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L. E. Hughes

Away With Words: Belles Lettres
By L.E. Hughes
Jul 8, 2006 - 1:47:00 PM

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Someone in my neighborhood is cleaning house. They put a pink over-stuffed chair on the side of the road with a sign on it that reads “Free”. I almost stopped, but as much as I like pink things, especially free pink things, I simply don’t need another chair, pink or otherwise. Alongside the hand-painted word “Free” on the sign in the chair was an additional plea to “Please take”.

I slowed down, but only because I was wondering what the author of the sign had been thinking when he penned “Please take”. He must be afraid that a wickedly impudent person will spend the afternoon sitting in his free offering as it sits roadside and therefore, with the free space taken, all ‘would be’ takers would be discouraged from taking it. “Please take” is, in other words, “You are not free to take this pink chair and sit in it where it sits, you must take it away to someplace else and sit in it there.”

Or perhaps the author just HAD to use up that free space beside the word “Free” on the sign on the free chair.

Maybe the owner is getting weary of a chair sitting where a chair really shouldn’t be sitting. Not to mention that his cleaning chore isn’t truly finished until the pink chair disappears because the house may be chair free, but the yard in front of it isn’t. There is a chair there—a free chair, please take.

L.E. Hughes is a columnist, author and owner of Diamond Corner B&B in Stratton, Maine. She welcomes your thoughts and comments:

© July 2006, Lew-Ellyn Hughes. All Rights Reserved and Retained by the Author.

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