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Chapter 16 – In Pursuit of Culture (partial chapter)

Posted By on June 19, 2009

According to my wife, I lack culture.

“You should learn to appreciate the finer things in life, like art and music.” Cookie killed the sports channel with a casual flick of the remote.

“Hey, the playoffs aren’t over yet!”

“No,” she smiled. “But your days of boorishness are. In one month I want to see a new man.”

I gulped. “You mean you’re trading me in on a new model?”

She sighed. “Alas, no. As mother always said, ‘Better the junker that’s paid for than a Jaguar with lease payments.’” She tossed the remote onto the couch. “But at least try to learn the difference between a Picasso and pizza. Remember, you’ve got 30 days.”

Cookie’s words rattled in my brain as I unlocked the office door the next morning. A complete makeover in 30 days? Who was she kidding? I’m a mechanic; I can overhaul a Borg-Warner transmission in about 10 hours. But undoing decades of misguided behavioral patterns in only a month? That’s a bit of a stretch.

Besides all that, what was wrong with me the way I was? Clearly a second opinion was needed here, and it arrived a few minutes later as a familiar red Fiat pulled into the parking lot. “Basil,” I said as he walked through the front door. “Do I lack culture?”

Basil paused mid-step. “Is this a trick question?”

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