Summer Camp: Stendhal Strikes the Stuffies

Felicity: What do you think, Counselor Cathy? Are we ready?

CT: Oh, Felicity! I think you’re beyond ready! What a marvelous exhibit! Look how carefully you’ve hung every picture!

Felicity: And Joel helped me install the lights over every canvas so that our evening guests can still see the paintings and drawings.

CT: Do you have a favorite?

Felicity: I like that one of me, but even more, I like this one of Dillan walking. I like how strong and happy he looks.

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CT: Jordan! Thanks so much for coming before the first showing. We really want your feedback on the exhibit as a whole.

Jordan: It looks really well-conceived. Joel? What do you think? Do you agree?

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Dillan: That painting of me makes me feel shy.

Jordan: Why’s that, Dillan? You look like you own the world!

Joel: Plus, you’re wearing red! Just like me!

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Jordan: Red’s the color of royalty!

Dillan: Heh-heh. Ok. What’s your favorite painting or drawing, Jordan?

Jordan: I love that black rabbit. Great composition, and brilliant use of macaroni.

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Dillan: So this side of the wall is even better, don’t you think, Jordan? It’s got all my sister’s photos.

Jordan: They really show a unique view of the world.

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CT: So Jordan, what do you think? Are we ready for the guests?

Jordan: I think so. It’s a pretty powerful exhibit, actually.

CT: But not too powerful, right? We won’t be inducing Stendhal syndrome, will we?

Jordan: I’m not so sure of that. Some of those paintings and drawings are pretty moving. I can feel my heart beating a little fast already. I’m sure if you just keep the viewers moving, though, you’ll be just fine.

CT

Felicity: Green Dino! You and your cousin stuffies are the guests of honor! Are you ready? The premiere gala for stuffies opens in one hour!

Green Dino: We’ll be there, right Red?

Red Dino: Right. Just let us catch a few more Zzzz’s and we’ll be all rested up for the big opening.

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Felicity: I can’t believe the opening is actually here. We’ve worked so hard for so long! All those bottles of paint. All those boxes of macaroni! All those sprinkles.

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Dillan: Oh, boy. This is the big day. The moment of truth. The chance for us to know if our vision reaches the souls of the viewers.

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CT: Dillan, congratulations! You did it! Your big idea for an art show! Here it is! You really pulled it off!

Dillan: Thank you, CT! I couldn’t have done it without your paintings! And all the other kids! We couldn’t have done it without their drawings! And Felicity! We couldn’t have done it without her curating. And Joel! We couldn’t have done it without his cupcakes.

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Felicity: So, I just want you to remember: Don’t stare for too long at any one picture or photo, and remember to blink and look away from the wall sometimes, ok?

Blue Dino: You got it, boss. Movie it, blink, look away. Roger Wilco!

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Mr. Big-Gnome: Ah, excuse me, Mr. Blue Dino, but you seem to be facing the wrong way.

Blue Dino: No. No, I’m not. You see I haven’t had supper yet, and did you see that horse? All covered with macaroni! It’s enough to make any dino’s stomach growl!

Mr. Big-Gnome: But I thought you were already stuffed.

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Old Wild-eye Gnome: Holy macaroly! That painting is so life-like I expect to see young Dillan walk right out of the canvas!

Little Green-Man: Awast, ye vild and magical cursed beings! Back into the canwas vith ye!

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Little Pink Bun: I’ve seen better. I’ve seen worse. Now nothing compares to the great exhibition of ought two. You want to talk macaroni? Why there was enough macaroni on those canvases to feed a platoon! In fact, that’s just what we did. Why, the whole platoon arrived, hungrier than dogs, so we just whipped out the kettles, boiled up the canvases, and we were feasting on blue macaroni and cheese for weeks, with a generous helping of sprinkles on the side.

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Mrs. Bear: Oh, my. I don’t think I can blink. The beauty. The beauty!

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Felicity: Did somebody say, “beauty?” Oh! Mrs. Bear! You don’t look so hot!

Mrs. Bear: I’m sure if I could close my eyes, I would be just fine. But I can’t seem to blink.

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Felicity: Ok, just relax. Just relax! How many fingers am I holding up?

Mrs. Bear: Oh, the miracle! Each finger a tiny miracle of nature! Oh! The beauty! The beauty!

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Felicity: Look! It’s me! Can you see me? I’m standing right in front of you!

Mrs. Bear: Oh, my heart! It’s beating so fast! Look! Look at that painting! Look all around you! Oh! The universe! The beauty! The beauty!

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Felicity: Oh, boy. She’s got it bad. Our first official case.

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CT: What’s up, Felicity? Everything ok?

Felicity: No. I’m afraid not. It’s Dillan’s macaroni. It’s just too powerful. The beauty has positively overwhelmed poor Mrs. Bear. I’m afraid she’s contracted Stendhal syndrome. And it appears to be very bad. A very bad case, indeed.

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Dillan: Uh, don’t blame me! There’s a lot more beautiful things on that wall than my use of macaroni!

CT: Well, don’t worry, Felicity! A case of Stendhal syndrome isn’t the end of the world! After all, I’ve lived with recurring Stendhal from early childhood, and I’ve led a productive, well-adjusted life!

Dillan: She’s also standing here talking with two kids and a stuffed bear!

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Felicity: Just relax, Mrs. Bear. We’ll take care of you. Your little stuffed heart will settle down in no time! Now just try to shut your eyes for me, ok?

CT: The best cure is to move her somewhere out of the way, where her sensitive nerves won’t receive more stimulation.

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Felicity: This should do it! Way back here behind the tent. Can we try boring her? I’ve got some really boring math homework.

CT: No, I’m afraid in this state, that won’t help. The language of mathematics will just be interpreted as yet another symbol of the aesthetic perfection of the world! Fibonacci, and all.

Felicity: I’m sorry, Mrs. Bear. I’d try singing off-key, but I’m afraid that you would find perfection in my imperfection! You’re just going to have to sit here behind this tent while your over-sensitized neurons calm down. Don’t worry! I’ll stay here to keep you company.

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Mrs. Bear: I’m afraid to look–but can you tell me, are there any clouds in the sky?

Felicity: Oh, yes! Lots of fluffy ones!

Mrs. Bear: Are there any that look like llamas or like freezer bunnies?

Felicity: Yes! I see two llamas and one freezer bunny!

Mrs. Bear: Oh! My heart! The perfection! The beauty! The beauty!

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Felicity: I guess you’re right, Mrs. Bear. Everywhere I look, I see something amazingly beautiful! You know, there just might not be a cure for you, not on this beautiful planet. But you know what? You can be like the beauty ambassador! Through you, we’ll be able to notice all the beauty around us that we might otherwise miss!

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Mrs. Bear: It is indeed a heavy cross, but it is one I bear with a brave heart! I shall be the ambassador of beauty! Oh, lor-ay! Vadish, vadish!

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