The Root of All Evil, by Wayne Scheer
It all started with the television set. The 24-inch model we had for over ten years wasn’t good enough. We had to get a 42-inch flat screen hi-def number. Then, of course, the old furniture in the den wasn’t right. The comfortable old love seat we used to share had to be replaced with something more stylish. In the old days, Susan would rest her head on my chest and I’d kiss the top of her head, and we’d watch TV that way. With this new couch, we both spread out at opposite ends and never even touch.
My recliner had to go, too. I knew it was ripped and we’d get rid of it eventually, but I figured we’d get another one just like it. But, no. Danish Modern was the way to go, the interior designer told Susan. She replaced it with this one-piece leather jobbie. Now when I lay down on it, it feels like I’m waiting for the doctor to check my prostate.
We won the lottery is what happened. Over a million bucks after taxes. I still remember the night we found out. Susan was half asleep on my chest while I matched the numbers flashing on the TV screen to the ticket I had bought that morning.
I just sat there with my mouth open. For I don’t know how long, I stared at the TV without hearing anything, like someone had clicked the mute on the remote. Finally, I whispered, “Susie, I think we won. Big time.”
She looked up at me like I was speaking Greek or something.
“The lottery. We won. The kids’ birthdays and our and anniversary numbers match.”
“Sure. And I’m the Queen of Sheeba.”
So we went to the lottery site on the Internet and checked the winning numbers with the ticket. She started screaming and jumping up and down like when we were kids and we went to see the Beatles at the old Shae Stadium. I asked her to marry me when the Beatles sang, “All You Need Is Love.” She hollered, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” like she was having an orgasm right there in the bleachers.
This time, when she calmed down, she looked at me and said, “After we put money away for the kids and the grandkids, we’re buying a bigger TV set.”
That’s when I knew our comfortable little life was doomed.
Wayne Scheer has locked himself in a room with his computer and turtle since his retirement. (Wayne’s, not the turtle’s.) To keep from going back to work, he’s published hundreds of short stories, essays and poems, including Revealing Moments, a collection of flash stories, available at issuu.com/pearnoir/docs/revealing_moments. He’s been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net. Wayne lives in Atlanta with his wife and can be contacted at wvscheer (at) aol (dot) com.
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