A Marvelous Time

Photo by Inga Seliverstova on Pexels.com

“I’m hosting a party, December the 9th,
At exactly a quarter to eight.
I’ll have oysters, fois gras, and of course caviar,
It’s black tie, so please don’t be late.”

Such simple instructions, printed so clearly,
On the invites I sent out last week.
Show up, have some food, drink some wine, have a chat,
A marvelous time, don’t you think?

So I polished the silver and ironed the linens,
And steam-cleaned the drapes and the rugs,
Washed all the china, dusted the cabinets,
And hid all my stained coffee mugs.

Bought new toilet paper (the good kind with lotion)
And six pounds of fresh potpourri,
A gold chandelier, a coatrack of bronze,
And a 19-foot Christmas tree.

It was then that I realized it wouldn’t be a party
Without a nice fire a-blazing,
So I had a chimney installed early this week,
And now it looks just amazing.

But the light from the fire made my furniture look
Ever so slightly bland,
So this Wednesday I shopped for a new set of couches
And tables and chairs much more grand.

But when they arrived and the old was tossed out,
To my horror it was then that I saw,
That all my new furniture totally clashed
With the artwork and paint on my wall!

No time to shop for new paintings,
I decided there must be a way to get by.
Perhaps if I added a bit more turquoise
To Afremov’s Burning Sky…

And that Lichtenstein really just needed
Some green, and some blue, perhaps black?
That’s perfect! Now on to the Pollock!
Oh, I can drip better than that!

Now what a shame! An unfortunate mess!
It seems I forgot the drop cloth.
For there’s paint everywhere – on the couch, in my hair,
Damn you, you sticky high-gloss!

Didn’t I read once that polish remover
Will take care of all sorts of stains?
Let’s give it a go, tip it up, there’s the splash,
Now why is my couch in flames?

Oh I see a few embers flew out of the flue,
Which I guess I forgot to open,
There’s smoke everywhere and it’s burning my eyes,
But my circumstance isn’t yet hopeless!

There’s a fire extinguisher back in the closet
Behind all those wrapped Christmas presents.
I’ll just pull them out all out, and the mop and broom, too,
Oh, that’s where that TV set went!

And look at these boxes! And old record albums!
And photos and yearbooks and more!
My old winter coat! My crock-pot! My candles!
Now what was I looking for?

Well, it can’t be important, whatever it was,
Or I surely would have remembered.
I’m just happy I opened this door and found
All of my long-lost treasures!

But before I even try and begin
To clean up all of this mess,
There is something I feel that needs my attention…
What was it? What was it? Oh yes!

The name cards! Dear me, how silly I am
To forget such an important thing!
Where do I keep those gilded note cards?
Oh, right! Near the napkin rings.

And speaking of rings, I haven’t yet chosen
The theme of my dinner place settings.
And how can I choose such a thing for my guests
Before I know what they’re getting?

Let’s see, we’ll have goose and slow-roasted duck,
Turnips and aged caviar,
Fried oysters, risotto, perhaps some charred greens,
And my specialty, pickled fois gras.

My friends all hire a caterer,
Whenever they throw a big party,
But not me; I stay calm as I cook enough food
To feed the United States Army.

Dash of this, pinch of that, now rub it all in
As I preheat the oven to bake.
Oops, forgot I needed to marinade that,
Now how long does it all take?

Four hours? Oh no! How can that be?
It’s already nearing six thirty!
I wonder if things would move a bit faster
If I tripled these nine recipes?

No time to measure, just dump it all in,
It’ll all taste fine, I’m sure.
A cup of salt, a liter of butter,
A half-gal of white vinegar.

Mix it together and bake at 400
For 45 minutes or so.
Or was it 500 for 20 to 30?
Where did that recipe go?

Ugh, there it is, ‘neath some sticky mess
Well, it surely can’t help me out now.
But I won’t fret at all, for I don’t need a book
To tell me what, when, or how.

La dee dum, la dee dee, and tra-la-la-la
As I mix, blend, stir, fold, and pour,
Damn! I forgot the lid to the blender,
Now the food’s all on the floor.

What more could go wrong? Is there anything else
That I should try to remember?
Ding Dong. Oh, god, don’t tell me they’re here
On this unholy night in December?

Is it really that time? Really, already?
Oh, god, don’t tell me it’s true.
Ding Dong. “I’m coming!” Oh, hell! Oh, crap!
Now what do I, what do I do?

Ding Dong Ding Dong! “I’m coming, you assholes!”
I swear some folks have no manners!
I smooth my hair back, wipe the tears from my eyes,
And smile wide just as I answer.

“Well hello! Do come in! You’re all right on time,
You’ll have to pardon the mess,
I’ve been cleaning and prepping all day for you,
And as you can see, I’m not dressed.

Please help yourself to – no, wait, it’s not ready,
And damn! I forgot to buy wine.
I can offer you water and salted Ritz crackers,
That smell is just liver in brine.

Oh, THAT smell? Hm, I don’t know,
Yes, it is rather pungent and smoky.
A mix of leather, fresh paint, polyester, and down,
It’s plastic-y, acrid, and oak-y.

No, please, don’t go yet! I’ve worked so hard!
I’ll have these flames out in a jif!
And then we can all sit and relax,
The food’ll be done in a bit!

Just try not to sit on this end of the couch,
Or on the tables and chairs,
And the paintings are wet, and so are the walls,
So I wouldn’t lean back over there.

But please help yourself to all of my fine
Scented, three-ply toilet paper,
Does anyone, anyone need to go poop?
No? Well perhaps maybe later.

And I couldn’t help notice that no one has yet
Removed their nice hats, coats, or gloves,
I bought a new coatrack, just for that purpose,
And this new chandelier just above.

Look at it! Look at it now!
Tell me how awesome it is!
Tell me you love it! It’s the best that you’ve seen!
Or I’ll kill you, your dogs, and your kids!

You bastards just sit there with no appreciation
For the trouble I’ve gone through today!
With your ugly, dumb faces and vacant-eyed stares,
Just look at yourselves, okay?

You with your bow tie, like a wooden lap dummy
And you with your hair up in braids!
Your long silky dress and your custom-fit suit!
You drive me completely insane!

Get out! Get out! Get out of my house!
Good-bye, good-night, and good-riddance!
I’ll see you in hell, if I see you again,
Farewell! Fuck you all! Merry Christmas!”