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  • My close friend and his fiancée had tried for many years to have a baby. Without success. Miscarriage plus all kind of bad luck had happened in abundance.

    It was a pay day and gentleman’s turn to pay the rent. He decided to buy a bunch of roses as a surprise. When walking to the bank my friend noticed a sign announcing Antique & Collectors Fair open in nearby building. He wandered inside and instantaneously his eyes got locked on baby. Not a real baby, but Keith Haring’s Crawling baby.

    You can see the picture of Haring’s iconic crawling baby above. Baby is that greyish-blue being on all fours on the left side of photo. The picture is part of little-known Haring’s mural in Pisa, Italy, one of his very last works. It is as good a reason to visit Pisa as the leaning tower.

    At Collectors Fair there was on sale not a picture but an inflatable, 3-dimensional, blow-up version of crawling baby. Limited edition, from the middle of 1980s, sold originally only in Haring’s Pop Shop in SoHo New York. Very rare -- and very expensive, too. It was in original box.

    My friend couldn’t get his eyes off the box. He asked dealer what’s the price. It was exact the same amount as the rent. My friend wrestled with himself a moment, and then he used the rent money to buy the baby.

    He had still few coins left. Enough for one pink rose. He rushed with it and the baby to home, the fiancée was still at work. He phoned to the woman and asked her to come home immediately, he would have a surprise without equal. Then my friend took all his clothes off, switched off all the lights and dived into bed. When he heard steps in stairs, he took a deep breath, sealed his lips and blew up the crawling baby like a balloon (it had a blow hole in the middle of buttocks). He put the baby on a side table. After this he just waited with the pink rose between his teeth. The front door opened.

    - Welcome, honey! he called from the bed.
    - Why is it so dark here? woman answered.
    - Don’t worry, my Aphrodite. Take all your clothes off! Then come here.

    The woman tiptoed naked in and sat on mattress. My friend gave her a kiss and a rose with it and started to make a speech. He told that he knew how much she wanted a baby but he had now solved the painful problem. My friend lit up a candle.

    - I have solved everything. We have a baby now, my friend said joyously. – In the future we can concentrate in loving each other and live happily hereafter. My first and only one. Let’s now make love like rabbits on speed!

    The fiancée stared incredulously at side table. She asked tensely if the man had spent the rent money for inflatable rubber toy. My friend calmed the woman by explaining patiently how extremely rare the baby was, not some rubber toy but Real Artefact, Terrific Buy, besides it suited perfectly to artistic family. He started cuddling her.

    - What the fuck is that noise? she interrupted.
    - What noise?
    - Hissing noise.

    When they looked at the baby, it deflated slowly under their staring eyes.

    During the next 50 seconds the fiancée threw my friend out of the apartment with the ameba-like rubber bundle and shouted that if he wished ever to come back, he should return the baby to the darkest caves of Rubber Hell it belonged and pay the rent.

    So my friend walked a long way uphill to Antique & Collectors Fair and tried to return the baby. The dealer didn’t accept it back.

    - You have to. It has a hole in the ass, my friend explained.
    - Of course it has an asshole, the dealer got angry. - You blow it up through it.
    - There’s a second asshole, my friend murmured.
    - Beat it you asshole, the dealer yelled. – Or I beat you.

    To cut short the jeremiad of numerous insults and pleadings: After twenty minutes my friend prayed on his knees on the stone floor, and the dealer threw wrinkled bills on him. They had about 150 persons audience around them at that time.

    Ten years later my friend and his fiancée are still together. Still in love. But they have no baby. It is their seventh year in adoption line. I hope they succeed this year.
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