Creative License to Kill

I hated that painting. The one on the left wall. It was so cliché, and every time I passed it, I wanted it gone. A rage came up in the pit of my stomach as I imagined the oils of the painting smearing and melting as its canvas slowly peeled off from the frame corner by corner. The longer I stared at the awful painting, the more ways I invented to destroy it.

A jackhammer.

A backhoe.

Matches could work.

A steak knife.

A hungry pit-bull.

I could even try throwing it so hard that it landed in the bowels of the arctic tundra and disappeared forever.

My hate grew stronger with every passing glance at the thing, but I could never tell anyone about it. That would ruin my dastardly plan to destroy it! I would be the only single person with known motive to murder the so-called work of art; I had to figure out its weakness, and then when it was least expecting it, make a surprise attack.

Among all of this planning something occurred to me; why did I hate the stupid painting so much? It was the colors, the concept, the perspective…it was all just wrong. Totally wrong in my eyes.

But that’s when it hit me: both the idea and the backhoe I had not so intelligently left running without the brake. It was only wrong in my eyes. Who was I to critique a fifty year old painting when I knew nothing about art? (The medical bills from the backhoe accident also helped me come to this conclusion.)

So I just watched it hang there and occasionally gave it a glance. I just couldn’t bring myself to destroy it, so I returned the jackhammer to the construction site that had unknowingly let me borrow it, and I finally fed Sparky, my pit-bull. What if, by chance, some nutball found worth or beauty in the loathsome picture? It was just going to have to stay on the wall.


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