She got me. It was the perfect set up, and by that I mean there was no set up. There was no pretense. No amount of work. Just simple, good old fashioned sucker-punching. We're lying in bed, me doing a crossword puzzle on my Android while she lay with her head on my chest looking up at the ceiling.
TheWife looks up at me with these beautiful brown eyes a hint of mischief that I misunderstand completely, and says, "You heard Taco Bell bought the Liberty Bell, right?"
My blood pressure is starting to go up. I love America. There aren't many countries in the world where I could do figurative paintings and make a living at it. But like any good American, this Durham artist worries that sometimes our government doesn't always make the best decisions. And maybe, every once in awhile, I go on a rant about it.
"For how much?" I ask.
"Half a million," she says with no hesitation.
"You gotta be fucking kidding me!" I could actually hear the blood racing through my veins. My beautiful Sunday morning was ruined. Philadelphia sold part of our history for a measly...
"They're renaming it," she continues. "The Taco Liberty Bell."
Something in my head snapped the breaking of your mother's good china. It broke into a half million tiny shards that bounced around and tore away any rationality I might have had.
"ARE YOU SHITTING ME???"
Even I know I should dial it back, but the curses and shouts were overwhelming. My tirade was laced with betrayal, lack of pride, commercialism, corporate greed, money grubbing politicians, and the loss of American history. Five minutes went past in a flash and I was on the edge of writing every government office I knew. Yes, women's rights is important. Yes, we know you're trying to weed out the poor from the voting booths. Yes, your courts are riddled with inconsistencies and miscarriages of justice. And all those causes have advocates. But really...how on earth could anyone let THIS happen? Right under our noses?
TheWife tilts her iPad up so I can see the picture. There it is: America's pride, almost as important as the Statue of Liberty herself. I honestly felt a little sad, and a little sick. Then I read the caption over it:
"100 of the World's Greatest Pranks."
I looked for a few seconds, my addled mind unable to come back down that fast. But come down it did, like Icarus amid a sticky mass of melted wax and feathers. The look of TheWife's face was sheer joy.
I haven't been so proud of her since the crisco-on-the-toilet seat incident.
HAPPY APRIL, FOOLS!