The Good Bits, September 2023
September 15th, 2023 by Ice Cream Jonsey

There were no good bits last month. My best friend died last month. Nobody prepares you for this, how could anyway, your best friend is not supposed to die for another 30 or 40 or 50 years and yet here we are, here we go. I have been trying to find the words for over a month and I can’t do it. If you didn’t meet him, he is impossible to describe. I will try.

He was as beautiful a man and a soul as has ever existed in the world. He looked like Charlie Brown. He saved my sanity multiple times. He gave me a life where, across six companies and 25 years, I didn’t hate my job simply because we worked together and I got to hang out with my best friend each day. He treated each person he interacted with as the most special person in the world, he was there for everyone, he would have given everyone all of his time and more if he could and he came so close. He was my manual QA guy, I was his automator, we made the best team in IT for testing that we could be. He let me take pictures of his haunted houses and I used them in games that I made and am making. Cryptozookeeper’s backgrounds are mostly reworked pictures from the haunted house he had called the City of the Dead, and the one he did with his brothers before that, which was … much less corporate.

Randy’s mind was simply not limited by fear, shame, caution or concern. He was who he was, an outgoing jokester, a warm and loving goof. He was great with kids, he was great with dogs and cats. He would pet my cats even though he had a deathly instant allergy to them. I remember one night when I worked until the end of a shift at his haunted house. He gathered his actors in an area and praised so many of them, picking an most valuable team member of the night, and I got the idea that he did that often. He couldn’t limit himself to one, of course. And the way these kids (I was old enough that they were all kids) looked up to him made me proud, so proud. Randy was a leader, he was a visionary, he was a performer, he was my friend.

I’ve cried almost every time I’ve been alone in my car. They can’t pull you over for that, that’s the loophole in this country. The earth didn’t stop raining in Colorado from the day he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer until three days later when he died. Why would it, if you knew you were going to lose your favorite boy, what would you do? I can tell you quite categorically what I would do, which is to let the sadness pour out of me time and time and time again and it doesn’t seem possible that this senseless grief can really be. There hasn’t been a day at work since he died that he wouldn’t have made things easier, better, smoother or more fun. I did not realize the extent to which I depended on him. At work and as a person. I can’t even really believe he gone, still. I can’t believe he’s gone. It’s stupid and it doesn’t make any sense, he should have lived longer than all of us. He loved living more than all of us. I am so goddamn sad.

Randy McLellan, “The Milker,” passed away on Saturday, July 29th, 2023. Hug the people closest to you, it is what he would have wanted and it is what he would have done.

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