Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)
TITLE: The Wrong Side Of The Door
By Lisa Fowler
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Mr. Beasley plopped into his easy chair, grabbed the remote from the table, and began channel surfing. News. Infomercials. Sports. Aaah, he thought, perhaps I can dream myself thin through the power of aerobic imagery.
Quickly his mind drifted from the power of pumping iron to the power of the pastor’s sermon a few days before.
“Surely,” Mr. Beasley remembered the pastor saying, “we are each living in our own little paradise right here on earth. Think on the good things of the Lord, counting your blessings” he continued, “and you will see we don’t have to wait to get to Heaven to have a taste of the good life. Keep a positive attitude and remember, anything is possible.”
Mr. Beasley looked across his protruding belly and sighed. If this is my paradise, I’m too out of shape to enjoy it, and THAT, I’m positive of! With the sermon fresh, and aerobic imagery a failure, he heaved an even louder sigh.
‘This, is my time. I need to get myself in shape so I can enjoy my paradise.”
Just as the words lept from his tongue, an enormous spring popped sharply through the bottom of his favorite chair, catapulting Mr. Beasley quickly to a standing position.
“Thanks for helping me up Lord,” he joked. “I’ll put that on my list of things to fix around here.”
He ambled to the bedroom and rummaged through his closet. In the back corner he spied only one of his forgotten tennis shoes. Two feet, one shoe? This will never work he thought. So, Mr. Beasley set out for the store to buy the best pair of tennis shoes he could afford.
When he reached the mall, all of the handicapped parking places were taken. No problem, he thought. Right now is the best time to start my fitness routine. He parked as far away from the mall entrance as possible and began his trek across the sweltering pavement. A few steps from his car he heard a loud hissing sound and instinctively looked back. The front tire on his car was as flat as a pancake as if it had been poked clean through with a sharp object.
No problem he thought. It will be good exercise to change the tire but, AFTER I get my shoes, so off he went. He pulled open the mall door and was instantly bombarded with aromas of hot pretzels, “mile high” cinnamon buns, fast food fries, and rib-eyes grilling over an open flame from the signature restaurant in the center of the mall. Stay positive he told himself. Today is the day you get in shape for the paradise you’re living.
Mr. Beasley purchased his shoes and exited the mall, poorer and unfortunately, much “fuller of belly.” Crossing the parking lot he noticed a crowd gathered and a plethora of emergency vehicles in the vicinity of his car. As he drew closer, the crowd before him parted like the red sea splitting for the Israelites to cross onto dry land. Stunned, Mr. Beasley dropped the bag containing his new workout shoes on the pavement, and slowly walked through the parted crowd.
“That fully loaded cement mixer over shot the curve just before the parking lot, sailed over the wooden fence, and landed smack dab on top of your car,” the policeman reported. “What are the odds of that?” he snickered.
Trying to remain positive, Mr. Beasley replied:
“Oh well, at least I don’t have to change that flat tire now!”
About that time the cell phone in Mr. Beasley’s pocket rang.
“What?” he screamed.
“You’ve got to be kidding!”
“Is everything alright sir?” asked the policeman.
“No,” yelled Mr. Beasley, “my beloved fifteen year old dog just killed over dead in my front yard after chasing the neighbor’s cat up a tree. I loved him more than I love my wife, and now he‘s gone.”
“I’ll be glad to give you a ride home,” said the officer. “We’ll have what’s left of your car towed for scrap.”
“Thanks,” said Mr. Beasley heading for the police car, suddenly remembering his new shoes. He turned to see an empty bag and receipt flapping in the breeze, on the pavement behind him.
Mr. Beasley burst into laughter.
“What is it now sir?” questioned the officer.
“Oh, I was just thinking,” he replied. “If this is paradise, I must be on the wrong side of the door.”
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