FLAT FOR RENT

“Shut up, and deal!”

The time had come.

After the first few years as newlyweds, still trying to climb the ladder of success, C.C. “Bud” Baxter had come to a crossroads. His plan to become a captain of industry as a Chief Executive, had fallen flat. He jumped from job to job, but apparently his “reputation” had followed him everywhere. His only conclusion was this: Jeff Sheldrake labeled C.C. as a insubordinate malcontent for refusing to allow the officers of the Insurance company the use of his flat. Sheldrake was a son-of-a-bitch!

Baxter guesses he always had been and would remain so. Those years at the “company” had been rife with bad decisions on his part. Bud’s ambition had blurred his vision at a great cost. Sure, the upper echelon loved the Junior Executive for the use of his apartment for their extra-marital trysts. But that whole episode between Sheldrake and the then elevator operator, Fran Kubelick, opened Baxter’s eyes in a big way.

Fran Kubelick. She had her ups and downs from the start, but that was expected, running the express elevator to the executive suites. The now Supervisor (since she had gotten Sheldrake fired in a sexual-harassment suit), she was finally reaping her reward in her quest to reach the top of her profession.

But, in Fran’s role as Mrs. “Bud” Baxter, she realized she wanted so much more than a crowded elevator and cigar smoke. She suspected both to be the cause for her stomach fluttering in the past few weeks. Maybe it was time to dive head first into the secretarial pool, and escape the motion sickness and rancid Arturo Fuente smoke. She had commented to C.C. that the mornings were the worst, sickness wise!

Up the three flights of steps to their apartment, Fran had felt nauseous. She wouldn’t make it to their door. Fortunately for the former Miss Kubelick, Dr. Dreyfus was leaving for his office and helped Fran to her door.
He sat her on the divan and gave her something for her upset stomach. Baxter came home moments later.

“Doc, what’s the matter?” C.C. inquired.

“As if you didn’t know, Mr. Goodtime Charley!” Dreyfus responded with a smile. “Look at your wife. She’s been sick for the past few mornings. Her middle is expanding! What do you think, Genius?”

“I…uh, uh… think…I uh… we… we’re going to be up to our elbows in responsibility…baby-wise?” Baxter had gasped out just as he fainted.

Fran rushed to her husband’s aid, just as the contents of her gut came spewing forth, soiling his suit and tie. Dreyfus broke an ampule of smelling salts to rouse Baxter back to consciousness. He looked Fran weakly in the eyes.

“That means we need a bigger apartment, size-wise, doesn’t it?” Bud wondered aloud.

Fran Kubelick-Baxter smiled her quirky smile at her husband.

“Shut up, and deal!”

 

Photo and characters from the five time Academy Award winning (including 1960 Best Picture) movie “The Apartment” starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.

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