Did you know that fish smoke cigars?
Here in the Stepford Village, they do . . . but maybe I should explain.
Picture me trying to find a gift for my husband, often known in this blog as Himself. Himself is the guy who Doesn’t Want Anything . . . anything that I can afford or tolerate, that is. (Bertram 540 fishing yachts, Ferraris and beautiful-but-stupid 18-year-old naked hotties may be on the wish list, but somehow that ended up in my shredder.)
So since I don’t happen to have a spare million bucks or a marital death wish, I found myself wandering the aisles of a local store in search of a gift. And lo, what should I stumble upon but a pair of swim trunks with cigar-smoking fish on them. Better yet, there were also bottles of BEER floating among the fish!
Himself loves fish, beer and cigars in that order, so I knew that I had at long last, after two decades of hanging out with the man, found the perfect gift.
There was only one slight problem. These particular swim-trunks had been created for the guy who used to play Jaws in the old James Bond movies. Or Andre the Giant, from The Princess Bride. The trunks were at least a size 72 Big, Tall and Monstrous.
Now, Himself, while being a fine specimen of manliness, is no Andre the Giant, so this was a problem, but not for long, at least in my mind. Because here in the Stepford Village is a fabulous dry-cleaners (one of many) with an alterations lady of great talent.
So I plunked down the money for the Trunks of Jaws, and happily sped off to see her. She held them up and looked from them to me and back again. “You want I should cover a chair with the leftover fabric?” she asked.
Ha ha, I said, just make them fit a guy with a size ** waist. (Himself would probably kill me if I revealed any of his measurements in a blog.) She nodded.
She seemed puzzled when I continued to stand there with a strange expression on my authorial mug, staring at the mechanical thingy that spins hundreds of people’s dry-cleaning from the back to the front of the store. “Miss? Miss? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, thanks. I was just wondering . . . do you think that–” I pointed, “—would support the weight of a dead body?”
“Dios mio!” She sidled along the counter and reached for the phone.
“Oh, you don’t have to be afraid. I only kill fictional people,” I said kindly. “I’m a writer.”
Her expression told me that she didn’t care what I was, as long as I left her business immediately.
When I returned to pick up the Swim Trunks Formerly Belonging to Jaws, she did not bar me from the premises. But while I paid, she aimed her fabric scissors at my heart, in case this particular Stepford Wife (gringa loca) was a serial killer.
I went home and wrapped up the swim trunks, excited that I’d found the perfect gift for Himself after all these years of boring shirts and disdained garden gnomes. And guess what? While he did find them appropriate, they were now too small.
Such is my writer’s life.