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To Hell With This

TO HELL WITH THIS

 

Monday, June 1, 2015

It was on a Monday, June first, her first day as a tour guide, a few minutes past noon, when Mandy looked up at the Statue of Liberty and noticed something was not proper. She sat in the sunny grass with her cheese-stuffed bagel, and as soon as she was able to chew and swallow, she said, “That’s not proper.”

Mandy’s job was to inform her tourists the statue was a gift from the people of France. She was designed by Auguste Bartholdi, the French sculptor, and the interior support structure, one hundred and thirteen tons of steel tubing, was the work of Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel tower fame. She stands three hundred and five feet and one inch from her base to the very tip of her torch, and her skin and robe are made of twenty seven tons of eighth-inch copper cladding. They listened, wide-eyed, open-mouthed, and awe-struck. They all agreed it was remarkable.

Mandy informed her supervisor. “There’s something that isn’t proper,” she said.

“And what might that be?” he asked without even taking the cigar out of his teeth.

“It’s quite obvious,” she explained. “Her torch-bearing arm is slanting a tad forward.”

“Impossible. Quite impossible. Sheer Nonsense,” he said. His telephone rang and he dismissed her with a wag of his hand that said, “Out. Out.”

 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

On Tuesday morning, Mandy could see clearly the statue’s torch-bearing arm was now becoming slightly bent at the elbow.

“Oh, this is surely not proper,” she said. “This is not proper at all.”

Something was amiss. Mandy was sure of it. And it could very well be a danger to her tourists, so once more she approached her supervisor with the added detail of the bending elbow, upon which she was promptly given notice and relieved of her name badge, her ferry pass, and her job.

Women are not well-regarded in the workplace, she mused, but men like him suffer. I shall let him suffer, and I shall return to waitressing where I’ll be tipped daily and fed squarely at least once a day.

 

June 10, 2015

The matter of the Statue of Liberty went unnoticed for days until June the tenth when it became obvious from across the river. People in their office buildings gazed curiously now at the statue with an attention she had not known since since the day of her dedication in 1886. They arrived at work and gathered at the windows with their coffee to see the lady’s torch was no longer held high. Her elbow was indeed bent, and the danger of her collapse ended all tours until further notice. The structural engineers who were hired for exorbitant amounts to brave the interior found no stressed joinery or twisted metal that would account for this strange phenomenon. The Statue of Liberty soon became the talk of the town, and then the country, and then the world. Something was happening with the Statue of Liberty.

 

June 15, 2015

On June the fifteenth, in the dark of night at a very early hour, a clatter was heard, said to originate from Liberty Island, and rumored to have registered a three point seven on the Richter scale. Someone along Brighton Beach said it sounded like the pots and pans of Hell’s Kitchen had fallen into the streets of New York, and as the sun rose, all the world could see our Lady of Liberty had dropped her torch, her books of the Rule of Law, and her robe. Some said there was a pleasant smile on her face. Others said it was mischievous, and the morning sun shone down on the exquisite nude form of our sweet Lady Liberty.

 

June 15, 2015

It was scandalous. What could anyone do? She couldn’t be covered for decency’s sake. Those who were not amused looked away. Hundreds of boats crowded the waters with cameras and news teams from every country on earth. A team of Japanese, multi-lingual lip reading experts trained their lenses on the statue’s face, waiting for an utterance. It was agreed, late in the day, the giant woman was beginning to bend at the waste and knees, and her arms were moving slowly away from from her sides. As night fell, no one knew what they might find in the morning.

 

June 22, 2015

On June 22, a general agreement was reached. She was beginning to squat. “My God, she’s beginning to squat,” someone whispered. The authorities were running around in circles. Everyone had an opinion, but the consensus was the statue was about to leap from her pedestal into the water, and it was on this assumption all the boats were ordered clear of Liberty Island.

 

June 30, 2015

But the Lady of Liberty was a lady. By the end of June she had stepped carefully off her pedestal and dipped one foot into the water as if to test the temperature. By then the Japanese lip readers had recorded on film a clear statement from the lips of the Statue of Liberty. It was in all the papers. “The Statue of Liberty Speaks”, ran the headlines, and the sub head printed her words in red: “A l’enfer avec cette.”

 

July 4, 2015

On the fourth of July, the Statue of Liberty was last seen ducking under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge where a squadron of F-16 fighters locked their rockets on her before she could get to open sea.

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