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The Competition
by Nomi Liron

“Turn it off. I can’t watch it,” Jenny told her husband. “It’s toxic to me.”

“The Olympics only comes on every four years,” her husband responded. “I’m going to watch it.”

“But Jon, all those women with their strong, lithe bodies. How do you think it makes me feel? 

“Don’t take it so personally.”

“I can’t help it. I feel like a middle-aged pear. You should, too, as a matter of fact. Your body isn’t quite what it used to be thirty years ago.”

“Jenny, I try my best. Now get off my back.”

“Your best! You call that your best?”

“Look at that!” Jon pointed to a gymnast jumping over a bar, doing a series of somersaults, and landing effortlessly on her legs. “Look at those leg muscles!”

“Jon, stop.”

“USA USA,” Jon chanted.

Jenny went to the kitchen to have a piece of fudge. She had two. Then she had three. I know what to do, she thought as she chewed. She took a pair of large yard shears from the garage and went out to the cable connection. She smiled as she cut through the first few strands of the cable. No more fit female bodies parading about on TV. She snipped again. No more images of athletic superwomen. She’d no longer feel like a blob of jelly in comparison.

She went back in the house and found Jon messing around with the television controls.

“Damn thing just blanked out.”

“Too bad. But, it’s old. It’s probably broke.”

“Well, it’s terrible timing. I’m going down to Benson’s Electronics right now to buy another one.”

“Dear, think of the money.”

“Money doesn’t matter at a time like this.”

He put his coat on and hurried away. 

When he returned Jon had a big screen TV. He set it up and plugged it in. The TV turned on but there was no picture.

“I’m going out to look at the cable box,” Jon said. “Maybe that is where the problem is.” A few minutes later he came in.

“The squirrels ate through it. I have to call the cable company.”

“Why bother them? I’m sure they’re busy.”

“Are you crazy? The Olympics is on. Of course, I’m going to bother them.” 

He went out to the kitchen to make the call. Jenny ran to the garage and got a hammer. She took the hammer and smashed the TV screen in. Hearing the noise, Jon came running in.

“For crying out loud, what are you doing?”

Jenny swung the hammer once more and hit Jon on the head. He staggered. Before he could respond she struck him in the temple three times more. He fell forward onto the floor. Jenny dragged him into the kitchen. 

The man from the cable company came a few minutes later. He was able to fix the cable in a short period of time. Jenny sat in front of the old TV with a bowl of buttered popcorn and watched a movie.