Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall: Part 1

This work of art adorns our bedroom wall:

I call it simply, The Print.

As we lay in bed gazing at it, our recurring conversation always goes like this:

NANCY: Is that not gorgeous, or what?

BILL: It’s one of the most beautiful and magical prints I’ve ever seen. Look at the detail in those linens!

NANCY: I was talking about The Frame.

BILL: Oh, that’s right. I forgot.

THE FRAME: Yeah, baby!

THE PRINT: *sigh*

I do feel bad for The Print. But it could be worse: The Print could be a Mirror . . .

The Setting:
A local antique store
The Characters:
The Wife, Nancy “The Artist All the Time” Burns
The Husband, Bill “I Thought You Said They Had Free Snacks Here” Burns
The Prop:
A large framed mirror, referred to as The Hunted
The Situation:
The Hunt

The couple enters the building. The Wife’s smile and friendly greeting to the clerk expertly camouflage the intensity of her mission, while her trained eye immediately assesses all, not missing a single element. If you listen closely, you can just pick up the theme from Mission Impossible.

Meanwhile, The Husband has located and begun leafing through a small scientific booklet from early last century, titled Why Not Eat Bugs? (this really happened).

“Instead of filling our fields with destructive chemicals which wreak destruction upon flora, fauna and animals alike for the purpose of hindering what we call insect pests from devouring our crops, we ought instead to spend our mornings as so many tribal peoples do, strolling through those same crops, picking off the juicy, nutritious, crawling larvae one by one and ingesting them, as we often do with a fresh juicy tomato . . .” (from The Small Scientific Booklet)

Fascinating, The Husband muses. Let’s see: a Starbuck’s Double Chocolate Marble Macchiato grande with Danish, or live worms. Hmm…

Beep beep, beep beep – only moments later, the Wife-Fi Wireless signal sounds in his head, and he immediately kicks in to Back-up Mode.

“I’m on my way,” he says into his wristwatch comlink device. (Or, would, if he had one.)

He finds her in one of the countless tiny stalls in the giant maze of the place. The Hunted is displayed helplessly against a large brown wing-back chair, and has, of course, already been searched and questioned thoroughly. How ever well hidden, nobody escapes The Determinator. Nobody.

The Husband begins the exchange. “What have we got?” he asks, professionally and detachedly.

In her practiced way, perfected on so many other Hunteds, The Wife provides the details.
“Well, it’s a bit ghosted in the upper right, we’ve got some chips on the lower edge, looks like someone scratched it during shipping, a few dings on the corners, that’s to be expected with age, so I’m thinkin’ mid, late 1800s. And it’s definitely French.”

“Uh, huh,” replies The Husband, still professional and detached.

Then The Wife looks up at The Husband, and she is transformed. Her eyes, her face, her voice shine at him. “Isn’t it beautiful?” she breathes.

“Yes,” is all The Husband can say. “You are. I mean, it is, yeah.”

“It’s perfect,” she adds. “I love it.” (Code for: Hunt Successful, Target Secured.)

“Great,” he closes. “Let’s move out.”

And they do, to the register and then to home. At last, The Husband muses contentedly, The Wife – MY Wife – will adorn her wall with the beautiful large French mirror she’s always wanted.

He smiles. Mission accomplished, he thinks.

But he’s wrong . . .

More next time!


  1. What a truly delightful story... I cant wait to hear more..

    Love the humor in it all.. I can picture you and Nancy with the music playing in the backgroud... Mission Impossible that is...

    Keep it coming ... such a joy to read



  2. Bill, I'm a frequent reader of Karla's Sugar Bear blog and learned there of your dad's death. I am so sorry for your loss and know how it feels to lose a dad. May God comfort and bless you with wonderful memories until you're with him again. --Susan

  3. So did you realize you were ready to accept the mission, Jim - uh, I mean Bill?

    Very cute, can't wait to hear more - it is beautiful and definitely French!


  4. Well, your Nancy has impeccable taste. Both in her antiques, and in "the Husband!"

    xo Lidy

  5. I love both frame and print!!


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