Evelyn Johnson strolled down 34th Street, hand in hand with her on-off boyfriend of the past three years. Bernard had moved out the previous September, when his work offered him a hundred percent raise, a company car and dental insurance. Over the course of Bernard’s ten month residence and Evelyn’s three visits, neither of them had become accustomed to the square, building-block town layout, and, not being good with numbers, they both found navigation around New York to be a problem.
Evelyn admired her boyfriend’s newly-shiny pearly whites and wondered how to break the news to him: she had recently been diagnosed with a severe phobia of the final letter of the alphabet and would no longer be able to relocate in the new year. She fully expected this to be the final nail in the metaphorical coffin she felt the relationship had become.
Admiring the reflection of his newly-shiny pearly whites in Evelyn’s sunglasses, Bernard wondered how to break the news: he’d secretly arranged a permanent visa for her, flown out her friends and family, and was walking her to their surprise wedding – he couldn’t bear any more time apart and was sure that she’d be delighted.
Being a fairly traditional kind of guy, he reckoned he’d better propose to her first.
Shortly after crossing 5th Avenue, he pretended his shoe laces were undone and stealthily dropped to one knee. So stealthily in fact that Evelyn didn’t notice. More subterfuge was called for: “Hey! Evie! Help me up, I think I put my back out.”
Evelyn turned around, just in time to see a gold blur in the place of her would-be fiancée.
Liberace’s concert was rescheduled, and his lawyers obtained a super-injunction preventing any reporting of a solid golden Steinway even being anywhere near the Empire State Building, let alone its falling from a badly secured winch and crushing Bernie Rollins to death.
However, due an oversight that later cost the lawyers their contract, the following day’s New York Times front page headline screamed, “Lady Tourist Killed by Falling Stool!”