“This is the best picture of them all, I had to stoop down in all others”, remarked hubby as we were looking together, on the PC screen, at our pictures from our recent vacation to Las Vegas. He was pointing to his picture with that woman in pink – and about stooping down in other pictures- he referred to pictures of him with me where he automatically bends down a little before the camera to reduce the gap in his and my height when we stand together. Yes, that woman was as tall as him, looking resplendent in her hide-little-show-all but still graceful pink costume – the witch!! And the vertical distance between his shoulder and mine when standing together, is too great to be bridged by any heeled sandals, so I don’t risk my precious ankle bones to even try doing that.
As a reaction to his remark, my little finger hit the Delete button and the picture vanished. “What, its just a picture, it means nothing and you only took that picture” said he and undid the delete and there she stood again by his side, smiling at me. Again I pressed the Delete and immediately cleared the Recycle Bin so she was lost forever. Sensing that matters were taking an irretrievable turn, he no longer protested. And I took out my wrath with – “Make her sweat in the kitchen, juggle with pots and pans, make her scrub your bathtubs and sinks, then see how she looks.”
Let us trace back the existence of this notorious and controversial picture. One day while strolling through the famous Vegas strip, I noticed a bright pink feathered head dress strikingly standing out from among a crowd of heads and we were naturally attracted toward it .On coming close, there was this lady adorned in bright pink, standing tall and imposing on the walkway. People were in turns getting pictures clicked with her and she was posing perfectly, arching and tilting her body. Well to be honest she was spectacular, I have never seen such a bedizened person on the street, from such a close distance. Her implacable presence on the street pulled the crowd towards her-she was meant to be the cynosure of all eyes .Such things you get to see on the screen, maybe in a fashion show or a beauty pageant or on the stage in the Las Vegas shows but no- never standing next to you on the pavement. Even my toddler son was intrigued and said – “Mommy, look that is a princess!!”. She was wearing lots of pink fur on her perfect body which is befit for a man, not me, to describe. And together with the striking headgear and the panoply of ornaments, she was a sight. Standing there for a while we understood that she was advertising for a hotel, handing out pamphlets to all and posing for pictures. I noticed that after a person got a picture clicked with her, he was slipping some money into her hand which she was, without looking ,slipping into her dainty handbag.
Guys were getting pictures taken with her and I know they would go to lengths, cooking up exaggerated stories when flaunting this picture to their friends. We were having clean Vegas fun- thanks to my son, we steered clear of the notorious no-kids-allowed topless shows hosted there. And a friend told me recently that it’s a waste of precious money to watch those topless shoes as the Miami beach offers it for free, all the time!! I don’t know maybe it was the Las Vegas air which got into me, it seemed harmless to me,I felt lighthearted and I asked hubby to go and stand with her and I would take a picture. “Are you sure?” he said disbelieving his ears.I know he must have been thinking the same thing but dreaded to blurt out. “Yes,go ahead”, I said thinking at least she was not topless,she was dressed!!I even fished out a couple of bills and gave to him to slip into her hand, although for once I thought – why not hand her some pieces of plain crumpled paper, she is not even looking at it, but decided to be honest somehow. So much for righteousness. So as hubby approached her, she whispered something in his ear, which rang a bell in me and I just couldn’t wait to hear what her moving lips were saying. Somehow I managed to focus the camera on them, she posed and smiled and he kept a light hand on her shoulder and I clicked. He slipped the bills in her hand and came back, agog with excitement.
Once back I demanded to know what she was saying, which turned out to be – “Pictures are for a tip.” OK after all, she was all bedecked and standing there for making some money. “But why did you keep a hand on her, you could have just stood there”, I demanded. He answered that everybody was doing that and it would have seemed discourteous and unchivalrous in this foreign land if he did otherwise. Hell !!do I care about courtesy to her. Anyway I somehow overcame that telling myself its OK and to let the vacation continue without being a harridan which I am normally in situations like this. Also I thought if some Brad-Pitt like handsome hunk were standing on the street, even I would have run to stand next to him for a picture. Sometimes I do successfully reason out things with myself.
So it seemed to end well and we came back from the vacation in good spirits until that evening when watching the pictures and before the infamous remark by him. That blew it up. Somehow he was thankful that the computer monitor or the camera was not broken, it only ended at the permanent deletion of that picture. But I had added an important caveat for me –“ Never take a witch home with you.”