Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Jets and the Sharks

Rather than leave matters to fate, we have decided to take prophylactic action when it comes to the sale of our home. To that end, we have hired a troupe of out-of-work actors to stage a few discreet arguments on our street--just to add some color and verve to the neighborhood, without going over the top. But rather than have them trade fisticuffs like common urban offal, we've instructed them to get into heated discussions about literature, politics, and the theatre.

Fights around here are classy matters indeed! Sometimes the actors stand around sipping sherry, debating the merits of Ayn Rand and dissecting modern poetry. They know an awful lot about turn-of-the-century architecture and make extensive and audible commentary, such as, "Look at that Gambrel roof--what a beaut!" and "This house is as solid as when she was built, and they built 'em right in those days!" We pay them handsomely.

But lest the prospective buyers become too suspicious at the apparent lack of physical altercations in the neighborhood, a dose of Broadway may be just what the East End is missing. We don't want anyone saying, "It's just too durned quiet around here. Suspiciously quiet!"

Just this very weekend, the actors (after much sweat and rehearsal) staged a full-fledged theatrical production of West Side Story on our lawn, with Shuffles cast in the role of Maria. (Hence the grocery bagger you've noticed at Stop 'n' Shop who keeps insisting that "she feels pretty.") As the Jets and the Sharks dueled in a complex, choreographed ballet, realtors and clients streamed in to view our home. The dancing and the general excitement resulted in unprecedented showings!

"Does this happen often around here?" asked one client.

"Every day!" affirmed one of the actors playing a Jet, as he leapt from our front porch and began to Mambo fiercely with a female relative of a Shark.

Unfortunately, while the performance was underway some of the "real" residents of our neighborhood came out and stared, mouths agape, as if this sort of activity did not happen every day.

"Is dat guy wearing toights?" said one of the locals.

"Yeah, he must be one of them homersexuals!" shrieked an old, toothless fellow who hasn't left his front porch in 50 years.

After the locals beat the actors with bats and bricks and the helicopters began circling, the scene became less than appealing. We have now instructed a new group of actors to choose something less riot-inciting, such as No, No, Nanette or Thoroughly Modern Millie. Something with short skirts and a zippy sense of style! Shuffles will no doubt be practicing for her audition in the fruit aisle.

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