Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

My dear aunt Sally did something inexcusable. It happened last weekend, and I don’t even know how to rationalize it, except to say that neither math nor morality are her strong suit.

Before I tell you the specifics of her crime, from my objective perspective, let me explain a little bit about Sally. She’s been doing things out of order her whole life. She’s like the female version of Benjamin Button, except with things like drinking liquor before beer. I don’t mean to say that Sally is an alcoholic, I mean she does drink, but stones in a glass house or something.

She’s had a hard life. She is underweight, with cartoonish silver hair. It’s like straight enough to cut a diamond. I won’t say that her hair hubris drove her to do what she did, but it doesn’t help, and let’s all remember, it’s not like she killed a man. (Although, we all think that she did kill a man, in Nam, but she doesn’t like to talk about it.)

What makes what Sally did exponentially worse, is that Grandma is still alive to see it, and Grandma has to face the other old ladies in her building, with them all whispering about Sally. It is to spare Grandma this gossip that I plead for your excusal.

On the day in question, I was watching Toy Story 3 with my dear aunt Sally, and of course she hadn’t seen either of the first two, so she kept asking me questions, like, “Who is Woody?” and “Where is Andy going to college? State school I bet.” This was bad, but it wasn’t the inexcusable action that I’m hoping you will excuse her for. Her mental state was precarious after the toys were almost burned up, and this was multiplied by the fact that she was on her fifth Martini.

“Let’s go out for lunch” she said. I didn’t think it was good idea, but I was hungry. We took a cab to the 21 Club.

“I like to steal the silver there. Makes their prices more reasonable.” Sally said.

She is a bit of a Klepto.

I ordered oysters, and then a 21 burger. Sally just kept drinking Martini’s.

“I’m not that hungry,” she said, but she ate like three of my oysters, and at least half my fries. And then, when I ordered a dessert she asked the waiter for an extra spoon, and ate over half of my profiteroles. I was getting slightly annoyed with my dear aunt Sally, but then when the check came, she asked me, “How do you want to divide this check? I only had Martinis after all. Do you just want to pay and I’ll Venmo you later?” And then she slid a sterling silver knife and the Christofle salt shaker into her purse.

I didn’t believe for a second that aunt Sally knew how to use Venmo, but I got a charge a day later for $74 with the header, “tinis.” And then a request one for 2 million, with the header, “lol Bail?”

After lunch I was fuming and dear aunt Sally was drunk.

“Maybe we should go for a little walk aunt Sally?” I suggested.

“That’s a great idea. Let’s walk through the park and go into the MET,” Sally said.

So we walked up through the park to the museum.

“Have you read the Goldfinch?” Sally asked me after we finally got through the line. Sally only gave them a penny, “Sorry I’m a struggling artist,” she said.

“No Sally, I haven’t read it yet, I hear it’s supposed to be good, I know it has to do with a painting, but please don’t spoil it for me.” I said.

“Oh I won’t, I’ll loan you my copy if you want,” she said.

“Thank you Sally,” I said. This is the generous side of Sally that makes her such a dear. Of course I should have known better, because there was a mischievous glint in her eyes, so what she did next, well, I feel partly responsible. We got to the room with “The Harvesters,” which is my favorite painting.

“Pieter Bruegel is a genius. This painting is one of a series on peasants working, but I love it, because it’s a diachronic, that is to say it depicts both the eating of food and the harvesting. The whole process. I think it’s my favorite painting. Don’t you love it too?” I turned to see if Sally was even listening to me, but I couldn’t see her. I looked around the gallery room, and then I saw Sally running faster than I would have imagined possible, with the 21 Club knife in one hand and a rolled up painting in the other. Then three things happened all at once, the alarms started to sound, I saw that “The Harvesters” was slashed from it’s frame, and Sally disappeared from view. Suddenly, it all added up, and I cursed Sally for ruining the plot of The Goldfinch.

The police caught Sally before she even got to the gift shop, “what were you thinking Sally?” I yelled, crying, as the police were hauling her away.

“To feel alive!” she yelled, but I knew she had heard me say it was my favorite painting, and I think she really just wanted to do something nice for me. So I’m writing this, hoping that you, the honorable judge Roy G. Biv, will be lenient towards my dear aunt Sally, and subtract a few years off her sentence.

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