Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Fred the sofa

By Guernsey LePelley / September 16, 1986



ONCE in a while, when my wife and her next-door friend go on a shopping spree, I reward myself by eating at a tablecloth restaurant. On this particular day I was seated at a single table just behind a table with two ladies in a talkative mood. One lady was rather large, with blue hair; the other, somewhat narrower, had crisply curled brownish hair. She was the listener. Big Blue was the talker.

Skip to next paragraph

They lifted glasses frequently, toyed with salads, and dabbed with napkins while I sat waiting for my Trout Almandine. Big Blue was talking: ``You know how some people grow to look like their pets? Well, my husband, Fred, has gotten to look like a sofa.''

I am not usually an eavesdropper, but in this case I thought it might be my duty as a member of the fraternal order of husbands to record mentally what was being said about the unsuspecting Fred.

Big Blue continued: ``You can shake your head all you want, Emma, but two nights ago I said good night to just the sofa. Fred wasn't even in the house and I didn't notice the difference. So, you see!''

Brown Hair pretended to laugh and said, ``Now, now, now, you know perfectly well that after your party last week the couch got covered with gravy stains. So that's one way you can tell which is which.''

``Fred is also covered with gravy stains.''

My salad came and that threw my concentration off for several sentences. When I tuned in again, Big Blue was still going on:

``It's football, football, football. He sits on one end of the sofa for three or four hours at a stretch. He absorbs the sofa. He shouts at stupid players. He even gets to talking gibberish and mumbles names like ``Bucs,'' ``Noles,'' and ``Skins.''

By the time I left, Fred had been pretty well reduced to the form, design, and color of a sofa cushion. Unlike Fred, I hardly ever look at a football game, so I considered my wife pretty fortunate she didn't have to live with a sofa cushion.

When I finally got home, friend wife was back from shopping and wanted to know my afternoon plans.

``The US Open tennis matches are on,'' I said, heading for the television. ``I've already missed the first 10 minutes.''

I didn't know why she gave me the look she did. Maybe it was the gravy stain on my shirt.