An Argument against Eclecticism

A bit of whimsy

An Argument against Eclecticism

Theodore P. Druch


“Help!” cried the silver teaspoon. “Can somebody please help me?”

A babble of sounds followed this forlorn plea as the rest of the furnishings responded to the obviously heartfelt supplication.

“Well, do stop going on shouting, and tell us where you are and what ever is the matter?

The matronly Victorian tones of the sofa always seemed to have a calming effect, and the hub-bub soon died down.

“Oui, s'il vous plait.

The seductive notes of the elegant French end-table were the next to be heard clearly, and they were full of concern.

Où êtes-vous?  Vhere are you?”

“I’m here, under the coffee table.”

“That’s impossible.” rang out the booming laugh of the solid oak tree trunk that had been cleverly fashioned into a table. “I go all the way to the floor, remember. It took three men just to carry me in here, so how can you be under me?”

“I don’t know. Just lucky, I guess. There’s some kind of space between you and the floor right here, and I seem to have become lodged in it.”

“Vell, you needn’t vorry so very vehemently, und shtop vining.” clucked the Cuckoo clock. “In exactly eight hours, tventy minutes und fifteen zeconds,  Madam vill be coming in to clean up after ze party, vich lasted, by ze vay, four hours, forty tree minutes, und ten zeconds, ven dat awful Harriet Vilson finally ztumbled out ze door, betrunken, as usual.”

“Might I be allowed to point out the obvious flaw in your argument.”

This was from the elegantly carved Israeli olive-wood tripod.

“As our friend, the coffee table has pointed out, he is too large to be easily moved, so it would seem that, if the teaspoon is as hidden as he claims, he will go unnoticed.”

“That’s just like you.” piped up the brass Arab coffeepot, ensconced by geographic proximity on the top of the Israeli tripod. “Always throwing roadblocks in the way of finding a solution.”

“Well, if you would get off my back and get down here on the table with me, maybe we could work it out, but I ask you if you can seriously dispute the facts.”

“Gentlemen, gentlemen.” expostulated the American walnut sideboard. “This is no time for petty arguments and name-calling. We are faced with a serious problem, and we must deal seriously with it. This is no time for partisan squabbling.

“Hear, hear.” echoed the twin Greek lamps on the end-tables.

“As much as I hate to admit it,” grumbled the Turkish rug, “and as rare as it is, the Zionist tripod speaks the truth.”

“And what would you know about truth?” shouted the Armenian tapestry.

At this, the room broke again into an uproar, and even the Victorian sofa could not calm things down.

The Irish porcelain statuettes began arguing with the English oak bookcase, and the bagpipe hanging from a hook in the hallway bellowed his own complaints. The rock brought from Gibraltar did not remain silent either, and the bookcase was having trouble shouting down his opponents.

At the other end of the room, the Italian banquette, was having it out with the early American love seat about the equality of female furniture, and whether or not it was simply to be used for sexual pleasure alone. To be fair, the love seat was in a high state of excitation having hosted the amorous gropings of a pair of intoxicated lovers, neither of which was married to the other.

“You are not the only one who can complain, my dear.” huffed the sofa. “Their spouses were doing it on me. How utterly shameless. How intolerably uncouth.”

“Oh, stuff it, bitch.” yelled the African ebony lamp table. “Look at you, you’re about to come apart at the seams. They should have gotten rid of you a long time ago, and brought in one of them hip, young things from Scandinavia. Yeah, one of them ash blondes with leather cushions and all slung back. She wouldn’t mind giving ‘em a ride.

“Hmph.” rejoined the sofa. “Nowhere near as comfortable, I’m sure.”

The books in the bookshelf got into it too, but in a decidedly more intellectual fashion, though they tended to be as loud, if not as violent. Moby Dick was in a particularly ugly row with the Greenpeace Handbook, when The Old Man and the Sea erupted in fury at The Compleat Angler.

“You call that fishing?’ He was heard to shout.

Das Kapital was shouting at The Great Gatsby, while Atlas Shrugged tossed in some zingers towards Das Kapital. The Feminine Mystique was having a go at it with Fanny Hill, and Gone with the Wind was in a heated discussion with Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

The uproar was continuing unabated, when suddenly, the lights went on and Madam was looking into the room.

“What’s happening?”

That was Sir’s voice coming from the bedroom.

“Oh, nothing. I just thought I heard some noise in here, but there’s only the furniture.”

The lights went out again.


“Help?” cried the silver teaspoon.