I have been hard at work with some of my corporate clients at the advertising agency recently, and as we move toward the climax of summer some are organising their company parties and corporate retreats.
Naturally I get to be invited to many of these, both as a part of the client’s team, but also as I am generally advising the organising committees for such events. Since the Covid situation is receding I have seen many new faces on these committees, and I’ve been asked to sit on several of them.
So it was that I happened to be asked to attend a costumed event recently, and was asked to bring one or two friends to add color and vibrancy to the situation.
Now, as you likely know, I am very introverted and shy at heart, however I decided to throw myself into the process. This challenges my natural humility and desire to be modest.
After finding the perfect costume, I decided to go a little retro and go as Xena Warrior Princess. I have always liked that look, and like Xena consider myself something of a problem solver. It’s just the kind of gurl I am. As Sylvester, Ali, Max and I prepared for the party and got into our costumes Max’s mother, Marjorie, came over to see what all the excitement was about.
“Hello, Marjorie,” I said as she wandered into my kitchen. “We’re almost ready.”
“So, I can see,” she replied eyeing my breast plate. “And Max is doing a wonderful job of buffing up the gleaming brass of that breast plate.”
“He’s been most helpful,” I replied. Max was rubbing away vigorously at the brass.
“Wouldn’t it have been easier if you’d taken it off first?” asked Marjorie.
“Oh, no,” I replied. “What with Max so hard at work…”
At that moment Ali, who you may remember looks after my garden, came in dressed in a set of Klan robes.
“Ali,” I said. “Are you sure that’s entirely appropriate? There might be Americans at the party.”
I was seized by a rather good idea, and said, “Perhaps we should all go out and stand on the front lawn. Marjorie could take a photograph of us from the landing upstairs. That window overlooks the garden and the picture will be lovely with the roses in the background.”
Marjorie agreed and went up the stairs. A moment later she called down to say she couldn’t get the window open, and that she needed a little help. The window seemed blocked by something from the outside.
“Don’t worry,” cried Ali. “I’ll get a ladder and clear it up.” With that, and a flurry of robes, Ali disappeared to get a ladder.
Now the reason I explain all this is simple enough. You can imagine the scene when I was then standing on the front lawn, along with Sylvester dressed like a warrior from Middle Earth, about to go on a quest, Max as a Viking, and all of us staring up a ladder at Ali dressed as a KKK klansman, complete with hood, trying to open the upstairs window of my house on a sunny midweek afternoon.
As the sun glinted off my breastplate, we heard the silent hum of Amanda, my wife’s appalling friend, arriving in her Prius to visit with Marjorie, with whom you may remember she is in a torrid lesbian relationship. I will not go into detail.
With the unmistakable sound of tweed rustling Amanda stepped from her car, open mouthed, and said “What on earth’s going on here?”
“Ali’s taking care of a blockage,” I said helpfully, and stared up the ladder. Amanda followed my gaze.
“That’s Ali? I thought you’d finally upset the wrong people,” murmured Amanda with her usual distaste for everyone around her.
Ali’s voice drifted down, “Marjorie’s Areolas are coming out beautifully this year. I’ve not seen her garden from this angle before.”
Sometimes I wonder about Ali’s English lessons. Being a Syrian refugee, who was welcomed to Canada in somewhat disadvantaged circumstances, one might forget that he was also a professor in Damascus University prior to the war.
“I thought something dreadful was happening, as I drove up,” aid Amanda. “I could see this crazy Klansman trying to break in through the window. I thought maybe… Honestly, those people should be bloody well hung!”
Looking up Ali’s klan robe, I replied, “Amanda, from where I’m standing, I think Ali’s pretty well…”
“Oh my god,” said Amanda. “You people make me bloody sick. I just dropped by to see Marjorie. I can’t believe the stress on the newsdesk at Pig and Pig Farmer. Sometimes I fear I may be wasted there.”
“Oh,” I replied. “If you were to leave Pig and Pig Farmer it would be a tragic loss to the world of journalism, not to mention Big Pig Meat.”
It takes a curious mixture of people to make up a world, doesn’t it? Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget the sunscreen,