"Your Playboy is here," I said, tossing FooDaddy's mail onto the kitchen counter and helping myself to a cold, refreshing can of Dr. Pepper from the fridge. "Does The Girlfriend know that you're receiving such material?" I "tsked" and shook my head in the manner of an unusually sagey sage.
"It's not mine," FooDaddy replied, snatching the Dr. Pepper from my clutching hands before I could pop it open. "It's for Sprocket."
"Right." I wasn't buying the argument that FooDaddy's cat was a fan of the magazine. I tried for a Sprite. "I thought he'd been fixed?"
"He just likes to paw through the pages and see if there are cats included in any of the photos," FooDaddy said. "It's nothing base, I assure you." The Sprite, too, disappeared quickly and I began searching for a carton of milk.
"Playboy cats? That's ridiculous," I said, promptly setting about to prove this statement. Sure enough, although I searched every page thoroughly, paying particularly close attention to the center-fold, there wasn't a cat to be found.
No sooner had I completed this vital mission, than FooDaddy returned home from an eight-hour shift at work.
"Are you still here?" he asked. "I thought you would have gone out and played in traffic by now."
"Nah, too cold. But your heating bill is due." I handed him the bill, which I had opened for his convenience. "I'm thinking that some new insulation is in order, my friend."
"You're reading my mail?" FooDaddy asked, obviously incredulous at my thoughtfulness.
"Yep!" I beamed and handed him another opened envelope. "Here's an invitation to a New Year's party. Can I come?"
FooDaddy read the invitation. "It's from Kevin," he said. "I'm not sure he'd want you hanging around. He's odd that way."
I laughed appreciatively at FooDaddy's witticism, although I didn't find it all that amusing. "I'll be there," I said. "We're gonna paaaaartay!" With that proclamation, I left to prepare for the big night.
* * *
The evening arrived shortly and I drove over to Kevin's house in the midst of a blizzard. I slid into the driveway and accidentally put a dent in another car that someone had inconsiderately parked in my way.
I trudged to the front door and, knowing I was welcome, walked inside. "Who drives the formerly mint condition silver Cobalt?"
The Girlfriend looked up. "That would be me." There was a pause and then she said slowly, "Formerly mint condition?"
"Well, I'd hardly call a vehicle with a large dent all along the left side 'mint condition'!" I said, chortling and shaking my head. I should not have had to explain that. "I'm glad it's yours, though. I was afraid the owner would be a stranger and, therefore, mad at me. But now I see that--"
The onslaught of cookies, baby carrots, and meatballs that assailed me was stunning. I hadn't expected there to be so much food at this party and felt a little self-conscious about my own contribution. Perhaps I should have brought something more substantial.
Putting my nervousness aside, I reached into my pocket and then held out my offering. "Anybody want a Chiclet?"
Nobody did and I was touched by their thoughtfulness. They had instinctively understood that by eating the Chiclets, it would be made perfectly clear how little I had contributed. Ah, well. I'd know better next time and would be sure to bring something more filling, like Starburst.
The festivities were soon well underway and I found myself in possession of a very noisy party horn, which I quickly put to use in a very clever fashion. By sneaking stealthily up behind unsuspecting revelers and blowing the horn loudly, I could cause varying reactions: a high flailing leap, the dropping of a punch glass, sudden flatulence, or an outburst of profanity. On at least one occasion, I managed to elicit all four at once.
My antics were unspeakably hilarious and soon everyone was begging me to stop. But I knew they were just playing along with the gag, so I continued the pranks.
Eventually, however, some of the partiers got a little carried away and decided to throw someone out in the snow. By sheer coincidence, I was chosen as the victim and soon found myself in a deep drift. Struggling to my feet, I turned to go back into the house, when something hit me on the head. I picked up the object and found it to be my package of Chiclets. This was closely followed by my car keys and it was at this point that I decided to head home. I knew I had been the life of the party, but I was getting too tired to continue my capers. I knew if I went back inside, they'd all expect me to get back into the act and I just didn't have the energy.
The ride home was quiet and I snacked on Chiclets as I plowed through the partially plowed streets. Once at home, I got ready for bed and slid beneath the covers, sighing with contentment. Another successful outing.
I turned out the light and then, because I just couldn't resist, blew one final blast on the party horn.
My, but the neighbors were up late.