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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Achoo (04/11/13)

TITLE: Philberta's Eyebrows; God's Smile
By Wilma Schlegel


Her reason for leaving after fourteen years of marriage? She declared, “I’m not going to be stuck in a hum-drum marriage with a mate who’s not appealing.” And that was that. No one questioned Philberta’s reasoning. She’s was so overbearing that you might sooner question your own.

The lights fade on that scene and come up on the other side of the stage, on the scene where Ned and I are starring. (Except it’s not a play, it’s real life.)

“Heee -yaa-SHOOOOO!!”

I jump about three feet in the air, my insides quake and then I’m furious to see him casually snuggling back into his pillow next to me.

“What was that? Why would you do that? I was just about asleep!” I punch him in the arm.

“Sorry, I had to sneeze - people do that,” Ned defends his insensitivity while rubbing his arm.

“Not when their wife is right next to them in bed trying to get to sleep!” I wine.

I know it’s a losing battle. All of his sneezes are like that - long, loud, exaggerated, startling. When he’s not in bed the startling sound is followed by two things. First, he says, “That came out of nowhere.” To which I answer (once I’ve recovered), “It came out of you.” Second, he grabs his white hanky from his back pocket, gives it a hard shake to open it and dispel all its germs into the air and then he makes another of his unique obnoxious bodily sounds. He blows his nose so hard it bugles like a fog horn. When he does this in public, people turn to find the source of the strange noise.

My husband.

Those are not his only bodily sounds. I’m amazed at his repertoire.

How did I end up with this guy? I can just picture Philberta raising her eyebrows at me and asking, “How many years are you with him? - Girl, you have your own life to consider.”

So, now we’re having dinner, Ned and I. We’re sitting across from each other. He blows on his plate of spaghetti to cool it. His blown breath comes across to my plate, too. I like my meal piping hot. I glare at him.

He clears the table when we’re done eating. “Thank you for another wonderful meal,” he says to me, again, as he says after ever meal I make for us. Then he bends to kiss me on the lips.

“You’re welcome,” I murmur, my iced-over heart melting some.

For after dinner entertainment, he picks up the remote and puts a loud and distasteful show on the big screen.

I roll my eyes. Are you kidding me? (I’m picturing Philberta’s raised eyebrows again.)

“What’s wrong?” he asks.

“I worked all day, too - and that’s what you’re putting on the TV? - something I can’t stand?” Poor me!

“It’s going off in two minutes. That show that you like with the wedding dresses is coming on,” he explains.

“Oh,” I manage in a small voice. He got me again.

It occurs to me that he does ‘have me’. I smile and snuggle next to him. I give overbearing Philberta a shove out the door of my mind. I close that door hard and lock it. Then I jump three feet in the air.


He’s got the hanky over his nose.

I wait for the fog horn to sound and as it fades I take the opportunity to say, “God bless you.”

And God bless this marriage. It’s not perfect. He’s not always appealing, neither am I, but God made us one.

Ms Overbearing can raise her eyebrows at me all she wants, it doesn’t matter, because from the lights above, working the lights above, there is God, and He is smiling at me.

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This article has been read 290 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christina Banks 04/20/13
I'm glad your MC decided to see God's smile instead of Philberta's eyebrows. Everything in life looks worse when we are focused on the negative, and forget to see the blessings all around us.
Carolyn Ancell04/21/13
I could not stop laughing; and I read this one out loud to my husband whose "interesting" sound repertoire is topped by snoring. Thank you for the good fun, and the realization of blessing too!
Alicia Renkema04/24/13
I loved the whole tone of this piece! It was honest, real, hilarious... As my pastor says, "People are people." You've gotta love em. I agree with Christina, I am glad the MC decided to look at her blessings, God's smile in all of this instead of callous old what's her name. I loved the way you spelled Achoo in this piece too. Sneezes can sound all kinds of ways. Great job! Very entertaining with a super message. Blessings to you...
Judith Gayle Smith04/24/13
This is a winner! Delightful, fun and sweet.