The Rug

by Daniel Harris

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Marge bought the rug on-line. It was cheap, but she thought it would be perfect for the small hallway between the living room and the dining room.

Chuck unpacked it and flattened it. After some discussion it was placed in that hallway.

—It doesn't look like it did in the ad, said Marge.

—Yeah, you have to look at those catalogs carefully. We probably should have bought it locally.

—Well, I hate to bother you. I made the decision myself. I thought it was redder, not so coppery.

—Marge, let's see how it looks in the late afternoon.


The both agreed that it looked better when the sun came at a low angle through the French doors.


—Maybe we should keep it, said Chuck.

—I don't know. I'll sleep on it and see how it looks tomorrow. I think I should send it back.


Since Chuck was a big snorer, he slept upstairs in the former kids' bedroom.

About four in the morning he heard the cat vomiting.

He came downstairs went in the kitchen took the kitchen wastebasket and a roll of paper towels and went to look for the cat vomit. He knew it had to be on the new rug.

That cat sat with a guilty look next to a long fur-ball on the new rug. The liquid from the fur-ball had seeped into the new carpet.


Chuck was having his morning coffee when Marge came into the kitchen in her housecoat.


—We own the rug, said Chuck.

—What do you mean?

—The cat vomited on it last night. I cleaned it up, but there is a little stain I couldn't lift.

—I just walked over it and decided to send it back.

—Too late, now.


The cat rubbed against his leg purring.