The Frankie Sinatra incident

By FrankSinatra-ComeFlyWithMe_LPJacket.indd

It’s Friday night, and Cedric* has just got back from a trip home. The first thing he does is begin tidying the living room, a thoughtful gesture that goes reasonably well until later on, when we’re sitting in front of the TV eating dinner. When we first moved in, the living room contained several hanging artworks of varying quality, all of which we removed when it was being repainted. I tried to hide my least favourite ones, but evidently not well enough.

Cedric strides triumphantly into the room holding an enormous picture frame. Inside the picture frame is the most hideous illustration of Frank Sinatra I have ever seen. His face is frozen in a rictus grin, his maniacally shining blue eyes follow you round the room, and the whole image glows with an otherworldly Technicolor. This picture is the stuff of nightmares.

“Hey guys!” Cedric bounds towards us like an excited puppy, “Frankie can go right here!”

He goes to hang the picture right above the fireplace. In this position, it’s as if Frankie has pride of place in a shrine to glorious 1950s consumerism, and we are his followers. It dominates the mantelpiece; in fact it dominates the entire room. There’s no way of avoiding the damn thing. Dean and I turn to each other, exchange a look of horror, and as one yell,


“But why not?” Cedric looks a bit put out, “I really like this picture!”

“We don’t, it’s creepy,” replies Dean.

“If you like it so much,” I muse, “How about we put it in your room? We can fix it to the ceiling above your bed; that way Frankie can be the first thing you see when you wake up each morning, and the last thing you see when you go to sleep at night.”

Cedric goes to find some more pictures while Dean laughs at him.

“How about this one?” he says when he returns, holding up a dreary black and white seaside scene.

“Better than Frankie,” we agree, although in my opinion it’s still a bit depressing.

Soon afterwards, Cedric returns with Frankie and a screwdriver.

“Could I put him over here by the dining table?” he asks hopefully.

I look at the picture. The picture, it seems, looks dementedly back at me. Dean and I look at each other.


Later, when Cedric has gone to hang Frankie in his room, I glare at the gloomy seaside scene in its position above the TV. It is, I feel, not representative of our household’s positive attitude, and above all it is distracting me from watching Mastermind.

Five minutes later, with a sound of tearing canvas, the picture falls off the wall and crashes onto the floor behind the TV. Its imagery was clearly so bleak and cheerless that it became suicidal and ended it all. I feel terribly guilty for not taking its mental health issues seriously enough.

“Do you think we should tell Cedric?” I ask Dean.

“That it fell off? Not a chance, he might try and put Frankie back.”

Protips for livers out this week:

  • Interior design is an important aspect of settling into your new home.
  • It might be nice to discuss it with your housemates before moving in, so that you know each other’s tastes.
  • Although let’s be honest, it isn’t my top priority, and it probably isn’t yours either. Work out everyone’s food allergies instead, because anaphylactic shock makes a much less funny anecdote.


*My housemates, because they are lovely, have allowed me to write about them on the condition that I change their names.


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