When my sons came of age I gave the eldest a stamp I had but no envelope to stick it on; nor had a friend except one blind count in Florence who couldn’t read a thing any way. Of course he left his villa to me and I gave to the second oldest. My third son got a painting that I had picked from one of the flea markets on the left bank of Seine, Paris. To my fourth I entrusted a paperweight. Of course to my last I gave a denture with initials GW.
Before I could leave this world my eldest son came smug and self assured and said, “You gave me a Penny Black,1840.”
“You have made a fortune?”
“Oh no my dog just chewed to pulp.” said my son Fred.
The second son managed to arrive at my death bed and we hugged and he replied to my queries he had converted his villa into an orphanage for stray dogs. With beating heart I asked what of that western wall on the piano nobile ?
‘Oh the figure of Christ was nude; so were apostles. So I painted over the whole thing.”
“Son, it was by Michaelangelo.”
“Never heard of him. I had to protect the feelings of the house keeper’.
The next one said the painting was so unlike a face he could live with.
“Matt, it was by Picasso. One from his cubism period”. My son Matthew said, “Picasso or Pickaxe, what do I care? Either you get the face right or use a Canon for gods sake.’
‘My fourth son George, only cared for his own feelings. He was too self centred but he still made my day. I asked what he did with the paper weight.
“How long do I think I can go on feeling a piece of glass in my pocket?”
“So what did you do?’
“I threw it into the garbage of course.”
I murmured,”Hope Diamond, my paperweight and my nest egg.” What George did not know didn’t hurt him. I greeted my last son and he said,’Pop the denture you gave belonged to some fellow called George Washington. “You think I’ll keep some one’s dentures, the one that didn’t fit him, will sit well with me?’ So my son had smashed it and threw into dust bin. A man’s whole life in the face of such calamity is likely to speed up and mine was in a flash.
Such a stroke made me cured.
“Well, well” I said. I got up from my bed and said,” A bunch of hopeless idiots I raised up. I must get down to business.”
All my sons were aghast and tried to restrain me. “No you are in your death bed. Stay”
“Oh no,” I was sure. “I must make some money for myself at least. My sons never learned how.”
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