Faux Fable: The Snickering Quintet

by William C. Blome

Artwork, “Sisters” by Alexa Gaffaney


Five bald-headed guys in newsboy caps and polo jerseys enter a sub shop on a bright summer day, and the shop is relatively dark inside, because the owner has Venetian blinds drawn down over the two large windows. The men order their subs and wait to pick them up at the counter; then they decide to add drinks and eat their food at a table next to the windows. They sit down, remove their caps, and pull on the drawstrings just a tad to alter the blinds and let in some light. The ensuing result, however, is full and slatted sunshine beaming across five bald heads, and this causes a sudden burst of light in the shop such that the owner comes bolting from behind the service area and rushes over to confront the quintet. In very angry tones he demands to know who just took a flash picture inside his establishment, and where the hell is the camera?

Amidst their hurried denials and unmistakable amusement, the snickering quintet tries to placate the chokingly furious owner, but to no avail. He keeps repeating his desire to confiscate “the fucking camera” and punish “all you bald-headed scum.” He keeps smoothing down the front of his tie- around apron and soon voices his certain conviction that the fivesome are undercover health department inspectors, “come to gather proof that I’m some unfit entrepreneur of an indecent eating place.” And it doesn’t take much longer before he dashes over to the front door and locks it tight, and then does the same thing at his back door, so that none of the quintet can escape with their “ill-gotten evidence.”

Moral: “Let-there- be-light” might be a nifty start to all of Creation, but it sure can pull up lame as an everyday credo.


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