The Tie That
by Marvin Pinkis
A man is
abducted by a woman disguised as a Talmudic
scholar. Her intent is to induce him to reveal
his plans for a revolutionary twist for
Jump Rope, requiring only one end
being held. He is proceeding to the patent office
when the woman leaps out from behind a parking
meter and asks if he objects to being abducted.
He looks at his watch and says, I have some
She takes him
to a seedy warehouse district and stops in front
of a ramshackle hovel.
it? he asks brusquely.
brusque, she sneers, Inviting, isnt
course, he states, Incidentally, does
this abduction come with refreshments?
Im no cheapskate. Theres a half bag
of M & Ms and almost a whole tin of
anchovies. Naturally, we split.
submits to being tied up in a straight-back chair.
He declines gagging, not knowing where the gag
has last been used. The rope chafes his wrists.
When he complains to his captor, shes
bemused and says, Thats bound to
The bon mot
does not go unnoticed and, despite the
situations menace, it stirs a tingly
sensation. Much later, he chuckles confirming he
got the pun. Very timely as the womans
patience for acknowledgment is wearing thin.
torture includes watching taped Lawrence Welk
shows and hearing motivational cassettes for
hours on end, recited in a soporific monotone.
Every time he starts to nod off, cattle prod in
hand, she relates ethnic jokes concerning Amazon
tribes yet to be discovered.
He can stand
only so much. When she constantly reminds him of
his poor taste in socks, he blurts out,
Stop it, stop it, I tell you. Ill
take to heart everything the television
evangelists preach and Ill buy the entire
coming around, kid. Well on the road to a strong
self-image. Now, if you can stop your thumb
sucking, or at least limit it to your own thumb.
miss it. Lets get back to Jump
Rope and Go Fish.
I overestimated the extent of your capitulation.
Shall we watch another Roy Rogers movie?
Ill shoot straight with you. Im
grateful to you for crafting a new me, someone
who can hold his head up high and walk unafraid.
Not only will I fork over Go Fish,
Ill throw in ideas for streamlining
Tag. These efforts come easily for me.
Childs play, as it were.
see the plans. I been suckered by you innovator
is peeved at her suspicions, but decides to play
along. Well, uh, you see. Seems I left the
plans in my other trousers. Ill mail them
as soon as Im home. Better yet, Ill
Fed Ex them.
what a guy. Here, let me undo you.
with the undoing and each cuts a finger and mixes
blood, swearing to be pals forever. For a brief
interval their eyes meet, after formal
introductions. Her eyes flirt with danger. His
eyes flirt with anything.
a new story. Woman kidnaps renowned innovator of
kids games. Woman trusses him up like a
side of beef. Woman imposes inhuman indignities
on innovator. Innovator promises her anything.
Woman lets her heart rule. Woman reaches Epiphany
only to learn her hotel reservation has been lost.
Man wants to get home before the game starts.
Woman gazes intently at man and says,
Before I consummate your release, may I ask