FURTHERMORE MAKES THE RULES
Things have been in a state of chaos and confusion around my home of late and Furthermore, feeling he had done his job, had disappeared.
Actually, it was my son’s wedding. Talk about derailing your quiet lifestyle! My father, brother and sister arrived from points east and north. My inlaws arrived, from points past all understanding. Friends without number arrived. People we didn’t even know stopped in off the street. Furthermore saw the confusion, saw that it was good and promptly ducked down into the caverns to savor my discomfort. He’s like that, you know.
I finally had enough. The wedding was over. The happy couple was headed to Hawaii for a honeymoon, my side of the family had departed for points east and north, while my wife’s side of the family had departed from the diningroom to the livingroom and are still, to my best knowledge, in residence. I went looking for my Masonic-pet-raven-brother Furthermore.
The nine-headed hydra that tyles the cavern entrance was still caught up in the spirit of the wedding. It was playing a wedding game. It was the entire wedding party, except for the one literate head, which was acting as the minister. I watched for a minute and decided to play, too. I tossed the rice at the happy couples. Furthermore, of course, failed to see the joy of the occasion.
“It’s only rice,” I assured him as I settled into my old leather chair next to the bar.
“Yeh,” he replied, “but most people take it out of the 50-pound bags before they throw it.”
At the point, Furthermore looked up from his martini preparation and his eyes went wide and he appeared for a moment to be stunned. Naturally, I’m used to this sort of response when people see me for the first time, but I hardly expected it from an old bird friend.
The bird gasped, “Where did you get that shirt!?”
I was wearing an Aloha-style shirt like they wear in Hawaii. I was proud of it. Mid-life crises take on different looks for different folks, you know?
“Like it?” I asked, doing a small turn so that he might get the full effect.
“You are kidding, right?” he responded. “I mean, those shirts are jokes, right. Do they come with batteries, too?”
“Hey, bird! Get with it. These are ‘in’ now!”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I mean, who says they are in. In other words, twitwit, who makes the rules?”
Well, there he had me. I don’t know. Do you? I mean, I’ve always suspected that it was a panel of guys hanging out over beer who determined skirt length and neckline plunge for women. And probably a bunch of women who decided men had to wear neckties (getting even for the guys who invented high heels and panty hose, probably). But beyond that, I hadn’t given it much thought.
By now, it didn’t matter. Furthermore was off on his own flight of surreal fantasy.
“Who decides that some music is out and some music is in? Who decides a woman needs a diamond ring to be married? Who says short skirts are out? Or sushi is in? Who says you have to drive a BMW? Or drink lite beer? Or that gawdawful shirts from some island state are civilized attire? Who decides…”
He was obviously babbling by now so I decided to ignore him. My choice. To answer his rhetorical questions, however, I believe it to be a shadowy arm of the government operating undercover as an advertising agency in Manhattan. At least, that’s where I think the e-mail came from yesterday that said it was okay for me to wear Aloha shirts with dancing grass skirts, etc., to work. On the other hand, it could have been Furthermore just having a bit of fun with a brother. It would be just like him. He’s always wanted to make the rules. I have this terrible reoccurring dream in which he becomes Grand Master….