Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) (02/19/09)
TITLE: Post-European Counseling
By Rick Higginson
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“It was a blast,” I replied, grinning like an idiot.
“That’s why we’re here,” my wife said, pointedly not looking in my direction.
Pastor Street eased back into his chair with a concerned expression. “Oh? Is something wrong? You were so looking forward to the concert tour.”
“I was,” she said. “It was like a dream come true being a musician for such a talented Christian singer. I should have known better than to suggest that he-” She jabbed a thumb in my direction. “-serve as a roadie.”
I shrugged. “I thought they appreciated my work.”
“Your work wasn’t the problem.”
The Pastor looked at her over the top of his glasses. “There was a problem, then?”
“From the moment we met up with the tour in Madrid,” she said. “Before I could even introduce him, he stepped forward and started singing.”
That was my cue. “Just call me Schlepper, Schlepper,” I sang. “Toting and fetching, never kvetching…”
She cut me off with a glare.
“That doesn’t seem so bad,” Pastor Street observed.
“Oh, that was just the beginning. When we got to Paris, we went to visit Notre Dame Cathedral.” She stood up. “He threw me over his shoulder and started running for the door, yelling, ‘Sanctuary! Sanctuary!’ Most of the tour crew was there; I was so embarrassed, I wanted to just disappear.”
Pastor Street was fighting to keep a straight face as he looked at me. “You didn’t!”
“Hey, at least I didn’t carry her all the way to the belfry,” I said.
She started pacing behind the chair. “While we were in Berlin, we drove down to Wittenberg to visit Schlosskirche, and genius here tries to tape his own list of theses to the door.”
“What?” I said. “Isn’t it about time for another Reformation?”
“You called for clergy to wear Groucho glasses!”
“I think Martin Luther would have appreciated the idea. He could have worn a pair while denouncing the indulgences.” I went into my best Groucho imitation. “Indulgences; that’s the most ridiculous thing I eveh hoid.”
“In Belgium, you kept asking for sprouts!”
“I never liked Brussels sprouts here. I thought maybe they were better where they originated.”
“You spent the entire time we were in the Netherlands singing, ‘There were three jolly fishermen’.”
I grinned. “They all went down to Amster-”
“Don’t you DARE start that again!”
“Sorry,” I said. “Boy Scout camp flashbacks.”
“In Copenhagen, you referred to the Mayor as the Great Dane.”
“Well, he is a great guy, and he is a Dane.”
She rolled her eyes and gestured her frustration. “I don’t even want to think about Stockholm.”
“What happened in Stockholm?” the Pastor asked.
She covered her face with her hands.
“Well,” I started to explain. “The whole tour crew was treated to a nice restaurant…”
“That’s just it!” She exclaimed. “It was a NICE restaurant. One of the nicest in the city, and you – you-” She was almost in tears. “One of the foremost chefs in the country brings our food to the table and you-”
“I’m almost afraid to ask,” Pastor Street said. “What did you do, Jack?”
I was already laughing at the memory. “Erst gefurnee ver de ber,” I said.
“You did the Swedish Chef in a fancy Stockholm restaurant?” he asked, barely containing his own laughter.
“He’s always been one of my favorite Muppets.”
My wife gave the Pastor an incredulous look. “You think this is funny?”
“You have to admit, there is a certain humor to it,” he said.
“I’ll be lucky if I ever get hired to work a tour again, and you two think it’s funny!” She grabbed her purse. “Men,” she huffed as she walked out of the office.
Pastor Street sighed. “You really should go after her and apologize, Jack. Even then, I think you’re going to be in the doghouse for a while.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” I said. “The doghouse is okay, though. I can be the Swedish Chef’s dog – erf erf, bork bork bork!”
I chased after her, figuring the letter I had in my pocket would help soften her mood. She didn’t know yet, but the same singer had invited us to join them for the Australia tour next year.
I was already getting my Steve Irwin and Crocodile Dundee impersonations ready.
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