"Um... excuse me?"
I had just played a trick on Christian by pretending the doctor advised me to abstain from all sexual activity for the rest of my life.
"Gotcha!" I repeated. "You know, 'got,' as in 'to get,' and 'cha,' as in 'there is no such word.'"
"Ah, yes. 'Gotcha.' How quaint."
"I just played a trick on you, Christian."
"And was it funny?"
"It was very funny."
"I suppose it deserves some sort of a response. Will laughter suffice? Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"
Christian's laughter sounds like a robot's mechanical cackle being filtered through my voicemail. It stops as suddenly as it began.
"Excellent joke, Miss Steele," Christian tells me, and pats me on the back like an old friend.
"Well, what do we do now?" I ask Christian. "The doctor's given me three out of four stars, and I'm ready for anything."
Christian comes close.
"You know what I would really like to do?" he asks me, putting his nose on the nape of my neck and inhaling like he's snorting a line off a stripper's...
I shake my head, hitting him on his nose with my chin.
I squirm in antici...PAYshun in my seat.
"Are you talking about..."
"No, I mean..."
Christian quickly draws back, looking offended.
"Good heavens, no!" he says. "What do you think I am? A heathen?" He rubs his nose tenderly in disgust. "Consider this your first lesson in love my dear. I'm going to sit down and indulge myself in a sumptuous meal, and you're going to watch."
My subconscious feigns fainting to the floor, weak with hunger.
"Just watch?" I ask.
"Yes," he answers.
I look at Christian hungrily, I mean, skeptically.
"Don't worry," he tells me. "It'll be good for you. Have you ever made love on an empty stomach? Well, it's the cat's pajamas."
"The bee's knees?"
"I don't understand."
"You don't have to. Just shut up and let me eat."
And that's exactly what I do. I sit there and watch him slowly ingest every delectable morsel. He holds up a bottle of wine.
"Chablis?" he offers.
"Well, you can't have any," he says, his voice soft. "Salad?"
"Yes," I say.
"Well, you can't have any of that, either."
"Christian?" I ask.
"Yes, my love?" he says between bites.
"Why didn't you just pay the doctor and be done with it?" I ask him.
"What? And lose all that interest?" Christian replies. "So tell me, what method of birth control did you opt for?"
"The morning-after pill. Only, I'll take it the day before just to be safe."
He pushes himself away from the table and walks over to me, taking me in his arms.
"So, um, are we going to do it?" my enquiring mind wants to know.
"You know, 'it,' as in 'the stuff we are going to do.'"
"First things first, my dear. Besides the contract, which you've yet to sign, I have to make sure you're physically up to having sex with me."
Again, I shake my head in bewilderment.
"Uh," I say.
"Walk this way, Ana," he tells me, and pirouettes like a ballerina.
I start to follow, and Christian stops me sternly.
"No! I said, walk this way," he tells me, and repeats his graceful pirouette.
So I do. I pirouette as gracefully as I can. Once I pick myself up off the floor, he leads me to another room. This room is huge, and, looking around, I see it's some kind of an obstacle course.
"What is it?" I ask him.
"An obstacle course," he tells me.
"I don't understand."
"Well," he says, and then pauses, trying to find just the right words, "it's a course... with obstacles."
"It's really ingenious. I've designed it so that men and women can complete equally against each other."
"Men and women can't compete equally. That's impossible."
"The impossible is always probable, and the probable is always possible. So yes, dear Ana, it is possible."
He walks me to the starting line, and pulls a spatula out of his back pocket.
"Do you want to do this?" he breathes, looking down on me intently and waving his kitchen utensil back and forth in a swatting motion.
"No," I say.
"I mean, yes."
"I mean, no."
"I mean, yes."
"I mean... I don't know."
"You don't no? In that case, you do yes."
"I do, yes, but I don't know, as in, how."
"Here, let me show you," he says, and...
...he hits me on my rump with the spatula, and I immediately jump forward.
"Run, Ana! Run! You can do it."
Encouraged by his encouragement, I run to the first obstacle, a six-foot wall. Christian is right behind me.
"Jump, Ana, jump! You're supposed to jump over it," he says, and...
...he hits me with the spatula again.
I jump over the wall, and make my way to the second obstacle. It's an 8' x 10' area rug. There's a vacuum, plugged in and ready to go. Wow, another Nimbus. Is there no end to the thousand series? I grab it, quickly turn it on, and have that rug vacuumed up in a jiffy.
Another smack on my behind tells me I'm done and can proceed to the next obstacle, ten tires placed side-by-side. The idea is for me to run over them as fast as I can, first placing one foot in one, and then my other foot in the other, until I've made it all the way to the end.
WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!
Christian encourages me some more. It's tough, it takes a lot of precision, but I make my way through the obstacle, tripping on the tires only fifteen times.
At the next obstacle, I find a washing machine and a dryer. Apparently, I'm supposed to do some laundry.
"Do you know what the nice thing is about a washing machine?" Christian yells in my direction. "It doesn't follow you around after you've dropped a load in it."
I'm off to the next obstacle. A ten-foot long plastic tube, about three feet high. I'm supposed to quickly crawl through it. Heck, I don't even know if I can fit. My inner goddess makes the international sign for morbidly obese.
Somehow, I make it through the tunnel. I feel victorious, like the whale at the end of Free Willie.
Another whack on my behind let's me know to run to the next obstacle. It's an iron on an ironing board, the load of laundry I've just done at the foot. I wonder how it got there, and then I see Doobie standing next to it smoking one of his herbal cigarettes.
"I'm ironing! I'm ironing!"
The final obstacle has me running up a long ramp, and then rappelling down the other side into a giant plastic kiddie pool full of mud, where I was expected to wrestle a skinny Miley Cyrus in a bikini.
Jeez, Miley, eat a cookie.
I did it! I did it! I beat Miley Cyrus!
It was easy, really. When she stuck her tongue out of the side of her mouth, I just grabbed it and pulled her under the mud.
I jumped out of the kiddie pool and ran to go hug Christian.
"I won, Christian! I really won!"
He scoops me up and carries me curled against his chest to the room where Dr. Bombay examined me earlier. I'm exhausted. I had never done laundry before.
"Are we going to bed now, Christian?"
"Well, I am, Ana. While you, YOU need a bath."
And before I can make a facetious comment, he drops me in the tub, getting my barney google all wet.
You know, 'wet,' as in 'but not in the fun way.'"
Fifty Shades of Funny