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One Hump Or Two? ©
by J.R. Beatty
To my Wife, God's Gift to me for more than 50 Years

My photographer-writer Internet website allows me to record instants of time and place for posterity.

Today, I am reminded of a special day decades ago when my wife and I were shopping for a new set of living room furniture. We looked at multi-colored and striped and solid colored sofas and love seats and easy chairs covered in crushed velvet or Corinthian leather or patterned, starched cotton cloth. The prices were scaring me from time to time - especially at the upscale store we had just come into.

"Oh, do you see that sofa set way over there on the other side of the store?!" my wife exclaimed suddenly. "It speaks to me! It speaks to me! I have to have it!" The creamy white sofa and love seat with the animalistic shaped back and cream-colored floral design engraved right into its fabric literally gleamed in the high lumen spotlights’ glare coming unnaturally from above.

As fate would have it, this particular store had an experienced salesperson on duty with a keen sensitivity to know when a female customer was teetering on the edge of "ready to buy". He suddenly appeared from out of the store’s Salesperson Only - Customer Surveillance Room and said "Hello, may I help you? Oh, I see you have found our most delicious example of our romantic, Country French, Camel Back sofa and matching loveseat covered in our exclusive, seductive cream colored, Engraved Damask, stain resistant fabric!" At that moment my only sarcastic questions for him were "What’s it gonna cost me? and "Does that camel back come in one hump or two?" But the enchanted look on my wife’s face told me - our couch search was over!

Next came the mandatory native love dance around the couches with the essential spousal discussions: "Would the light cream colored sofa material hold up under "wear and tear"? Would it show "THE DIRT"? Was the frame sturdy enough? Could I sleep on it OK when I invariably wound-up in the "Doghouse"? Did it come with a pullout bed? Could it easily be re-upholstered or slip-covered someday in the future when it got too dirty to sit Aunt Martha on it?"

"Would it match or complement our existing mismatched Early-Back-Country furniture – so lovingly given by our friends to us as poor newlyweds back in our New Jersey Honeymoon days? What color throw pillows should we buy to liven up the whole esthetic experience – throw pillows? - to be used for "anger management"? But isn’t it all too expensive for us right now?"

Drat those wives going to work and earning their own money! They can now overrule their husbands. But soon one thing became perfectly clear – Give up, Camel Hump Jockey, the sofa search is over. This sofa and love seat had already spoken to my Dearly Beloved, Better Three-Quarters! Four days later two burly men brought those two internationally educated, vociferously loquacious pieces of furniture into our expectant home. A special space had been cleared to receive them. My wife was nearly as excited as she was on the day our son was born. And for some unexplained feminine-side reasons, I was happy for her!


Well, after 28 years of speaking to us, the long couch finally died. It had sustained many injuries over that time. Birthday cake there, grape juice over there, fried chicken grease way back there. The final blow came when I last sat my svelte 260 pounds down on my regular end of the couch. A loud cracking sound announced its death knell. Of course, I immediately suggested to my wife that I would move to the other end of the couch to sit in the future - so we could get 28 more years out of this sweet-talking old couch!

After much wifely concern and many new couch shopping trips, the transition to a new white, hump-less, pattern-less, speech-less, Gen X / Millennials-approved couch and love seat was finally made. After the requisite removal of old and delivery of new, we are cautiously listening to hear IF they speak to either one of us. So far, ... still, soft, silence!

You know, this is exactly how I feel now - as I visually stroll through my new Internet Photo-Writer website. The moments in time that it captures are remembered in complete detail. The title and sub-title below each photo were meticulously crafted by me before it was finally the "right one". Each 'PHOTO' and 'STORY' provides another layer of what is important to me. Each of my captured pictures and articles, lovingly displayed there, immediately "speaks to me" when I see it.

Yes, they ALL "speak to me" and hopefully to others, too. Surprisingly, they say "Camel Back? One Hump Or Two?" and in perfect Country French, no less!