Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Special Delivery

"Five ounces or six?" she murmured, to no one in particular.
Mrs. Hall stood poised in the aisle of the Williams Sonoma at the outlet mall; in her hands she weighed the relative merits of two different cappuccino mugs.  As so often happens in the case of new purchases, the acquisition of a tiny new espresso machine for the guest room had created more problems than it solved.  None of Mrs. Hall's dainty espresso cups had proved large enough for the "lungo" setting on the maker, leaving her puzzling as usual, over size versus aesthetics.
Mr. Hall, himself so consumed with the problem at hand, found the best way he could address it was to park himself in front of a massive television monitor displaying random sports events in the promenade, and there remain to ponder the infinite. The ringing in her ears (she thought the result of mental exertion) turned out to be her cellphone, and Mrs. Hall answered more curtly than usual.
"They've been trying to deliver a package to your house three times now, and you haven't been home."  The voice on the other end sounded familiar, yet Mrs. Hall struggled to place it- "Where are you and when will you be home to receive it?"  Her faculties penetrating the fog, Mrs. Hall finally determined that Mrs. Iltsch (whose husband to whom Mr. Hall had entrusted the management of the funeral home) was trying to deliver a perishable item to them, and apparently having some difficulty about it.
 Even with Winston's inestimable abilities and the blessings of the Nevada Highway Patrol, they were a good hours' drive away.  "We'll be there by four, for sure," she replied, and leaving the quandary of the cups aside, scooped up Mr. Hall and took off.
Shortly before four, the bell rang and Mrs. Hall swung open the big door while moving deftly to hipcheck Killer before she made a break for freedom.  When she looked up, she let out a squeal that brought Mr. H. running.  "We thought you'd never get home!" laughed Mr. and Mrs. Iltsch, when Mrs. Hall finally finished hugging the stuffing out of them.  "Sorry about resorting to calling.  We had a choice of flying to Florida or here- and Pam said 'Vegas!' so here we are!"
The Iltschs always travel in style, and while they planned on spending some time with the Halls, they had booked luxury accommodations at the Palazzo downtown.  After a quick stop to investigate the sunken living room in their suite, the little band hurried on to a show.  Penn and Teller put on a marvelous act at the Rio, and upon Mr. Iltsch's insistence, they stopped and had their pictures taken with the stars immediately following the show.
The Halls implored them to stay for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the Iltschs had places to go and people to see.  They had to leave soon but it was agreed they would all go see the David Copperfield show their last night.
 After a perfectly mesmerizing hour of wizardry, Mr. Copperfield came back out for a last call. Large inflatable silver balls were thrown out into the audience, bounced about while the music played, and when it stopped, whomsoever was holding a ball was asked to come up. The music ceased; one of the balls was directly in front of Mr. Hall; he reached forward smiling and handed it over his head to Mrs. Hall.
As an encore, the random guests chosen from the audience were to disappear right on stage. Mrs. Hall, holding the ball high above her head joined the lucky attendees on the stage.  There was a few scurried moments as the unsuspecting group was shuttled onto the platform, and then before they knew it, the curtain was over them, a bit of cursory shaking was involved and the little band appeared at the back of the room mysteriously unscathed and to great audience applause.  After receiving an autographed picture from Mr. Copperfield himself, Mrs. Hall rejoined her little group. They floated happily around the casino for little while longer, but then it was time to part.
"If only we could make this a yearly tradition," Mrs. Hall sighed, as they waved goodbye to their friends. "They are such a breath of fresh air."  Mr. Hall agreed entirely, as he fired up Winston for the return trip home.

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