each time he'd describe some tremendous feat - like crawling fifteen miles into town backwards on his hands and knees, naked of course. Or eating all manner of disgusting things - you know, like human fingernails, flying cockroaches, bull testicles.

    But, the one I remember was special - special for the earnestness in his delivery, without the slightest hint of kidding.

    "I'll tell you what I'd do," Eddie said. "I'd go up to the biggest elephant I could find and I'd inhale an elephant fart." By now we were groaning and laughing. "I would. Are you kidding me? For a million bucks? Not only would I inhale that fart, I'd hold it," he said.

    I got a letter from Publisher's Clearinghouse - the keepers of the BIG CHECKS. I had a momentary get rich fantasy. Most of all, I remembered my old friend Eddie and I laughed.

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