Christmas Party

The hostess knew she’d be in trouble as soon as they arrived and couldn’t get past discussing the weather. Shirley & Frank both moaned about it at length, mostly making disapproving sounds. Someone genially mentioned a prediction from Farmer’s Almanac. Shirley, her imagination already tapped out, quickly agreed, “those Farmers must know what they’re talking about”. This drab inanity was followed by a minute’s dead silence, then Frank, a loud talker, piped-in that weather forecasting costs taxpayers a fortune and they always get it wrong.

Smiling weakly, the hostess offered delightful cheese appetizers. Shirley launched into a tone-deaf dairy intolerance diatribe, confessed her forbidden love of Velveeta, and then wittered on about her late Mother’s phlebitis and dislike of Gouda. She believed this fascinating but, looking back, Shirley once gave a twenty-minute-long spiel about the sucking power of her new Hoover at an ash scattering ceremony. Frank erupted about the price of cheese. It’s a conspiracy! Eyes squinting like Clint Eastwood he lowered his voice and growled, “they’ll get you one way or the other”.

The hostess, despairing, winced in discomfort and mentioned her wonderful time in Paris. PARIS? Don’t they all insist on speaking FRENCH over there? You can’t even turn the can of soup around to find the English side. Plus, we heard their toilets are weird. Bet the hotels are pricey. Did we ever tell you about our RV?

Winnebago with Bike

An hour later, after RV ownership benefits and pitfalls had been presented in mind-numbing detail, the party had been reduced to congealed dreariness. Several guests departed prematurely, including Mrs Fitzwilliam who although quite deaf mumbled on the way out that, regrettably, she could still read lips. The hostess, now utterly despondent, feigned a headache and bade everyone good night. She had considered faking a heart attack but Frank had already mentioned how expensive his First Aid course had been. 

On the way to the car he complained, “What a cheapskate! Tiny portions. And to think we came all the way out here with gas prices being what they are!”

“Yes dear.” Replied Shirley. “And it’s supposed to rain tomorrow…”

The Old Couple


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