the fatracks and fensterblaus

Sheldn  Fatrack and Ralph Fensterblau, both long-time employees at the Acme Gadget Company, decided on day to have a bit of a party to introduce their wives, Mabel and Harriet, to each other. It struck them as quite a nice idea at the time.  What they didn’t know, though, was that quite a strange surprise awaited them all. The party was at Sheldn’s and Mabel’s house in Lindenhurst.  The Fensterblaus got into their car to make the five minute drive from Copiague, little suspecting that they were about to stumble upon a precise replica of their home. Their acquaintances’ house, like theirs,  was a brown and white low ranch, with a 75′ by 100′ yard.  The inside had exactly the same paint and decorations, the same television set, basement and attic. There was even the same novelty picture, in their basement, of an overweight naked redneck couple.

“Harriet, honey,” whispered Ralph, “Do you see what I see? Something’s awfully seriously wrong around here.”

All Harriet could say was a simple “Be quiet and pretend not to have noticed anything. Maybe we’ve just walked into another dimension again.”

Throughout the entire afternoon and evening they wandered about this exact duplicate of their own lives, checking out the same books on the same shelves, the same food in the same refrigerator.  After a while they even started enjoying it in some offbeat way. They casually let the Fatracks give them a guided tour of the house, pretending never to have seen any of it before. They asked how many bathrooms and bedrooms there were, and all sorts of other typical questions, knowing perfectly well what the answers would be. All the while they made references to old television shows like “The Outer Limits”, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Twilight Zone” without giving their hosts the satisfaction of an explanation. In the end they all had such a nice time.  Of course they’ve never recuperated from the shock but at least they know that perhaps due to some clerical error in the functioning of the universe, they don’t have to say that there’s absolutely no place whatsoever like home.


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