Estelle had worked hard all year. It was her last year at university studying for a degree in Biochemistry. All the other students in her year seemed to manage to get all the work done AND party, party, party. But not Estelle. She plodded on day after day. It’s not that she didn’t enjoy Biochemistry. She did, and she got good grades for her assignments and labs. But the others seemed to do that too, AND party.
So when the last lecture was over, and the last assignment handed up and returned, and the last examination finished, all the other students went downtown somewhere to party, party, party. Estelle was invited but she didn’t really know them that well.
Instead she went on her own and bought herself the biggest strawberry milkshake the shop had. And a blueberry muffin.
Flora loved to play the piano. At any and every party she’d be first on the piano, thumping away at all the old tunes; not old, old tunes like When Johnny Comes Marching Home and On Top of Old Smokey, but popular oldies like Kum Ba Yah My Lord and We All Live in A Yellow Submarine. In theory they were songs everyone could join in singing – even young people. Flora loved to be the life of the party, except…
Flora’s talent was all in her mind. She couldn’t play the piano for nuts. Honest to goodness, a one armed chimpanzee with a paper bag on his hand would be better.
As soon as she started to play, everyone (or those without an ounce of civility) would exclaim, “Oh for shit’s sake! Not again!” But Flora wouldn’t hear. She’d be off on a second verse of the Theme from Doctor Zhivago. She knew how to ruin a good party.
So it was more than a little confusing when Flora had a stroke. People wished to express their sympathy, but the mere thought of Flora and her paralysed arms somehow filled them with a horrid delight.
Guntis was known as a boring man. That’s why a lot of people avoided him. He would set his mouth into drone and corner people with a story for ten minutes or so. Here he comes now. I must move. Oh damn.
Hello. There was this man who went to this old house that used to be owned by some socialite way back in the you-know-when, and the house was really old and full, no doubt, of memories. But this man, I think his name was Peter, went there and it had a small section of it cornered off as some sort of café. So Peter, I’m not 100% sure it was his name, but it’ll do, decided to buy something at the café. So he sat down at a table and the waitress came over and he ordered a cup of tea. And he drank the tea and then he left, but he was pleased he had visited that old home so immersed in history. It’s interesting, isn’t it, all this history? There was also another person there having a cup of tea. Actually, it might have been coffee, I don’t know, but Peter thought he’d seen her before. You never know who or what you might bump into from one day to the next. And she certainly looked familiar, but Peter couldn’t remember where he’d seen her before. It’s a small world, isn’t it? He said that the cup of tea was only averagely good. You’d think for such an historic house they’d do something with a bit of quality. Anyhow, I’ve got to go. It’s been nice talking to you.
I don’t want no flowers. I don’t want no cards. No funeral, just a cremation and no one’s to come. Nothing. I’d like everyone to know that I hated them as much as they hated me. Burn all my stuff. No free handouts for my greedy relatives.
P.S. Guess what Diamonique? The family are having one hell of a party.
Audrey was a snob. She was having a dinner party. This wasn’t any ordinary dinner party; for example, Doctor and Mrs Girling-Johnstone would be there. Doctor Girling-Johnstone was an important gynaecologist, and although his wife was merely a receptionist for a law firm, having them for dinner was quite a catch.
Then there was Mabel Donnithorpe and Denise MacPherson. Everyone knew they were an item, but everyone pretended they weren’t. They not only added a degree of mysteriousness to a dinner party, they added a touch of frightful modernity. Who these days would dream of staging a successful dinner party without at least a token nod towards the rainbow community?
Jane and Archie Simpson were also on the list. Rumour had it that Archibald was destined for a knighthood in the New Year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Audrey had inadvertently invited an ordinary person to her dinner party and the next thing he was a knight of the realm?
Audrey planned the occasion meticulously. Only wild meats would be devoured – she was calling it her “Wild Dinner Party”. It was a fabulous joke; wild boar, wild venison, wild duck. Of course, the cost of getting wild meat was exorbitant, but who cared? And the work required in preparation; the soaking, for example, of the meats in icy salted water to remove the gamey taste.
And then the flowers! Audrey paid four times as much for the table flowers. They were perfect! Simply perfection in a vase.
The guests arrived.
“Oh, Audrey, I don’t know how you do it!” said Angela Girling-Johnstone. “This wild meat is perfection. It’s so ungamey in taste. You’d swear it came from domestic animals. Divine!”
“Oh, Audrey,” swooned Archie Simpson. “The table flowers are so perfect I was convinced they were artificial.”
“They’re not silk?” exclaimed Mabel Donnithorpe. “Audrey, you’re a genius!”
Audrey was pleased. The extra cost of making wild game taste like meat from the supermarket and natural flowers look synthetic was worth every penny.
Gilbert and Adelaide were veritable animals. They were out-and-out hedonistic pleasure seekers. The only reason they never got totally blotto at a party was because they knew if they got drunk out of their brains they couldn’t party until sunrise.
And then one party Gilbert got sloshed. He ignored Adelaide and started sidling up to Allison. Yeah, that was a mistake.
That made Adelaide knock back a few swigs of the really strong stuff, and she then started to get nasty. She could hardly stand, but she managed to pick up a couple of bottles and throw them at Allison. Gilbert slurred a “what do you think you’re doing?” comment and Adelaide threw a chair at him.
The whole thing grew into a full scale brawl with everyone joining in and the police were called by some little wall-flowered nerdy old fart sitting somewhere in a shady corner.
The police had a hell of a time trying to get control. The house was trashed. Trashed.
Anyway, that was forty years ago. Gilbert and Adelaide made up and got married and today are proud grandparents of eleven grandkids. Adelaide in fact is the mayor of the city, and Gilbert is a highly respected neurosurgeon at the general hospital.