Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat. Thanksgiving has come and gone so I shall acquiesce the start of the nativity scenes featuring St. Nick and soda pop polar bears. This likely involves a lot of relatives and acquaintances descending upon us.
Since Jon and I couldn’t take a honeymoon right after our wedding, we decided to see the world in a weekend instead. Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. I had never been. I was amazed at this Disneyland like playground for adults. Look at all the pretty lights!
(Not terribly dissimilar to all the brightly lit decorated candy cane lane houses I love to check out on my commute. Work with me here, I’m going somewhere with this.)
Purely by chance, Paul and Stephanie had made plans to hit the town that very same weekend. So we decided to meet up. Us newlyweds had a room at the Bellagio. (I’m the kind of women who needs to be wooed by things like dancing water shows so I can feel Ocean’s 11 cool. I’m crazy like that.)
The four of us hit the pool for sun, splashing and fizzy adult pink lemonade drinks. (Ok, that last one may have just been Steph and me.)
Paul smiled. “That was a great wedding, sis. Congrats bro,” he high-fived my new husband. “Did you like your wedding present?” he asked knowingly. I grinned broadly, remembering one of our favorite childhood books.
Laughing and in unison, we shouted, “IT’S A BLENDER!”
Stephanie and Jon shared their own knowing look. “Yeah, they do that…” they murmured. “I don’t get it either.”
It starts with the flying saucer. Two space alien tourists arrive exhausted at Shirley and Moe’s house – simply in need of the little Martian’s room. Shirley is the epitome of etiquette and decorum, inviting them to join her dinner party. Moe is a mite more hysterical.
When the aliens return for their dinner date, the FBI, Pentagon, Army, Air Force, and Marines are on high alert standby – guns, tanks and bombs at the ready – with extreme concern about the housewarming gift presented to the hostess. The clear message about perceived threats from those different from ourselves remains timely 23 years after the initial publication. Luckily, as Shirley exclaims, she and Moe don’t even have one!
Company’s Coming, by Arthur Yorinks, no longer appears to be in print. This is travesty. ALERT PUBLISHERS! Seriously – every child needs this book. Extolling the kindness of strangers (this may explain my love of Casablanca later in life) and acceptance, Company’s Coming a classic (if slightly off-beat) tale about trust and hospitality. It’s a children’s story of the absurd – with a lesson most of us could use these days, especially those prone to exaggeration and paranoia. (What? I don’t know anyone like that – do you?)
Guess what I got this year’s newlyweds for Christmas? (Hint. Read the book. Or at least pay closer attention to what I’ve written in this blog post.)