Jacqui screamed with laughter. She had never seen husband Selwyn in such a tangled posture! He often dozed in his armchair. Usually he would doze sitting upright, but occasionally he would fall asleep in what must surely be an uncomfortable position. Once he had fallen asleep with his legs crossed and hanging over the back corner of the chair. How he got into that position was anyone’s guess.
This time he had gone all out! One foot was stuck through below the armrest and the other leg was on top of the armrest. One arm was on top of his head, and his mouth was ajar like one of the clowns at the fair where you drop a ping-pong ball to try for a prize. Jacqui went to get the camera. It was worth a photo and he wouldn’t believe it if she told him. A photo was indeed proof of the knot he had tied himself into.
Jacqui was still giggling when she took the half dozen or so photos. She left the room as soon as she had done that because she didn’t want her laughter to wake him. Anyway, she had to go into the kitchen and start preparing dinner.
When Selwyn didn’t answer when she called him for dinner, she went to wake him. He had been dead all along.
Have you ever been to Madame Tussaud’s Waxwork Museum? The one in London? Jane went there now and again. She was a famous catwalk model. She loved to walk amongst the figurines of famous people and have her photograph taken standing next to what appeared to be a real person. Of course the Royal Family were cordoned off. You couldn’t put your arm around the queen and pat her on the bum.
But Elton John, Joan Baez, the Beatles, the Supremes, the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Cher, Charlie Chaplin, Ellen DeGeneres … the list of celebrities went on and on. And so realistic!
This time there was one celebrity that Jane couldn’t identify, and there was no name tag. He was the most handsome of all the celebrity figures in the room.
“I’ve got to be photographed with that one,” said Jane. “We can worry about what film star he is later.”
Flash went the camera! Flash again! And again! Jane patted the figurine on the bum. “I wouldn’t mind spending a night or two with this one,” declared Jane to the gaggle of onlookers who had gathered to stare at the real live catwalk model. Everyone laughed! Flash went the camera! Flash again! And again!
Later it made a good pub story for Dwayne; how he’d been visiting Madame Tussaud’s and was patted on the bum by Jane, the famous catwalk model.
There were quite a few things to sort through after Ivan died. The funeral was over a month ago, and Maureen knew that at some stage she would have to face the music and go through his things. They had never married, but had been together for twenty-two years. Everyone presumed they were married. Ivan had never popped the question. Children even called Maureen “Mrs Doubroff” although legally her name was “Winters”.
Maureen had hand-written replies to all the cards, flowers and condolence letters she had received. She had bought a box of thank you cards, and wrote in each, “Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and heartfelt wishes during my sad loss.” She would have liked to have written “Thank you for your kind and prayerful thoughts” but who knows these days who is atheistic and who is not?
Ivan had died in a bicycle accident on a Saturday afternoon. He always went for a long bicycle ride every Saturday afternoon, even if it was raining. Maureen had no interest whatsoever in riding a bike. Saturday afternoon was “her time”, “her space”. She had told him to wear a safety helmet, but, oh no! he wanted to feel the wind as his bicycle raced down the steep hill.
The worst bit of sorting through his things was to be his backpack. He always took a little haversack with him on his cycle rides. It probably contained a bite to eat mid-afternoon or maybe something to read on a break from cycling. Or even his camera. He had the haversack on his back when he crashed headfirst into a tree on the steep hill attempting to avoid a dog.
Maureen opened the pack. Indeed, there was an old anthology of short stories by Flannery O’Connor. And his camera. Maureen downloaded the last photographs he took onto her computer.
Oh dear. Oh goodness me. Maureen had no idea. She felt quite sick. Maureen pressed the delete button. It was a secret she carried to her grave.
Leopold was skilled at fiddling with things and making them work again. He could fix clocks. He even fixed a mechanical metronome.
It was no surprise when he invented a thief-proof digital camera. How it worked was relatively simple: before a photo could be taken, a secret switch was pushed to turn off the implanted bomb, otherwise the camera would explode and the thief’s head would splatter to smithereens. It was clever. A thief would/could try it only once!
Leopold couldn’t test his device of course. He had to wait for a thief. That’s why he left his camera lying about. If a thief broke into the house, the camera would be the first thing they’d see and steal.
No doubt, dear reader, you can guess the ending! A thief did break into Leopold’s house. They took well-nigh everything. Except the camera.
Leopold would report this to the police. He would first record the evidence. He was devastated. He forgot the switch.