Sometimes it’s necessary to view things through squinty eyes in order to spot the similarities between apparent incongruities, whatever that means.
Just yesterday, as I scribble, the Ambrose Shea Bridge across Placentia Gut was condemned—kinda. Load restrictions were announced; any vehicle whose weight is in excess of 13,000 kilograms (I don’t know how heavy that is in beer trucks) is not permitted on The Bridge’s patched-patched-patched grating.
But fear not, it’s quite safe for smaller vehicles to roll on over to or from Jerseyside.
Yet, you know what? A wise Billy Goat Gruff would be leery about trip-trapping across that span of rusting steel.
Like London Bridge of yore, The Bridge is falling down, falling down. Its foundation is no longer firm. It needs more than an uplift.
Which brings me to the night of The Oscars.
Remember, squinty eyes.
“Harry, my skew-eyed Honey, you tucked in for the night even before Billy Crystal came on stage,” says Dearest Duck, mocking my penchant for going a coucher [!] at an early hour.
“Not before I had a gander at Cameron Diaz on the Red Carpet, my Duck,” says I. “And Gwyneth and a bevy of other svelte and lovely ladies—bless their hearts—rigged out in clinging gowns.”
Dearest Duck ignored me.
But the evening of the Academy Awards while the glamorous dames of film—bless their hearts—were on display, so to speak, preening their feathers in front of the entire world I inadvertently voiced aloud a remark triggered by my prurient interests.
“Forsooth, such shapely lassies,” I said, or words in that vein.
Viewing me askance—and, yes, p’raps her eyes were squinty—Dearest Duck spoke a word I’d never heard before.
“Spanx,” she said.
Puzzled, I squinted my eyes at Dearest Duck.
“Body shaping undergarments,” Dearest Duck explained. “Spanx, that’s what tucks ‘em in, squeezes ‘em out, and lifts ‘em up beyond believable proportions.”
“‘Em?” I said.
“Stop it!” said Dearest Duck. “Likely those women are wearing foundation garments, punishing spandex underwear akin to the elastic girdles we wore back in the sixties.”
“Ah,” I said. “In bygone days before liberated women set fire to binding foundation garments.”
Dearest Duck nodded, scornfully, I b’lieve.
“You’re saying Cameron and Gwyneth are wearing corsets?”
Dearest Duck nodded, scornfully, for sure.
“Could be,” she said.
“Shades of dear old Granny,” I said.
“Yes, Granny. She was the last of the true Victorians and wore a corset the size of a horse’s harness. ‘Twas a stupendous apparatus constructed of canvas and whalebones; of straps and grommets; of bindings and fathoms of ropy laces—an astonishing cousin to a straight-jacket that frequently required the boot of a strong man braced against Granny’s vertebrae to ensure sufficient slack in the garment’s lashing to allow poor ol’ squooze up Granny to be trussed like a Christmas turkey.”
“Harry, too much information,” said Dearest Duck, ever my censor.
“In a high wind Granny creaked like a fully-rigged schooner.”
“No Spanx for Granny,” said I, recklessly. “Nothing but sail canvas and the bones of dread Leviathan.”
Dearest Duck had sufficient of my tomfoolery. She blasted me with squinted eyes as cool as Clint’s.
Truly, I was disillusioned. Dearest Duck’s revelation regarding the Red Carpet’s beauties—bless their hearts anyway—caused thoughts of falsity, fakery and unfirm foundations, foundations propping up objects unable to stand alone.
Which brings me back to the Sir Ambrose Shea Bridge.
Remember, squinty eyes.
Yet, I can’t fully believe Dearest Duck’s claim about Cameron and Gwyneth. Surely, they don’t require sturdy foundation garments to mould their shapes—their wasp-waist frameworks—into trustworthy, dependable superstructures.“Harry, the bridge!”
“Unlike Sir Ambrose’s bridge,” I was about to say.
The Bridge will need more than jury-rigged girders girdling its cross-members to make it trustworthy. It will need more than struts, braces and flying buttresses—whatever they are—to gain the support [!] of even the littlest Billy Goat Gruff.
After The Inspectors’ disclosures about the obvious dilapidation of The Bridge I’ll always exhibit an extra shiver when Dearest Duck and I drive on its criss-cross grill.
Of course, Dearest Duck’s exposé on Oscar night have ruined my fantasies involving Cameron and Gwyneth.
Dearest Duck—she should be Spanx-ed, bless her heart.
Thank you for reading.