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This is the story of too many people in our world.
Gary R Hoffman
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (1)
Hi (Short Stories) This is a true story of a dog my family once owned. [1,444 words] [Relationships]
Gary R Hoffman
M R Pearls
“Those earrings are beautiful, Irene. Where did they come from?” Dayna asked.
Good God, Jill thought. Haven’t you been around Irene enough to know not to ask that kind of a question?
“Actually,” Irene started, “the stones in these earrings belonged to Herbert’s great, great, great grandmother. The family story has it that they were given to Martha Washington. They were set in a necklace at the time. The necklace broke and part of it disappeared, probably stolen by a slave. Anyway, the part of the necklace that Martha kept was passed to Herbert’s relations, who were apparently good friends with the Washington family. Most of the stones were just cheap paste, but some were quite valuable. I had the good stones set into these earrings.”
“Well, that’s quite a story, as well as a beautiful set of earrings,” Dayna said.
What else would you expect? Jill thought. Everything this woman has is better than anyone else’s and always has ties to someone famous. She has to be better than anyone else in everything! “They are quite striking,” Jill added. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like them.”
“And you wouldn’t!” Irene said as she drifted away to impress someone else with her superior assets.
Jill looked at Dayna. “Don’t you know the kind of answers you’ll get from her by now?”
“Oh, yeah, sure. I just bait her. I want to see who owned what before she got them.”
Jill laughed. “Well, it sounds as if we both have the same impression of “Miss Better Than Anyone Else“.”
“I figured that out a long time ago, Jill. If Herb wasn’t Jim’s boss, I probably wouldn’t put up with her at all. But, since we keep getting invited to the bosses’ house for parties, and if Jim wants to get ahead in the company, I’ll just keep baiting the old bag.”
“You know, Ralph feels sort of the same way. He knows these parties are Irene’s idea and that Herb probably just goes along with them. Herb is so down to earth. It’s hard to figure how he ended up with such a prude as Irene.”
“I guess that’s one of the great mysteries of life,” Dayna said laughingly.
“Well, one thing that isn’t a mystery is the upcoming vacation time for the entire plant. What are you and Jim going to do?”
“We’re going to Colorado. Jim wants to get up in the mountains again. How about you and Ralph?”
“Ralph wants to drive the Alaskan Highway, but we don’t know if we’ll have time. I think he’s going to talk to Herb tonight to see if he can get some more time off, just an extra week or so. It’s always been sort of a dream of Ralph’s to drive it, so I hope we can.”
“Well, it’s not like you’re starting from Mississippi or someplace. Seattle is about as close as you can get for your start.”
“Yeah, ever since the plant moved to Seattle, Ralph has talked about it. It’s now a lot more possible than when we lived in Virginia.”
Irene had come drifting back just as Jill and Dayna were finishing up their conversation. “What’s more possible, dear?” Irene asked.
“Well,” Jill said, “we were just talking about vacations. Ralph and I are thinking about driving the Alaskan Highway.”
“What a splendid rustic vacation!” Irene said. “Herbert and I are going to fly to New Zealand. A friend of ours in the state department has a condo there that he has loaned us for two weeks.”
Of course, he has, Jill thought. “Sounds like fun,” she said aloud.
“It will be marvelous!” Irene drooled out.
Bitch, Dayna thought.
“Maybe you can pick up some rare jewelry there,” Jill said.
“Oh, I hope so. I’m always on the lookout for the rare and unusual,” Irene said.
Six weeks later, the plant was reopened, and Irene and Herb threw their first party since the vacation.
“New Zealand was marvelous, darling,” Irene said to Jill. How was your vacation?”
“Quite interesting,” Jill answered. Dayna walked up to join them. “Actually, Irene, I found something I thought you might like, so I brought you a present.”
“Well, how sweet of you,” Irene said.
“I know how you like jewelry, and I found something I was sure you didn’t have.”
“My this is getting more interesting all the time,” Irene said.
“I found a set of earrings made out of Muskwa River Pearls.”
“I’ve never heard of them,” Irene said in an astonished manor.
“Well, they are pretty well localized in a small part of British Columbia.” Jill handed Irene a foil wrapped box. “Here. These are for you. I hope you enjoy them.”
“Oh, I’m sure I will.” Irene opened the box. “My, they are different. I must go put them on. Please excuse me while I go find a mirror.”
Dayna looked at Jill. “Sucking up to the old gal, eh?”
“Well, everyone deserves a present now and then,” Jill said.
“But a rare pearl? Isn’t that a little much? What do they have, some sort of clam that lives in the Muskwa River?”
Jill laughed. “No not exactly. These pearls are coated with a liquid plastic because if left out for the air to get to them, they would fall apart.”
“A pearl that falls apart? Never heard of such a thing.”
Jill giggled. “Ever hear of Rocky Mountain Oysters?”
“Yeah. They’re the testicles off pigs, aren’t they?”
Dayna looked at her in disbelief. “So what’s a Muskwa River Pearl?” she asked almost unable to contain herself.
“Yep, Irene is now wearing moose shit on her ears!”
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© 2005 Gary R Hoffman
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