Monday, August 20, 2012

Penguins Progress

Last month had had its ups and downs for the Halls. What with facing the bittersweet induction at Cooperstown, and the untimely passing of design virtuoso Sergio Pininfarina, it was only fair to expect that Mrs. H. was not her jovial self as they continued to rummage through the remaining boxes.  She sighed theatrically as Mr. Hall carried a worn container bearing the legend "Lunchbags- do not discard!" up the stairs.
"The golden sunlight of the Tuscany hills glows slightly less bright this week," she said, wiping a tear.  "First Carroll Shelby in May, and now this.  There must be one heck of a race going on in the Great Beyond."  Mr. Hall was focused on the task at hand.  "Why on earth would you save lunchbags?"  She brightened immediately.  "This is wonderful!  I thought they had been thrown out."  She tore open the box and a mass of wrinkled brown craft paper poured out onto the living room carpet.  "Every morning when the kids went to school, I would pack a bag for them to take to lunch.  First for Chris and then eventually for Colleen, I would draw little cartoons on their bags to cheer them up.  At first they were just little sketches, but after a while they turned into actual cartoons; even the teachers in the lunchrooms would ask to see the bags.  They were usually done the last ten minutes before the bus came- whatever came to mind went on the bag. And it had to be right the first time- all I ever used to draw was a black Sharpie."

Funding for the art and music programs at the elementary school level in their old neighborhood had been in peril for some time and Mrs. Hall was well known as one of the volunteer "Art Moms" in the district. Her classes for the youngsters often had other teachers sitting in along with the regular students in the room.  "There must be over a hundred of them here," she mumbled, as she carefully smoothed each bag out and placed them in a pile,  "Don't tell me... don't even begin to think you're going to actually keep all that trash?" sputtered Mr. Hall.  Mrs. H. looked pained.  "Well, how 'bout this?  I'll just cut out the drawings and over the course of the next month or so, just scan them in so we can keep digital copies of the work instead- would that make you happy?" Compromise being the cornerstone of all happy relationships, Mr. H. acquiesced and the box was spared the dustbin.

Flying down the highway the following week in Winston, Mrs. H. looked across the cockpit and watched as Mr. Hall navigated rush hour traffic with ease.  "Just think, darling- in six short weeks you'll be able to unhook that ungodly leash you call a pager and throw it off a bridge or something.  I think we should have a ceremony to celebrate- any ideas?"  Mr. Hall stared off into the blue for what seemed to Mrs. H. an inordinate amount of time and then replied, "I think we should make a big batch of martinis and then I should get out my .38 and put several holes in the damn thing.  What do you think?"
"Alcohol and firearms?!  Go on- I'm listening!" she answered, over the purr of the engine.

Tell your friends!