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December 04, 2023

Dinner With Henry 85: Charm Song

By Bruce Memblatt

"Uh oh," Diego said as Alarm, unaware of the mess she'd left behind, sailed through the kitchen door.

Fransau lay on the floor, his neck severed, beret tossed off his head, eyes white as sugar cubes, lips cold as Clarissa's black-eyed stare.

Henry, Maria, Shakespeare, and Andre gathered around his corpse. Their jaws hung to the floor and their breath stood still, on another Friday afternoon in the kitchen where something went wrong.

The sun still shone starkly; the stove gleamed too brightly in its steely beams, almost whiting-out the blood drops on the linoleum next to Fransau's throat.

Maria hushed, "What are we going to do with the body?" Her bracelets jingled slightly as she brought her hands to her sides.

Then Diego sighed out, "We'll just push him through Clarissa's door as we planned; only now he won't be breathing."

Shakespeare added, "Don't suppose anyone is going to come round looking for the likes of him."

Andre, who had been watching his comrades with a gleam of disbelief and scorn on his face, peeled out, "This is unbelievable, have you listened to yourselves? The three of you sound like hired hit men. All of this has become second nature to you! My god! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US? We are losing our CHARM!"

Henry's wing sunk to the floor and he said, tapping Andre on the shoulder, "Our charm? I thought you were going to say our perspective, or our heart, but you say charm?"

Andre cleared his throat, and quietly said, his face turning red, "Well, charm is important too, Henry."

Shakespeare waved his hands. "I didn't even know I had charm!"

"You don't," Diego said, taking the gum out of her mouth and sticking it under the kitchen counter.

Then Maria twirled around, glared at everyone in the room, and cried out, pointing at Fransau's corpse. "He is such an ugly man, isn't he ugly?"

"Who says we don't have charm?" Shakespeare snapped.

Diego marched up to Maria, put her hand around her shoulders, and breathed, "I agree, he is the ugliest man I ever saw," causing Henry to shake and stomp his feet.

"Has everyone lost their minds?"

Then Andre stepped to the center of the room, stood over Fransau, grinned and said, "Yes, Henry, we have lost our minds and our charm."

And he broke into song:

We used to be the ones to be,
So secure and carefree.
But then, Alarm
Did Fransau great harm,
And we lost our minds and our charm ...

(Andre began to dance.)

No charm,
No minds.
The windows ...
Are crying
The floors ...
Are sighing

Oh it's alarming, suddenly we're not charming.
It's appalling, positively galling
Gone is our guile and our smile,
And our style.

( He threw his hat in the air and got on bended knee.)

Look, there's blood on the tile!
Because we lost our minds (yes, our minds,) and our

Then Andre bowed and blew a kiss at Maria, and she said. "Well, you certainly did lose your mind, monkey."

"I am not a monkey, I am a human being!"

"I'd like to hear Henry say that," Shakespeare snapped.

"You know you are a small man, Shakespeare," Andre said, fiddling with his apron.

"Um," Maria sighed, slapping her head, pointing at Andre. "Well, he is a midget."

Henry, now well past his boiling point, cried, "People, we have to get back to the issue at hand, and send Fransau through the door!"

Andre threw his hat to the floor and said, "Well, Henry, that is what we were trying to do in the first place, before you called us hit men!"

Then Maria rolled up her sleeves, marched over to Fransau's corpse and cried, "All right, I have had enough, I'll throw him through that damn door myself if I have to, you bunch of gringo maricons!"

Diego raced up to Maria, grabbed Fransau's other arm and said, "Here, let me help you, Maria."

And they began to lug Fransau's corpse towards the kitchen door, when Andre waved his hands and cried, "Wait! We have to make sure She is out of the way, or distracted. Someone should go to the loft first." He grinned and smiled at Henry.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" Henry said, shrugging, winking.

"Well she is your mother, Henry."

"Is that my fault?" He rolled his eyes and said, "Okay, okay, I'll go."

"You say that with such regret, Henry, but you are lucky, who else has a fifty-foot mother?" Andre said stepping towards Henry.

"King Kong," Shakespeare snapped.

That's when Maria dropped Fransau's arm to the floor crying, "You people don't understand the great gift you have been given," which caused Diego to trip, and drop Fransau's other arm, sending his body back to the floor.

Then Diego hushed loudly, grimacing, "Fransau was right, all we know is how to fight."

Tears began to pour down Maria's face, she shook her head and said, "It is true; his words from beyond the grave are true, and wise!"

Diego, seeing Maria so upset began to sob too, and she said, "Oh, you are so right, Maria."

"Ladies, ladies," Andre smiled, "we do more than fight; we procrastinate as well. I imagine it will take hours, if not days, to get Fransau over to the loft -- look, Henry hasn't even left yet."

"Andre, you are right, "Maria sobbed out, "we procrastinate because we fight. We are awful, awful!"

"Yet ... charming," Shakespeare snapped.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-02-18
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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