T-Rex and Triceratops lounged in their new IKEA armchairs, sipping warm herbal tea and admiring the stars.
The dinosaurs had purchased the chairs as a holiday gift to themselves. The chairs had a trendy name, but the dinosaurs were incapable of pronouncing it. Triceratops’s lips were not suited to the complicated Swedish furniture-word. T-Rex didn’t even try.
In addition to their utter unpronouncability, the IKEA armchairs had two primary attributes:
- They were ugly;
- They were uncomfortable.
The dinosaurs rationalized the purchase thus:
- They were cheap;
- The unnatural Swedish “leather” was supposedly impervious to stains.
The latter reasons outweighed the former attributes because the dinosaurs were attempting to raise a human offspring, as well as a slobberbeast puppy. Both were messy. T-Rex wanted to simplify her housework with easy-to-clean furniture, while Triceratops wanted to save money when they would, inevitably, have to replace the chairs.
The dinosaurs both squirmed, contorting their stiff middle-aged bodies into surprising positions in hopes of achieving some level of comfort.
T-Rex turned sideways, leaning against the armrest. She settled in and sighed, then reached for her cup. “This new tea is fragrant.”
“Mmm,” Triceratops agreed. He pushed into the corner of his chair, slunching down to rest his pointy head against the ridiculously short seat back.
T-Rex groaned and retrieved two pillows from the couch, handing one to Triceratops. She eased back into her chair with the pillow behind her. After bit more jostling, she finally relaxed. “I quite enjoyed this holiday,” she said.
“It was fine.” Triceratops mashed his pillow into place. “But I’m glad it’s almost over.”
Unbeknownst to the elder dinosaurs, their offspring was sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last piece of pumpkin pie. He hunkered behind the cabinet, chewing quietly while eavesdropping on his parents. Pumpkin custard slopped onto the floor.
“I believe our new armchairs are not perfect,” Triceratops said.
T-Rex nodded. “My joints are too old for this modern furniture.”
“At least the offspring seems pleased with his holiday gifts.”
“Especially that video doodad. What’s it called?”
From his hiding place, the offspring rolled his eyes.
“Um. Is it a Twitch?” T-Rex asked.
“I don’t think so. Snitch?”
The offspring, still hidden behind the kitchen cabinet, gaped and shook his head.
“That doesn’t sound right.” T-Rex’s face scrunched as she tried to remember what the doodad’s box looked like. “Maybe it’s a Snatch?”
Triceratops snorted, but his response was interrupted.
“Oh my god!” the offspring bellowed as he stomped from behind the kitchen counter, waving his arms. “You two can’t remember anything. It’s a Switch! Augh.” He tramped back to his room, raving about how he was probably going to die from parent-induced embarrassment. Bits of pie crust scattered around him with each exclamation. The slobberbeast followed, licking up the crumbs and leaving a trail of sticky drool in his wake.
The dinosaurs waited for the melodrama to subside, then resumed their conversation.
“He’s extremely emotional.”
“He’s at that age.”
“I understand middle-school offspring are often embarrassed by their dinosaur parents.”
“Well then, I guess we’re doing it right.”
“Mmm. Our parenting is adequate. We should have a reward.”
“I agree. Let’s return these unpronounceable chairs to IKEA tomorrow.”
The dinosaur parents took their pillows and moved to the floor. They snuggled, and savored their holiday tea, satisfied in their place under the shooting stars.