Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera( 02/14/08)
By Kristen Hester
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"Hey, dude, how can I help you?"
Eugene cleared his throat and pushed his coke-bottle glasses back up on his nose. "I want to learn how to scuba dive."
"Okay, dude, we can get you fixed up." He grabbed a pen and started searching for the correct forms. "So, what made you want to dive?"
Eugene looked at his feet and thought of the painful circumstances that led him here today. Was it only two days ago that he was gently rocking in a boat with the love of his life?
He’d planned a perfect proposal. Rose pedals were scattered along the bottom of the rented canoe, and a picnic basket of fruit, cheese and champagne had been packed with care. Eugene gazed lovingly at Kinzy as he wiped his sweaty palms on his pressed khaki pants and adjusted his bow tie. A pat of his pocket confirmed the two karat diamond ring was still there. He’d spent his life savings and pawned his Mac, iPod, and Gamecube to buy the ring, so he couldn’t help continually checking on it.
Kinzy had the bored, unimpressed look on her face that Eugene had grown to love. She fanned herself with a Glamour magazine and held her luscious blonde hair up off her neck. Her perfectly tanned legs were stretched out in front of her. Eugene could barely contain his excitement.
"Would you like some champagne?" he asked, flashing a buck toothed smile.
"Sure." Kinzy removed the gum from her mouth and stuck it on the rim of the flute Eugene handed her.
"You seem distracted. What are you pondering--?" He almost slipped and added "my love," but caught himself. She didn’t like him to use terms of endearment.
Kinzy’s face brightened. She loved to talk about herself. "I’m trying to decide whether to audition for American Idol or America’s Next Top Model. I’ve narrowed it down to those two shows."
"I’m sure you’d win either one, sweetheart-I mean Kinzy."
Kinzy nodded and looked dreamily out over the crystal water. Eugene hated to interrupt her thoughts, but due to finances he’d only rented the boat for one hour.
"Yea?" She removed her gum from the edge of her champagne glass and popped it back in her mouth.
Eugene pulled the ring out of his pocket and got down on one knee, being careful not to rock the boat. When Kinzy realized what was happening, her big pink bubble burst all over her face. Before she could peel the gum off her nose and lips, Eugene launched into his prepared speech.
"I know it’s only been a few weeks since you first came in Radio Shack crying because you didn’t know how to program your TiVo to record Big Brother. Despite being technology-challenged, I knew at that moment you were the one for me." Kinzy swallowed her gum as she gawked at the sparkling rock in Eugene’s shaking hands. "Kinzy Nicole Snow, will you marry me?"
Kinzy stared lustily at the ring, then hesitantly shook her head. "Oh Eugene, the ring is beautiful and I’m, like, totally flattered, but I don’t love you. To be honest, the only reason I came today was so you’d program my iPhone."
Eugene’s face turned red. "What?"
"You’re real nice, but you’re not my type."
Normally a mild mannered guy, he was unfamiliar with the rage he felt. Kinzy was still eyeing the diamond.
"You think this is a pretty ring?" He yelled, waving it in front of her face.
She nodded, shocked at his tone.
"Well, guess what? You’ll never get a chance to wear it." Eugene threw the ring across the lake with all his might. It landed with a plink in the water, some 30 feet from where they floated. "Take that, Miss Not-Your-Type!"
Kinzy’s mouth hung open in amazement. "Gee, Eugene, you probably could’ve returned that and gotten your money back."
Eugene looked at the spot where the ring landed, then put his face in his hands and cried.
"Hey, Dude? Why do you want to scuba dive?" the employee repeated.
Eugene shook the unpleasant memory from his head. "I’m looking for a sunken treasure."
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