“The Great Reveal” / Memorable Fancies #4061

[“There is disrespect in setting up a dead man’s effigy and then not unveiling it.” – Max Beerbohm]

       The statue was set up several years ago in the capital, veiled in dark cloth and surrounded by a sturdy fence. A grand unveiling date was announced, then postponed once, twice, then “indefinitely.”

       We citizens tried to guess whom the statue represented: a former president? A hero reported dead in one of our wars but then found alive, too late because the statue had already been cast? A plutocrat who’d paid for his own image to be raised, grim dollars in his outstretched hand?

       But then there would be no reason to keep it hidden, under wraps but not taken down, confined to storage, or broken up for paving stones.

       One day, a man distracted the guards by feigning a medical emergency, and while he was being tended to, a friend (let’s call her Giselle), climbed over the fence, ran to the statue, tore off its veil, and then escaped before the guards, after telling feigning-man to “cut the shit” (that’s a technical term) had abandoned him writhing and clutching at his heart.

       The guards hurriedly re-covered the statue.

       Later, Giselle told her friend that she’d seen the face of the statue, but didn’t recognize it. She drew a fair likeness of his face in charcoal, but no one else recognized it, either.

       Meanwhile, the guards were also asked, by their curious wives, about the statue and who it honored. Shrugging, the guards admitted they hadn’t recognized the face of the statue as being anyone in particular.

       The daring adventure of the Great Reveal was forgotten, and eventually the statue was hauled away and broken up for paving stones. The workers who demolished it got a good look at its face. “Who the hell’s that?” one asked another. “Dunno,” the another replied, “dunno. Could be anybody,” he said. “”Everybody.”

  >> “books Terence Kuch” on Google or Amazon will lead you to more writing from a naturally curly mind <<

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