Storytime Corner: Eddie Wears The Pants
Eddie sat down at the kitchen table and savored the good smells of the mushroom omelet and Val’s homemade raisin bread, still warm from the oven. She poured strong coffee into his “I Love Falafel” mug and smiled gently.
“Well?” she prodded, her eyebrows arched.
Eddie took another sip of orange juice and winked at her over the top of the glass.
“Yay!” she cheered, and kissed him on the cheek. She put the coffee back on the stove and sat across from Eddie, who was busy dipping raisin bread in his coffee.
“Well?” Val repeated urgently. “Is it great?”
He looked up from his ritual and grinned his perfectly symmetrical yet somehow crooked grin at Val, who beamed back at him from across the table.
The finishing touches on the new album had kept Eddie occupied around the clock for nearly a week, during which time he had seen his wife little and slept even less. Now the result of his labors lay conspicuously in the pocket of his blue terrycloth robe and so, sensing her frustration, he withdrew the cassette and slid it slowly across the table.
With both hands, Val grabbed it from under his finger and examined it, turning it over and over, as though it was a crystal that might at any moment display magical properties.
“What’s it called?” she asked, sparing him only a brief glance.
“For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,” Eddie said quietly. He cut into his omelet with his fork.
It was only a few moments before Val had deduced the acronym and the smile was gone from her face as though it had never been there at all. She looked at Eddie and put the tape down on the kitchen table, as if her magic crystal had just turned out to be an ordinary piece of quartz. She folded her hands in her lap.
“You know,” she began, “I have never tried to influence your work in the past, although God knows I’ve been tempted, with those videos, and some of your lyrics. I mean, you know I love your music, but maybe it’s time to grow up a little and break free of some of this childish innuendo that pervades the industry. Certainly you’re not the only practitioner, but Jesus, do you have to advertise your own immaturity?” She waved a hand at the cassette and returned it to the other in her lap. “Is an implied profanity going to make this album any better? Is it really necessary to invoke images of the sexual act to sell records? Is penetration the be-all-end-all? Does it have to be the common denominator of every goddamn product on the market?” Her face had gone quite red.
“Look, sweetheart,” she said after pausing briefly, her smile not quite touching her eyes, “I don’t care so much for me, but what’s Mom going to think when we send her a copy? She’s not stupid. I want her to know how sensitive and wonderful and mature you really are. I want the whole world to know. So please, Eddie, for me, change the name of the album.”
“Screw,” said Eddie, and took another bite of her wonderful raisin bread.