Mermaids and Candles
By Julie Weathers
Copyright 2000 All rights reserved.
Mermaids and Candles
Martha peered down her nose through her trifocals at the catalogue on the table. Tilly was rummaging through her purse, looking for her magnifying glass.
“The Sensual Senior…” the senior center activities director droned on as Martha and Tilly passed the recovered magnifying glass back and forth.
The director stopped talking as she paused to look at what the two were examining. “Good. Good.” She picked up the catalogue and held it in the air as she pointed to the male models in string bikinis. “Martha and Tilly are ahead of the game already. I was just about to tell you to encourage your mates to get involved in your romantic fantasies. Buy them some sexy underwear or a costume to spice up your love life. Think of your spouse in black silk bikinis, a black mask and cape and topped off with a black hat. How would you like to make love to Zorro tonight?”
There were a few twitters, more gasps and one thunk as Gretta fainted dead away.
“That’ll be all for this week,” the director trilled as she patted Gretta’s face. “Let me know how your romantic weekend goes. Uh, would somebody send the nurse in here? See you all next week.”
Martha looked around the room. It looked like something out of a Dracula movie with all these candles, but the director said it was ‘tres’ romantic. Maybe so, but she was betting the chicken cacciatori and wine would be what made George’s heart flutter. Hopefully not too much, didn’t want to get the pace maker off kilter. Well, not too much anyway.
“What did you decide to do?” she asked Tilly over the phone. “Yes, I think the mermaid outfit will be real cute. That ought to be the catch of the day for the old boy,” she laughed as she hung up the receiver.
Martha finished putting up the dishes and dried her hands. What a disaster. All those candles wasted. That beautiful dinner was okay, but it would have been much better when it was first delivered from Mario’s. At least George was comfortable in his recliner now. She could hear him snoring all the way into the kitchen.
She jumped when phone rang beside her.“Tilly. What’s the matter? Quit crying and tell me what’s wrong. What do you mean you can’t walk? Oh, okay. I’ll be right there.”
Martha walked into Tilly’s living room and stared at her friend who was flopping around on the couch just like a real fish. The green and blue mermaid tail glittered in the soft glow of the new lava lamp. Tilly’s long, blonde wig spread out in waves around her.
“Martha! Thank heavens you’re here,” Tilly cried. “I can’t get out of this suit.”
Martha bent down beside her. “What are the shells doing on your waist? I thought they were supposed to be on your boobs”
“They are.” Tilly sobbed.
Martha looked closer. “Oh. So they are. Well, roll over so I can get to the zipper. How did you plan on getting out of this thing?”
“I thought Bob would do it for me. He walked in the living room and took one look at me then started peeling off his suit. I was so excited when he ran in the bedroom. Then he ran back out the door in his work clothes thanking me for reminding him he was supposed to go work on Swen’s ice fishing shack tonight. How,” sob, “did your night go?”
“Worse than yours. George came in the house and took one look at the candles before squawking at me about not paying the electric bill. I flipped on the lights to prove we had electricity and he said if we had electricity, we durned sure didn’t need all them stinking candles. So I put dinner on the table and blew out all the candles. The smoke from the candles triggered his emphysema and we spent the next two hours in the hospital.”
“What should we do now?”
“Well, I’m going home to drink a bottle of wine and then tomorrow we need to get that idiot activities director fired. We’ll give her a box of used candles as a going away gift.”