I got the call.
And what do we do when we get the call?
We get Mary on the phone.
“Mary!” I shout.
She likes when I shout into the phone, especially early on a Tuesday morning.
“Herro,” she says, mildly.
“Herro,” I say. “Hey, you still got those black pants?”
The phone line crackles. I get the impression that Mary answered the phone whilst slouching and has just straightened up.
“Yeeeeees…” she says cautiously.
“They got a crease in ‘em?”
“You still got that white button-down shirt?”
“Are you prepared to button those cuffs? In the bright sunlight? At noon? With no shade in sight, sweat running down your back, and the keen look of a real go–-“
“Pearl! You’re killin’ me!”
“Get the starch out, baby! We got ourselves some servin’ gigs!”
It’s true. The season of working for cash is upon us.
You see the sweating chicks over there in the black pants and white button-down shirt? Yeah. That’s me and Mary, picking up the abandoned dishes at the graduation buffet, running to get your grandparents another cup of coffee, and furtively checking our watches to see how much time is left.
What? Of course I wish the kiddies all the best! Good for you, graduating from high school like that!
Could I get you some more coffee? Another frittata? How about something from the pack-your-own hookah station?
Funny how things change.
What ever happened to the good ol’ fashioned graduation party? The one where your mom put out ham sandwiches and potato salad? The one with the keg in the garage and the cigarettes we stole from your dad?
Oh, wait. I think I may have answered my own question.
When I graduated from high school, the legal drinking age was 18. The very next year the age shifted to 19, and just a couple years later it went to 21.
As Maxwell Smart used to say: Missed me by that much.
I’m sure there are still plenty of rowdy graduation parties around – which is, at least in my mind, a fitting way to finish your formative years. To hear some people speak, though, the idea of an 18-year-old drinking several beers and sitting in a garage with a number of other similarly impaired youngsters is a bad thing.
Which brings us back to the catered graduation banquet.
I don’t mind working summer parties, although I must admit I could do without the black pants. It’s hard to keep a smile on your face when you’re developing swamp-butt, although once your brain reaches a certain temperature and the hallucinations kick in it’s actually easier to keep a smile on your face, so it all works out, when you think about it.
So there you go. Well done, high school graduates. Be well. Drive carefully. Enjoy your fruit smoothies and butlered appetizers.
Mary and I are here to serve.
Five in Five: Tuesday, January 23
5 hours ago