I often get email meant for other John Youngs. My favorite accidental correspondent is Terry B_____., who accidentally sent me this letter today:
“As many of you know, I am the Union County Director of the National League of Junior Cotillions. We teach manners, etiquette and Ballroom Dance to 5th through 8th graders at Rolling Hills and Firethorne Country Clubs.
Recently I have had several Parents request the possibility of a full class on table manners and etiquette.
I would like to hold a Three Course Informal dinner at Mucci’s Bistro downtown Monroe on a Monday evening in the next few weeks before the busy Holiday rush. I am looking at Monday, November 29th as my first option. The students will be served bread, salad, entrée’, dessert and beverage.”
It’s taking all my willpower not to order fifty pounds of live white mice, plus a Burmese python in a burlap sack, to be delivered to the front door of the restaurant on Monday night. Or deliver a towering stack of Boston cream pies, clearly marked with stern signs saying “NOT FOR THROWING”, which will of course immediately result in a free-for-all pie fight.
Or I could hire a runner to securely tape a box of itching powder to the bottom of Mucci’s banquet table. A note announcing its presence could be taped inside the restroom, where middle-schoolers will retire to hide from all the ETIQUETTE TRAINING. These poor, wretched pawns will see the note, check under the table, and realize that they have become an instrument of pure, glorious chaos.
The possibilities boggle the mind.
(The phrase “Gotcher Bumpus” is from immortal free-spirit Penrod Schofield, the hero of Booth Tarkingon’s turn-of-the-century novels. The Penrod books are as relevant today as in 1910, and should be required reading for everyone.)