Tuesday, October 20, 2009

W. A. Slocumb, Proprietor

I’m in the midst of a 10-year battle to spend the night at my Uncle William’s house; not, mind you, that I’ve been invited; rather that I’ve consistently invited myself which, as The Oldest Golden One, is my birthright. After 10 years of trying, the house itself has grown enormous in my mind, tormenting my strangled imagination to no end until, finally, I understand Pip’s obsession with The Havisham estate. I fully expect to walk in one day and find all the clocks stopped on the same time and my Uncle William wearing a top-hat and cravat; seated at a mossy, dust-laden, credenza gazing at me through a pair of pince-nez.

Most people cave under the pressure of a blatant self-invitation; but not W. A. Slocumb, Purveyor of Fine Antiques. I’ve been trying to get an invitation over there for years, but all he’s ever let me do is help him move furniture in and out, and clean leaves out of his gutters. The only time I’ve seen the upstairs it was mostly through a crack in the back of a crumbly old bureau he made me stick my head in and drag through the house.

Hardly a warm welcome if you ask me - which you didn’t.

After years of casual cajoling – my proposed Christmas sleeping arrangements at Uncle William’s have grown into something of a cause and I’ve stepped up the pressure a bit. I was, however, shocked and saddened to hear a voice whisper evilly “I hope you have money for a hotel room” in my ear after lunch on Sunday.

That’s just plain rude.

He didn’t even invite me to his massive Christmas party in 1999! A sociable man of my stature and congenial nature can only stand so much rampant affrontery! How much more must I bear?

I was 19 at the time of his big bash, but so what? It’s not like I had a history of traipsing around showing off my nosewhistle or my sore toe at dinner parties. I own my own tux, thank you very much.

Something about ‘99 must have lifted him up in his Buster Browns a bit because I hear it was an affair to remember. The whole town was abuzz; hushed mention of “The W.A. Slocumb Guest List” tainted the lips of Idle Hour Country Club’s elite for weeks afterwards.

Well, I happen to know the musty old curmudgeon thinned the hollandaise with Miracle Whip to cut costs; and, I’m not one to tell tales, but I doubt anybody in Macon has a palate fine enough to distinguish between real tenderloin and yesterday's London broil somebody hit a few good licks with a roofing hammer.

I didn’t make the cut then and now, 10 years later, I’m a living testament to the fact that if somebody doesn’t want you in their house: its mighty damn hard to get in there.

See you in December you old goat – I’ll get a peek in that attic if it kills me.

2 comments:

Maggie said...

The Christmas Bash of 1999 couldn't have been all that great...mom and dad were invited but were told "don't eat anything...that's for the important people"...

William said...

You all think you are so smart and witty but my Christmas party to beat all Christmas parties was in 2001 and it was great-obviously because you are still talking about it and you weren't even there