To be clear, he’s not dead. I just like remembering him. Can you blame me?

DSC_0007.jpgDanny Mortimer, the teacher’s assistant on my dialogue to Greece, is truly worthy of remembrance. Many have heard tale of his remarkable achievements – the Medusa he felled with one stroke of his mighty “broadsword” in Athens, the devastating earthquake he punched back into the Earth’s core after becoming irritated at the dust it sent flying for dirtying his pristine tuxedo jacket, the 5000-word investigative story on puppy laundering he wrote while unconscious during a night of lucid dreaming, that rescued hundreds of stolen Dalmatians from traffickers.

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But not many know the real Danny Mortimer. Our Danny. My Danny. The Danny who flew, carrying the metal bird in which we rode across a vast ocean between his mighty shoulder blades. The Danny who once squeezed a single grape tight in his mighty fist, pouring into a chalice he had made while glass-blowing (for fun) a full glass of what sommeliers would later identify as a vintage merlot worth thousands. The Danny whose smile was stunning enough to power every area affected by the Northeast blackout of 2003 – and every town in the United States outside of it. The power companies are still recovering from how hard their stocks crashed, their services no longer needed.

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Danny is a very special man. He owns a private island in the Bahamas that he’s devoted entirely to the preservation of rare animals, providing them a paradise the outside world never could. He once beat Barack Obama in consecutive games of chess and pick-up basketball, earning the highest level of government clearance as a prize, as well as an assurance he’d never tell anyone. God himself texts Danny sometimes, desperate to understand even a fraction of Danny’s knowledge. When Danny traveled back in time to meet Michelangelo, Michelangelo retired, knowing he could never craft anything as immaculate as that jawline.

Danny accepts many labels, like “renaissance man,” “black belt,” “MasterChef,” “Daddy,” and “sailor.” But Danny largely defies categorization. And logic. And physics. He literally melted the above-right man’s face off by winking in his general direction. Not even at him. Past him.

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Remember Danny Mortimer. He’ll be your king, one day, after all, provided he doesn’t transcend beyond our plane of existence and join his intellectual, spiritual, and physical equals in a sophisticated realm that exists beyond our comprehension. Until then, remember Danny Mortimer. Cherish him. Love him. And like this post in his honor – or else you may have to fear him, too.

UPDATE (4:23 p.m): This tribute post is Danny Mortimer-approved.

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