Traditional Home Furnishings
By Marnie Schroer
Avery sat on a rattan chair in the sunroom flipping through the new issue of his favorite magazine, Traditional Home, and occasionally stopping to watch his fiancée, Ben, who was making breakfast in the adjoining kitchen. Ben was baking and seemed, not coincidentally, to accrue an additional splotch of flour or batter every time Avery glanced at him. Judging by the sweet, cinnamon-tinged aromas that were just starting to waft from the oven, the tradeoff for extra time to pre-spot the laundry would be well worthwhile.
“Just what everyone needs, a Pure Evil Bunny,” he remarked, looking down at his magazine.
“An excuse-me-whosis-what?” asked Ben.
A ‘Pure Evil Bunny’ figurine from Royal Doulton.” Avery walked over to the sunroom side of the kitchen counter and held the magazine page up so Ben could see. “We could love it and squeeze it and call it Damian.”
In response, as he so often did, Ben launched into song. “I’ve got a theory; it could be bunnies,” he sang wildly out of key. “Bunnies aren’t just cute like everyone supposes. They’ve got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses…” “Wait. What?” he broke off. “‘Royal Doulton’ like as in fine china Royal Doulton? Ooh, do they make place settings in it? Wouldn’t that be fun?” “We’ll be dining on the Bunny dishes tonight. Note the gracefulness of the design and the purity of its evil,” he intoned. Then, more thoughtfully, “I suppose they would have to be hand-washed though. If gold-edging wears off in the dishwasher, I’m sure evil does too. Especially if it’s pure. And the microwave would be a disaster.” “Don’t touch it; it’s evil.” This last was quoted in Ben’s best British accent, wich sound to Avery like something one might overhear at the tryouts for a junior high production of Mary Poppins held at a school in deepest New Jersey.
Avery waited and watched. Ben often went off on extended riffs and Avery had learned not to jump in until the initial whimsy-prompted outpouring wore out. Indeed, just as Avery opened his mouth to comment, Ben started up again.
“Actually the name seems a bit off. I mean the fangs are a nice touch and the expression is rather sly, but question the purity of its evil.” He picked the magazine and examined the picture more closely. “It doesn’t seem to have glowing eyes or to come with an accompanying soundtrack of wistfully sung children’s rhymes…At best, I’d say it’s B.U.N.–a bunny of unusual nefariousness.” Slapping the magazine back on the granite ountertop, he grinned expectantly at Avery.
“Not to in anyway undermine your extensive soliloquy,” said Avery drily.”But, I believe Pure Evil is the artist.”
“Now, now. No need to soften the blow with poetic phrasings. Of course he’s evil–besmirching the honor of a poor helpless bunny.” He continued sotto voce, “He’s not very talented either. It looks like a wombat.”
“No,” Avery responded quickly and firmly to forestall the start of a new monologue. “I mean that the artist goes by the moniker ‘Pure Evil.’ He’s a popular British street artist.”
“Seriously? Royal Doultan is selling fanged bunny figurines designed by Pure Drivel?”
“Evil,” corrected Avery.
“Potato; potahto. Ask not for whom the bunny tolls, it tolls for you, Royal Doulton,” Ben intoned solemnly. Then he began serenading the picture of the figurine with the end of “What’s Opera, Doc?” “Poor wittle, bunny…”
Avery couldn’t help laughing. He felt flush with love for the flour-dusted, tone-deaf goofball standing in front of him. As Ben waveringly held the final note, Avery clapped and announced to the audience of sunroom chairs, “Ladies and gentlemen let’s give a warm round of applause for the…er…’adventurous’ vocal stylings of Bendixon Roy Camden, my B.U.N.” He smiled lovingly at Ben, “Betrothed of unusual nuttiness, you know.”
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