Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"You're All Wed" by Anonymous

You're All Wed
Anonymous/Unknown

Lou Costello was wearing a gray suit and a harried expression as he waddled from the elevator of the huge office building. "Where do I find Mr. Abbott's office?" he asked the operator.

"Right down the hall. You can't miss it. It's the door that needs washing."

Costello, graceful as an avalanche, made his way as directed, then paused with his hand on the knob. What sort of deal was this? What was Abbott up to now? What did those gilt letters "ABBOTT'S MATRIMONIAL BUREAU. BRANCHES: PARIS, LONDON AND HOBOKEN" mean? Should he get mixed up in this? Probably not. Yet Abbott had seemed eager on the phone—so eager, in fact, that he had forgotten to reverse the charges, as he usually did. Oh, well, it couldn't hurt to look.

"Come in. Come in, Sir," greeted Abbott looking up from his desk. "Oh, it's only you, Costello." Suddenly he brightened. "Little friend, I have the chance of a lifetime here for you. Take a chair!"


"Looks like the finance company beat me to it," answered Costello, as he vainly hunted the practically barren office for a seat.

"Well, I'm just getting started, of course. Kind of scarce on furniture, but let me assure there is no dearth of opportunity for a bright young man. Or for you, either, Costello. I'm really on to something big. Naturally, the first one I thought of was you. How would you like to get married?"

Costello began to pale. It took some moments, of course, for a blanch, no matter how hard working, to cover his figure, but finally he managed to croak, "Married? But, Abbott, this is so sudden. I had no idea you cared. I never—"

"Now don't drag out any day-old jokes. What I mean is this. Getting people married is my business. You see, everyone wants to get married. But you don't always get to meet the right person. That's where I come in—by introducing you to your soul mate. The Abbott Matrimonial Bureau, Branches Paris, London and Hoboken, eliminates all elements of chance and reduces marriage to a scientific basis. Girl meets proper boy; they marry; they send me a fee. And everybody's happy! Now about your case—"

"But, Abbott, I don't want to get married! I've got to support a poor, old gray-haired bookmaker. I—"

"Nonsense! Just wait till you see the young lady I have in mind for you. Oh, Constance, would you mind lumbering in here for a minute?"

Heavy footsteps sounded an approach and the room shook as though in the grip of a junior varsity earthquake. Costello looked up (four feet up) to behold a girl who was undeniably moulded on classical lines. Indeed, she bore a rather startling resemblance to the Roman Colosseum. Bending  daintily as her out-sized head shattered the chandelier, she patted Costello's brow. He felt the start of a mild brain concussion and a fresh bruise was raised at each gentle stroke.

"Why, of course, I'll marry you, Darling," boomed the huge Constance in a voice that would have shamed the coast artillery.

"Gee, that's swell," smiled Costello. "We'll just have a quiet little affair at the Yankee Stadium, and—Hey, what am I saying? I don't want marry her!"

"You don't?" asked Abbott. "But surely you think she's beautiful?"

"Beautiful? Yeah, sure. But so are the Rocky Mountains and I don't want to marry them, either. LEMME OUT OF HERE!"

"Oh, now let's not be hasty. Let's look at some of my other clients first. I'm certain you'll find someone to love and to cherish from this day forward. You're excused, Constance. Just slam the door of your cage behind you, please. This way, Costello!"

Costello looked frantically for an avenue of escape, but only the door presented itself. And the key was gone! Abbott had swallowed it upon his entrance. Well, he might just as well look at that. Abbott was right. It was time he got married! Perhaps the girl of his dreams was right here in Abbott's office waiting for him. Gee, wouldn't that be something! Someone to chase his loneliness! Some with whom to share his hopes, his dreams and bubble gum!

His reverie was interrupted by Abbott who was proudly indicating a young lady seated in the reception room. "Now, then, Costello, how do you like Estelle?"

Costello looked, then gasped. It was some moments before he could manage to stammer. "Why—Why, she's lovely, Abbott. Absolutely lovely—but there's just one thing."

"Yes?"

"She has two heads!"

"No extra charge," smiled Abbott. "Say, wait, Costello! Get away from that window! Don't jump! Please don't think I'm trying to high pressure you into anything," he snarled, gripping the little fat fellow's wrists in a fierce judo hold. "But we strive to please. Just do me the favor of meeting Gertrude. If you don't think she's the most beautiful girl you've ever seen, you're free to walk out of this door. Is it a deal?"

"It's a deal," gasped a grateful Costello.

"Well, come along then. Actually I had been saving Gertrude for a South American millionaire. However, you are my best friend and it's only fair that I—"

Costello followed but he wasn't listening. He was off in another world picturing the life to follow with Gertrude. Hah! At last Abbott had realized he wasn't a sucker! Now he was forced to display a good looking girl! But perhaps he had meant to do that all along. The other two had only been jokes. He should have known Abbott would have his old buddy's welfare at heart. Gosh, when he married this beautiful Gertrude, the very first people he'd ask over to the house would be Abbott and the plumber. Good, old Abbott! the best friend a—

"And this, Costello," announced Abbott, "is Gertrude. I defy you to deny that she is the best looking girl you have ever seen!"

There was no denying it. Gertrude was the most beautiful girl Costello had ever seen. Speechless, he regarded her perfect features. Those clothes! That air of good breeding! Gingerly, he extended a chubby finger and patted that beautiful face.

"Abbott, she is. She's the most beautiful creature ever." He paused a second and sighed like a typhoon raging through the Philippines, "BUT SHE'S WAX!"

The contract dropped from Abbott's disappointed hands, "Gosh, Costello, you are hard to please!"

In his wrath Costello shook like a dish of agitated oatmeal, "Your matrimonial agency is a flop—a fake! Phooey, I'm getting out of here! I can do better than this in Brooklyn!"

"You can?" asked Abbott eagerly. "Has she got a friend for me?"

"Sure. But remember I get the one who speaks English! C'mon!"

The door slammed on their departure. Abbott's Matrimonial Bureau, Branches Paris, London and Hoboken, had dissolved.

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