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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)

TITLE: Role Reversal
By Noel Mitaxa


“It’s great to be head of the home,” thought Jeff, as he relaxed after a hard day at work. “In fact, it’s great to even have a home after living on my own for so long. That little wife of mine is so beautiful, and so considerate. I have to wonder what I ever did to deserve her. Nothing is too much trouble.”

His eyelids were heavy as he sank deeper into the overstuffed upholstery and lifted his feet onto an old padded footrest. None of their furniture was new, and the most generous assessment from any interior designer who looked around their tiny cottage would label the décor as “pre-loved,’ or from the early “Bad Taste Era.” Or should “e-r-a” be spelled “e-r-r-o-r?”

Their furniture may have been old, experienced, or pre-loved; but not Jeff and Stacey. They had each other, they were newly married, and they had big dreams for their future together.

However, now it was time to relax in each other’s company. Well, it was for Jeff, for Stacey was in the kitchen preparing the vegetables for dinner.

She had picked up part-time secretarial on-call employment, which suited them just fine, since they had both agreed that Jeff should be the main breadwinner.

Jeff’s fatigue had blocked his courtesy in asking about her day; so he was unaware of a deadline that an extremely pedantic office supervisor had imposed on her until quite late that afternoon. She had met it, but only just; and she had not been swamped with appreciation for letting the supervisor off the hook.

As he reached for the chilled glass that would enhance his refreshment, he dimly heard her ask: “Hey, my big man, let’s have a role reversal!”

Role reversal? thought Jeff, isn’t that what I do anytime she installs the toilet paper wrong way round?

But no, Stacey had much more on her mind: “I mean let’s swap roles for a while. You take over preparing our dinner, and I’ll watch a news channel for a while… Who knows, we might get a whole new outlook on this marriage thing…”

She stretched out as Jeff ambled towards the kitchen to place the potatoes and pumpkin in the baking tray, while making a mental note to remember when to reach into the freezer to extract the peas and corn. The rotisserie was beginning to waft delicious meat aromas into the near atmosphere, and he was feeling completely in control.

Until he heard Stacey start moaning…

“Why don’t they elect some people we can trust to run this great country properly? It’s going to the dogs! These lawyers are tying us up in knots with all their challenges to laws that used to make perfect sense! Listen to this fella – the only way he could say less would be if he talked for a lot longer! They are useless, and you can’t win against them!”

As the newscast swung into the sports segment, Jeff heard her move up a gear: “What do they pay that umpire for? He should be fined – not paid! He’s ruined more games with his constant interruptions than anyone. He should be called a vampire – not an umpire, because he just sucks the lifeblood out a game whenever he is rostered on!”

Jeff was wide awake now, for his beautiful, demure Stacey seemed to have suddenly turned into a loud, aggressive couch potato of the worst male variety. But he could not let her have it all her way.

“We need more money coming into the house. How can I expect to stay handsome without a new outfit? Frank from next door has so many great clothes, and his wife never complains," he ventured.

"And my car needs to be replaced? And have you seen how pathetic my tools are in the workshop? How can I fix anything without proper equipment?” he continued.

Looking across at this newly-transformed love of his life, he felt an uneasy foreboding. Had he gone too far? What was the outlook now for a future they had until just now been so united in?

Stacey leapt up from her chair and headed for the back door, quickly opening it and stepping through, before turning back towards him with a wink and a smile: “Be back soon, Hon, I have to go out and dirty some more clothes.”

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This article has been read 567 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Fitzpatrick06/09/11
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Cute story! Love it, Love it! ~Well done! Loved the dialogue and the role reversal.Cute ending!!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/09/11
This was great! You have a wonderful sense of humor. The characters felt real and I enjoyed every word.
Beth LaBuff 06/09/11
This flowed so smoothly and the humor throughout was great. The furniture-style description was perfect, "pre-loved." :) I had to laugh at the tp roll reversal. :) You gotta love the wife's wit here. :) This couple has a great story. I'd venture to say, they have a great marriage, too. :)
Troy Manning06/11/11
Entertaining w/ a nice flow. Keep up the good writing. :)
Linda Goergen06/11/11
This is absolutely wonderfully written - absorbing and amusing beginning to end!

I chucked at the furniture being “e-r-r-o-r”, but I laughed out loud at role-reversal being toilet paper!!

I was so entertained by their cunning comebacks and which might out-do the other, I was sad to have it end! (doggone that 750 word limit! LOL) Although I do have to say the ending was great, with the reader left knowing Jeff would be better leaving well enough alone, with Stacey besting him with the dirty laundry chore! LOL

Applause and kudos for a terrific and talented submission!!!
Leola Ogle 06/12/11
This was adorable all the way through, from the description of the furniture to the toilet paper to the dialogue and the wife walking out at the end! Good job! God bless!
Sarah Elisabeth 06/12/11
Fun entry! Thanks for the chuckle
Rachel Phelps06/12/11
What great witty dialogue and subtle conflict. Awesome work!
Patricia Protzman06/13/11
Loved the dialogue which flowed well and the banter between the characters. Realistic and well-written story.
I identified with your story. My husband and I have often traded places with one another over the years, usually due to our jobs.
Colin Swann06/13/11
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fun piece. The changing toilet roll position brought a smile of role reversal change round remembrance. Thanks!
Danielle King 06/13/11
Ahhh ... loved it! Glad you're back with the funnies. It's got your stamp all over it, (or maybe it was the other one of you!)Great read. Talented stuff!
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/14/11
Delightful story--beginning to end. Creative idea for outlook with role reversal. The humor identifies the author right off!
Edmond Ng 06/15/11
An interesting read. Well done!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/17/11
Congratulations for placing 9th in advanced and 25 overall!