Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: YEAR (05/17/18)
TITLE: When Class Doesn't Count
By Linda Germain
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Connie and her twin sister, Bonnie, spent hours discussing the blooming love situation.
“Oh, Bonnie! What if he proposes?”
“Well? What if he does? Are you going to hold his heritage against him just because of his title?“
“He’s a Count, for goodness sake. I can’t be Contessa Contessa! What was Mother thinking?“
Bonnie tried to neutralize the silly dilemma with humor.
She laughed, “His family crest says his last name is von Hessa. That’s even funnier.“
In the end, none of that mattered. Connie married her darling Count and called him Sweet Baboo until the day he died. Then, she moved back to middle America, down the street from Bonnie, and dropped her impressive title and became plain Connie Jones again.
Eventually, she reached what the French call une femme d'un certain age.
That’s supposed to be a diplomatic way to describe ladies who are north of forty by a few years or decades.
With that certain-age thing comes the commercials to shape up, exercise, eat right, and get hearing aids. Some contraptions enable elders to holler for help when the inevitable fall that’s lying in wait to ambush boomers takes them down to helplessness.
Connie was vibrant and busy. She refused to embrace all that senior stuff aimed at keeping her healthy.
The phone calls from her doctor’s office first began as soon as she had a rather significant birthday.
“Ms. Jones,“ the young, honey-dripping voice would say, “it’s time for your annual wellness exam.“
Sometimes, Connie would make the appointment but then cancel. Usually, she simply thanked them and said she’d call if she thought she needed any tests.
That kind of vague dismissal did not deter the one-track mind of the excruciatingly focused receptionist. Like clockwork, the calls began to come every month. Connie thought about suing them for harassment.
Bonnie said, “Why don’t you just go? At least they will stop bugging you for twelve months. My insurance company demands the same wellness check-up every year. It’s easy.“
Connie shook her head. “No! It’s none of their business. The endless questions are stupid and an invasion of my privacy. Who are they to ask me if I’ve been depressed or if I drink alcohol or take street drugs?“
Bonnie agreed some of that probing seemed unnecessary but told her sister to just hold her nose and answer quickly and then she’d be finished. She reminded her of Scripture their mother had emphasized about getting wisdom.
Connie paced back and forth, obviously not listening. She was red in the face as her stubborn resistance grew into full-blown agitation.
“Street drugs? What an insult!“
All fired up and ready to attack, she jumped sideways when the phone rang. Bonnie could tell by the twitching of her twin’s mouth that the call must be another reminder to make that appointment.
When she answered, her voice sounded loud and combative.
“You do not seem to realize that I am THE Contessa von Hessa. I own a palace in a country you probably can’t even spell. Just what are the consequences of not obeying this arbitrary command to be accosted by the medical profession? Do I go to jail? Will I get a ticket, or be shipped off to a desert island?“
She accidentally switched on speaker-phone. Bonnie heard the hapless caller trying to respond.
“Uh, uh…wait, ma’am. I mean your highness…I mean…uh.“
Connie cut the call short and threw the instrument across the room as she screamed, “I am NOT going to the doctor! You cannot make me! It will never happen!“
Bonnie had been so sick of listening she had slipped out the back door.
Sadly, she missed her royal sister’s very dramatic exit as Connie hit the floor with a dead thud. When ambulance workers scooped her up for the useless trip to the hospital, one of them commented.
“Too bad she didn’t have one of those emergency call buttons.“
In the distance, somewhere under the sofa, they could hear a phone ringing.
“Should we grab it, Mac?”
“Nah…it’s probably not important now.”
*Partly based on a person’s real experience with reminders to cooperate with the annual wellness check.
Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
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