* Welcome to The Big Jewel, which we'd like you to think of as your conjoined twin -- a subject about which Tess Tabak knows more than she should.

The Reason You’re In A Four Hour Rabbit Hole About Conjoined Twins Is The Same Reason You’re Still Single

By:
beccatess@gmail.com

Dear Abby,

Will I ever find true love?

Yesterday at 4:00 pm I opened an article about conjoined twins Brittany and Abby Hensel that led me down a four-hour Google search hole. Now I’m wondering why they’re engaged and I’m not. They only have one uterus. Do they? Could they give birth? Do they like reading about other conjoined twins? Do they shop at Walmart?

What should I do? 

Sincerely,

Searching

 

Dear Searching,

So let’s get this straight: you spend all of your free time obsessing over conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel.

Spoiler alert: this is why you’re still single.

Maybe if you took some of that obsessive energy and used it to better yourself, you’d be in the market for dating. Biked more, maybe. Nope, don’t even think about Googling how Abby and Brittany can ride a bicycle. (They have such linked minds, they move perfectly together even though they each can only control half of the body. Isn’t that cool?)

I think what you have to ask yourself is, are you really interested in Abby and Brittany, or are you jealous of being a conjoined twin? I mean sure, we’ve all been there. Who among us doesn’t envy the perfect, pure love that one conjoined twin has for another? But you have to learn how to keep those thoughts to yourself.

The next time you go on a date, don’t open by speculating about what Abby and Brittany are up to at that exact moment. Trust me, he’s not interested.

For the record, the following are not good First Date conversation starters:

  • If you could be conjoined twins with anyone, who would it be?
  • Do you think it would be romantic to be joined with me at the shoulder, for life?
  • Maybe marriage is a bit like meeting your own conjoined twin?

Whatever you do, DON’T show him your homemade Abby & Brittany doll. The one you made by sewing two regular baby dolls together. Yeesh.

 

Dear Abby,

My boyfriend didn’t like the special two-person sweater that I gave him last Christmas. I knit it specially for us so that I could be by his side all day, but he got this freaked out look in his eyes. He wouldn’t even ride the tandem bicycle I bought for us so that we could bike through the park and never lose sight of each other. Should I dump him? 

Conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel are engaged — what am I doing wrong?

Best,

Frustrated

 

Dear Frustrated,

Men can see through your tricks. That tandem bicycle was a screaming red flag that said, “I’m needy! Stay away from me!” You can say it’s just a joke, but he’ll know it’s not.

What you need to do is give your boyfriend some space. Maybe it would help if you developed a more normal interest. Like in those Cheng and Eng guys. Now there’s a fascinating subject. Did you know that if they were born in this day and age, they could have been separated with a simple surgical procedure? They could have led such different lives, you know? Do you think they’d give up that connection, though? I mean, imagine being right next to someone every waking second for the rest of your life.

 

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we love art and we also love a mystery. The biggest mystery is why we've never published anything by Tess Tabak before, but there's a first time for everything. Enjoy!

Gustav Klimt, Mystery Detective

By:
beccatess@gmail.com

The year was 1910. I, Gustav Klimt, mystery detective, had been minding my own business. I was preparing myself for a nice Limburger. I would eat it, yes, and then immortalize it forever upon a canvas.

It was hard work, being a great abstract painter by day and running a detective agency by night. It was hard work, and sometimes I got hungry. Hungry for justice, and also for cheese.

But to my astonishment, when I went to tempt my taste buds, the Limburger was nowhere to be found. There, in my cupboard, someone had left in its place a canvas, bearing a cubist painting of cheese. Quite amateurish, in my opinion. It lacked the flavor that an artist with my years of expertise could provide.

I searched for clues high and low, all around my offices, where I solve crime and create masterpieces. But still the cheese remained MIA. Had another painter ruthlessly stolen the fruits of my efforts?

I would start with the low ranks. I called Oskar Kokoschka, a lesser artist, in for questioning. “Oskar, did you eat my cheese?” I asked.

Kokoschka grinned playfully. “Did I eat your cheese? Or did I portray it anew, with a fresh perspective? After all, what is cheese, and what is art?”

“Don’t play coy with me, Kokoschka. Do you know who ate my cheese?”

I pressed down upon him with all the years of my superior talent. Kokoschka squealed.

“I don’t know! Ask Dali.”

I gave Kokoschka a shove. The Austrian painter disappeared into a cloud of smoke. “Ah, Oskar, you chose the wrong artist to mess with. You have been forgotten by the world while I, Gustav Klimt, am beloved by all, my art sold for millions.”

Maybe Kokoschka was onto something. Maybe he was just a moron with less talent in his whole body than I had in my pinky finger. Either way, he had given me a lead, so I followed it. I called Salvador Dali in for questioning.

“Salvador Dali. My friend, my contemporary. Did you eat my cheese?”

Dali twitched his moustache. “Did I eat your cheese? Nay. But if I had…I am imagining a fine Gouda. It’s melting, yes. Melting and covered with ants. The cheese is delicious, the ants horrifying.”

“I’m not in the mood, Dali. Do you know who ate my cheese?”

I grabbed Dali by the shoulders, forcing a yelp.

“I don’t know! Ask Pollock.”

Later that day, I paid Pollock a visit. He was busy at work on a spattered canvas.

“Jackson Pollock. Did you eat my cheese?”

Pollock looked around shifty-eyed. I decided to play good cop.

“I won’t be mad, Jackson. I just want to know. To set the record straight. Did you eat my cheese?”

“No. But I helped myself to some of your sardines.”

“They were expired.”

“I know. I threw up all over this canvas.” He gestured to the artwork in front of him. “I really like how splattery it is. I think I’m going to call it, Study with food number One hundred and fifty seven.”

I left Pollock’s quarters even more confused than I had been. Something about the whole thing seemed a bit fishy. It reeked of a cover up. What did Pollock want with my expired sardines? Why couldn’t everyone stay out of my cupboards? The questions were endless.

Just then, Picasso appeared on the scene. He was carrying a canvas covered in yellow paint, cubes of horrifying golds, saffrons and lemons.

I was furious. “Picasso, what have you done with my cheese?”

Picasso snickered evilly. “It didn’t want to be cheese any more. It wanted to be cubes. Look how the painting deconstructs your notion of what cheese is, and what cheese isn’t.”

I flung myself towards the other painter with a lunge. “I say that cheese belongs on my canvas — and covered in a delicate gold leaf — surrounded by the face of a beautiful woman.”

“Well, I say the cheese belongs in my stomach,” Picasso said.

With a yell, I leapt onto Picasso, grabbing him by the shoulders. He pulled my beard.

“You’re cheating!” I called.

“All’s fair in love and art.”

We were both distracted when Andy Warhol barged in, carrying a painting of Campbell’s Soup.

“Klimt — so like, I was at your place last night, and I was really hungry. Then I opened your cupboard, and I had this great idea for a painting. It’s kind of like, what is food, and what is art?”

I glared at Warhol.

“By the way, you’re out of soup.”

 

 

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