Response to a private challenge; the elements included a rutabaga, a clutch of chicks, a sawed-off shotgun, and Sara and Brass in a non-work situation, as well as the quotes "Please tell me that's not real" and "You're comparing apples and oranges".

"Please tell me that’s not real,” Sara muttered under her breath. Next to her, Brass gave a mournful shake of his head, and then checked the glossy art museum guide in his hand. He read out loud.

“Chicks and Guns: the American Wet Dream, in plaster, wood and decoupage, by some bozo who calls himself A. Radiant Fury. More like A. Waste of Time.”

Sara was busy looking at the exhibit, shaking her head. On a huge brick base, a clutch of alarmingly realistic baby chicks were clustered around a sawed-off shotgun, aiming it skyward. Several were poised on the trigger, and a few were clinging to the metal barrel, looking cute and fluffy. She reached out a finger to touch one.

“Amazingly lifelike. You know, I never got into art in college the first time, but since working as a CSI, especially the nightshift, my perspective on individual perspective has really changed. I almost understand this piece.”

Brass circled around it, sighing.

“This is NOT art, Sara. At best it’s a stunningly bad pun this guy’s passing off as some great insight. Come on--Give me something by Renoir, Vermeer, Mondrian—THAT’S art.”

“You’re comparing apples and oranges. Art is a matter of viewpoint as filtered through an artist’s experiences and talent, presented in some medium that conveys his vision to the world,” Sara intoned. Brass winced a little, checking the guide once more.

“By definition maybe, but come on! You gonna fork over twenty grand for a playdoh hog leg and some plastic mini hens? Honest to God, Sara, if I’d been naming this, it would be Revenge of the KFC Bucket.”

She laughed, loudly, earning several disapproving looks from other people in the gallery; Brass shot her a smirk and guided her out to another alcove while she tried to stop giggling, with limited success.

“Hey, get serious! We’ve got three other pieces to check out if we want an A for the class,” he chided, lightly. It was fun seeing Sara in a buoyant mood, and Brass once again marveled at how lucky he’d been in talking her into the community college course with him. Sara looked up and sucked in a breath. Beside her, Brass glanced at what had stunned her and blinked himself.

“Oh God, that’s . . .” she couldn’t finish, and stood rocking on the balls of her feet for a moment. Brass winced.

“Nature’s Lust, it’s called. Boy, someone’s dealing with self-esteem issues there.”

“You know,” Sara began slowly, “Suddenly I think I’m will you on that art thing. Rubens or Titian or Degas . . . none of them would ever glue a rutabaga . . .”

“ . . . To portray their, ah, masculinity in three dee, no. On the other hand,” Brass paused, and grinned at Sara.

“ . . . It’s kind of nice to see something—freshin art.”

She hit him with her museum guide.


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