The Screamer, The Titanic and The City Boy
“Hey, look at what I found today,” said City Boy, as he walked in the door after work the other day.
“Heh…is it off the Titanic? Perhaps the lock to a trunk of some valuables?” I asked. He just smiled. He knew what I was referring to.
We’d best step back in time a bit for a better understanding.
It was Christmas Eve, and we were going to my folks’ place for dinner. My grandmother was there, along with my aunt and cousins. After dinner, we had a small gift exchange; we’d drawn names on Thanksgiving for extended family, but would do immediate families on Christmas. Which is why I was surprised to have a huge, heavy box delivered to my lap. I swear the thing weighed 200 pounds. The tag indicated it was from City Boy, and my mother had her camera in hand, ready to capture my expression when I opened this package that for some reason needed to be given a day early.
I began ripping at the paper. City Boy has this annoying habit of using tons and tons of packing tape on packages, and as I struggled with the box, the rest of the family waited in eager anticipation.
Finally, the tape gave way and I opened the flaps to find…a chain. A huge, heavy, rusty chain.
I wasn’t sure what to say. I looked across the room and met the eyes of my cousins, who didn’t know what to say, either. City Boy sat there with a big, expectant smile on his face, and I just didn’t know what to say. Except…
“Is there a ball to go with this somewhere under our tree at home?”
“Look further!” he exclaimed, and helped pull out a paper in an envelope that was in the box with the chain. There was a picture of the Titanic, and the words Certificate of Authenticity printed at the top. “It’s from the Titanic! I found it on Ebay!”
City Boy seemed genuinely happy with his unique gift. My mother was merrily snapping pictures of the whole thing. And I was still sitting speechless, wondering what on earth my husband had been thinking and struggling with what to say to him as he seemed so pleased.
“I figured it’s a symbol of our love; it’ll endure forever,” City Boy was saying.
“Er…City Boy…it sank.”
At this point, City Boy could contain himself no more and began laughing. Turns out the chain was something he’d found at work and drug home.
The chain sat out at the edge of the lawn for years, and eventually weeds grew up around it and we forgot it was there. Until, ironically, The Screamer was moved to that corner yesterday, where she happily set about digging up roots and weeds and a certain chain that’d washed ashore years earlier, but was most definitely not an authentic piece of the Titanic.