So, this professor got in a car (so I could act as a guide) and then I ended up at a dinner party.
At a mansion, mind you.
With lots of guests.
And they were all dressed up.
Alice and Joseph—they were the people in the car—escorted me into the house.
Not that the professor needs an escort, double mind you.
But before we could get to the dining hall (all the guests were taking their seats) an older lady stopped us.
She looked at Alice. “Why is your son not wearing clothes?”
It was a shocking statement.
And the professor was wearing clothes. I just wasn’t dressed up, so to speak.
But Alice just smiled, and Joseph laughed.
“He’s not our son,” Alice said.
“Quite right,” I put in. “Look here, for instance, I’m old enough to be your grandfather.”
The older woman looked at me weirdly. “Oh, poppycock. You should have least put on a dress shirt.”
“There wasn’t room with the one I’m currently wearing.”
She didn’t like that.
Joe laughed, and Alice ushered us into the dining hall where we were seated.
Now I got worried.
There were people all about this huge table. And they were quite distinguished. And quite a few were ugly, in truth that’s true.
We were all served some sort of soup—soups are always confusing me; they’re never what they seem—and everyone dug right in.
No prayers said, see.
I took a sip, cautiously.
It was awful. I must’ve made a face, for Alice—who was sitting across from me—said, “What’s a matter? Don’t like it?”
Joe was sitting next to her. And he laughed. “I figure you can’t take this type of food. You must be used to ‘lower-class food.’ Your stomach may grow used to this food in time—if you can find more dinner parties like this, which I highly doubt.”
Everyone at the table laughed. And I mean everyone. It was quite a moment.
So the professor said the first thing that popped to mind—which isn’t always smart.
“Well, my stomach mayn’t be able to handle this sort of food—I bet a cat’s could, though; I hear they have strong stomachs and that they can’t taste too well—but at least I know how to navigate roads.”
“Alice,” an older gentleman said, “who is this?” He was looking at me.
“I’m not sure,” Alice retorted. “He acted as our driver today, because Thomas called off sick.”
“At the last moment,” I added.
Alice shot me an angry glance.
“Who are you?” that same older gentleman asked. Only this time, he asked me.
“Well, my man,” I answered. “You may call me Charleston.” Never give your name up to people you can’t stand. Because, if you do, your name will sound ugly coming from their lips.
Another lady, with red hair all tousled up on her head—and maybe a hint of a mustache, at least I thought I saw one—said: “So, Charleston, where did you go to school?”
“In a bucket,” I answered.
“What?!” she asked. “No, seriously!”
“Sorry,” this professor said. “I thought you asked something different.”
I was sorta ignored for the rest of the dinner.
But at least, I got free food. And dessert.
Later, I was having speaks with Mr. Magi.
“Yes,” he said, nodding profusely, “that house is always hosting parties. And lots of ‘influential’ persons go there. But don’t you take to it. Everyone is influential.”
I’d keep it in mind—the house and the parties, I mean.
Perfect place to revisit with Mr. Schwarz Tauptinker some day.