The Recliner

Although technically Brenda died at the age of 65, she had effectively stopped living about 20 years earlier. Brenda and Arthur had been high school sweethearts and their early marriage had followed the same course as most; through the giddy heights of youthful infatuation, on to the comfortable companionship of middle age, before finally settling into the enduring, mutual hatred of the long married.
Unable to communicate and denied the relief of divorce by her religious beliefs, Brenda started to seek comfort in food and the daily soap operas on TV. Without children or hobbies to give her purpose, she sank into a daily routine of overeating, viewing television and complaining to Arthur.
As the years rolled on, Brenda’s sedentary lifestyle resulted in the deterioration of her physical health and personal hygiene. Once a sloppy and lazy housekeeper, she now neglected all domestic duties in favour of channel surfing and farting into the couch. Discontent and morbidly obese, she shuffled breathlessly to the kitchen for snacks between Springer, Oprah and the Bold.

Arthur would return home from work each day to the same scene of filth and disarray. By now Brenda’s weight prevented her from using the fragile dining room chairs so Arthur would carry her food through to her on a tray. Along with tidying the house, his after dinner duties included the daily toileting routine and a sponge bath. Loyal to a fault, he accepted this as his lot in life, and went about paying the bills and feeding his wife as any devoted husband would. Privately disgusted by his wife’s condition, Arthur’s resentment ballooned along with Brenda’s colon, until one day he came up with a plan.

As a rule, he’d resisted the convenience of the fast food take out industry, preferring to prepare their evening meals himself. So when Arthur began arriving home with the wonderful colourful boxes full of junk food, Brenda was surprised.
Initially suspicious of this new development, she soon yielded to it with the carefree abandon of a hopeless junkie. She responded to the new high fat, high calorie diet with predictable greed and enthusiasm. As Arthur assumed the role of a malevolent food delivery service, Brenda took the bait gleefully by tripling her intake.
The end came quickly, and in the last 18 months of her life, as Brenda wolfed down pizzas, cheeseburgers and doughnuts, Arthur researched and devised the final stage of his plan.
Ever loyal, Arthur was by her side as she lapsed into a diabetic coma. He was there when she awoke briefly and uttered her final, delirious words: “Arthur honey, who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?”
And as the fudge-like cholesterol finally stopped her tired heart, Arthur stood ready to create the world’s first Laz-ee Girl chair.
A six-month correspondence course in Beginners Taxidermy had revealed the basics of body preparation.

  • Blood drainage and evacuation of bowels.
  • Maintenance of muscle and skin tone.
  • Skin and hair preservation.
  • Formaldehyde injection and stuffing materials.

Arthur had it covered.
It was achieving the chair shape that had been the trickiest challenge. After studying ergonomics and trauma orthopaedics for a year, Arthur had carefully designed the ultimate leisure chair.
But timing was critical.
Ideally, the hefty body had to be manipulated and positioned before rigor mortis set in. With surgical stainless steel screws, he attached a titanium rod to the spine via an incision above the coccyx. The rod was secured to a round base plate which was bolted to the floor. The exact angle of the knees and elbows were achieved by screwing prefabricated clamps onto the bones above and below the joints. A stainless steel support plate screwed to the top of the spine prevented the head from rolling backwards. With the basic structure in place, Arthur turned his attention to the finer details.
He formed a circle with the thumb and fingers of her right hand leaving the pinkie finger jutting across at the bottom, to prevent his beer bottles from falling through.
He positioned her left hand palm upwards and slightly cupped to accept the remote control for the TV. To his delight, he later discovered that this also doubled well as an ashtray for his cigars.
Although Brenda’s fleshy lap provided ample padding, Arthur placed an orange scatter cushion in her crotch for a touch of colour. The cushion also covered up her pubic hair. He thought that leaving it exposed would be in bad taste.

When he stood back to admire his work he thought she looked like an obese Hell’s Angel with no clothes on, riding an invisible Harley Davidson.
To enhance this look he bought her a pair of dark glasses and drew tattoos on her upper arms with a permanent marker.
Over time Arthur found he had to make slight adjustments for his comfort. When Brenda’s hardening nipples started to dig into his lower back, he simply flipped her saggy breasts back over her shoulders, and using an industrial strength upholstery stapler, secured them into her back. When the plump headrest formed by her cheeks and chin started to decay and become thin, he had to punch out all of her front teeth and nail another scatter cushion onto her forehead.
Another unexpected benefit of the Laz-ee Girl was that Brenda’s shin made an excellent scratching post for Cleo the cat. Just a little encouragement (fish paste) would keep the cat occupied for hours. This also saved money on cat food, as after just a few months, Cleo had nibbled her way clear through to the bone.

Ever mindful of home décor, Arthur was constantly coming up with ideas to spruce up the Laz-ee Girl. The ‘Mexican’ theme became a firm favourite. Here he dressed Brenda in a sombrero and a poncho to achieve the look, and on ‘Mexican’ nights he would drink tequila and eat tacos. Often, after too many tequilas, Arthur would draw a slim moustache on her upper lip, place a cigar in her mouth and call her, ‘Gringo’ – “Hey, you gotta problem wi’ me Greengo?”.
Accessorizing the Laz-ee Girl with wigs, hats and different types of head dress, became an exciting hobby for Arthur. His favourites included the Darth Vader mask, the Klu Klux Klan hood, the Elvis wig and the pointy dunce cap.

Time passed and the Laz-ee Girl kept Arthur comfortable and amused well into his twilight years. By the time he died, any traces of sanity had long since left him. He passed away sitting in the Laz-ee Girl, naked except for the Santa Claus hat on his head and the Wellington boots on his feet . Being the festive season, Arthur had placed a matching hat on what remained of Brenda’s head. In the weeks before his death he’d created a banner with a bedsheet and two broomsticks. The broomsticks were duct taped to Brenda’s hands and the sheet, which hung above her head, read: ‘YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION.’
Eventually, when the stench of decay led a neighbour to contact the emergency services, Cleo was rescued.

As of this writing, the first paramedic on the scene is still in therapy.

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