Sunday, February 24, 2013

All shook up

The post arriving later than expected last week, Mr. Hall donned his jacket and strolled down to the box.  He returned with a stack of adverts and a small red envelope, which he casually handed off to Mrs. H.
"Oh look, sweetheart- we've been invited to another party."  Mrs. Hall perused the brightly colored missive with anticipation.  "That lovely couple we met last month is having a birthday party; apparently it has a 'theme'- it says that Elvis is going to make an appearance. Well, imagine that!"

Mr. Hall barely looked up from his newspapers.  "Humphf," he grunted.  "It would be an event if Elvis didn't appear.  We've seen more of Elvis here than we saw when we visited Graceland two years ago in Memphis.  Didn't we just see an Elvis at that casino we took my niece a week or so ago?"  Mrs. Hall did seem to recall snapping a shot of The King helpfully advising a tourist on the complexities of video poker recently.
So when the following Saturday came around, she dutifully wrapped a inoffensive little bottle of champers in a birthday bag, and they trudged down the street.  Lively music and a raucous crowd met them at the door, and so did a startling revelation.  The Elvis standing in front of a massive sound system in the family room finished up his song and announced their arrival immediately.
"Psst-" whispered Mrs. Hall to Mr. Hall. "Am I mistaken, or are there....?" and her voice trailed off. "No, no- you're right," confirmed Mr. H.  "Apparently, instead of there being a room full of partygoers with Elvis making a guest appearance- it seems that this is a room full of Elvises with a guest appearance by us."  It seemed the plain truth. Scattered throughout the house and patio were various incarnations of the King of Rock and Roll.  As soon as one finished singing flawlessly, the next hopped up and began crooning yet another classic hit.  The birthday girl and her mother anxiously approached the Halls.
  "We're so glad you're here!  Did you get something to drink?  What do you think of our little group?  My mom and I are are part of a local Elvis fan club and they all came out for my birthday!  Wasn't that last singer great?  We were lucky to get him- he's performing down on Fremont Street this week and I didn't think he'd be able to come."  A slighter shade of The King approached them and handed them his card.  "Let me know if you'd like me to perform," he said, flashing a broad smile,"and I'm a licensed minister too, as well, if that's necessary."  Mrs. Hall pocketed the card.  Mr. Hall decided now would be a good time to check out  the bar.
"I heard them announce a raffle- you probably should buy a couple of tickets." whispered Mrs. H. when she finally located him. "I heard her say they were '14 for 5'- doesn't that strike you as an odd price?"  Mr. Hall shook his head and toddled over to the table.  "Here are fourteen tickets for five dollars.  Keep an eye on the numbers," he said, and attempted to strike up a conversation with what looked like one of the regular guests purporting to be a pilot. In the midst of their chat however, he was cut off. Apparently traveling incognito, when the music stopped, the pilot jumped up himself and began belting out a particularly heartfelt ballad.
 A couple of songbooks (and two winning raffle tickets) later, the Halls, exhausted from all that excitement, thanked their hosts and headed back out into the night.  Back at the house on the corner, the rock and roll hits kept right on coming- they were just getting warmed up.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The new digs aren't the same as Digger's digs

Mrs. Hall watched the little "buffering" circle go 'round and 'round on her laptop screen.  "Oh, bother!*" she said. "I really wanted to see this game!"  Killer rolled over in the sunshine and expressed her excitement by actively ignored them.

The Hall was not wired for cable yet, so Mr. and Mrs. Hall were struggling with their remaining solutions for viewing The Big Game.  In the past, they would have just loaded up the family flivver with beer and peanuts, braved the latest installment of lake effect and camped in the friendly confines of Digger's Pub til the wee dark snowy hours of the weekend, watching the game (and accompanying wagering boards) with glee.
 What their little Hall out west might lack in slushy charm- the thermometer hovered at 70 degrees- it made up in spirit.  The Halls had been reminiscing all morning of game days gone before.  "We should give them a call-" started Mr. Hall, and Mrs. H's cellie suddenly started to ring. "Okay, that's just spooky." she said as she lifted the receiver.
  It was indeed Karen and Joe, wishing them well and missing them mightily. They had been busy keeping the snow at bay and shrugging off the subzero windchills.  (Mrs. Hall, in fact, thought she discerned a bit of the frost over the line herself, when she mentioned some concern about getting a sunburn on their morning constitutional.) They had received Mr. Hall's contribution to the good of the order a few weeks earlier and sent on facsimiles of the boards so the Halls could follow along.  Hugs and pictures were exchanged via various electronic methods, and their attentions returned to the field.
Mrs. Hall laid out some light fare and tried to adjust their reception. The little buffering symbol continued to taunt them, making it impossible to even sing along with the national anthem, much less make sense of some particularly entertaining commercials.
"That's it. I can't stand it." Mrs. Hall was adamant. "Let's head to the home pub and see if we can still get a seat."  Sliding out of the hanger, they coasted approximately a half a mile down the hill to the local watering hole and peeked in.  The crowd was a sea of red 49ers jerseys. "Uh-oh; you're in trouble now," remarked to Mr. Hall to Mrs. Hall, who had already expressed her support for the Ravens. She slunk over to an empty spot at the bar against the wall.
Despite a few technical glitches however, the game proceeded as hoped for, and every time the Ravens scored, the silence in the room, as they say, was deafening.  An ugly gloom began to settle into the crowd.  Mrs. Hall was of the opinion that interpreting the winners on the gaming boards was best left to the experts, and so was particularly relieved when her team took the trophy, and they were able to depart the premises without a scuffle.  "Too bad about your team," she consoled as they closed the hanger doors.  "I hope we didn't take too much of a beating this year."
"On the contrary," he replied "our little franchise is well into profit.  Despite the fact that the Ravens won, the Las Vegas oddsmakers had the Ravens ahead by four points. Anyone betting on the 49ers (here he paused to look crafty) would have still won because the Ravens didn't make the spread. Add to that, (-Darling, fetch me another one of those icy beers you stashed away, would you?) because of that safety in the second half, the scoring was so cockeyed, I'm happy to report I think we more than doubled our outlay on the boards."  Mrs. Hall could only smile as she brought him another plate of snacks.  Killer, barely able to contain herself, yawned and rolled over.

*or words to that effect.

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