The sun was just breaking the eastern horizon as the stretch limousine pulled up in front of the Davis residents. Tony and Becky had gone to bed early so they could pick up her mom, dad, her little brother Peter and his friends, for the party at their apartment.
“I’m sorry to get you up so early Jake, but we have a big children’s party and we had to get things going early,” said Tony to the limo driver.
“Please don’t give it a thought. I told the boss I would like to be asked whenever you needed a driver. I’m at your disposal all day.”
“Great we may need the help. We have Pete, his three friends, Diane’s little boy and the three sons of Ronnie, my daily cab driver. Actually we are baby-sitting so Ronnie and his wife can have a day off and see the sights of New York. She has lived here all her life and never been to the statue of liberty or the empire state building. We have them booked at two fine restaurants for lunch and dinner, a Broadway show and then a night at the Plaza Hotel.”
“I can see that I’m not the only one who is lucky to know you,” said Jake.
“Thank you Jake, that was very gracious.”
“You are very welcome … Tony.”
Tony felt groggy, but good. He and Becky could spend Sunday in bed to catch up on their lost sleep, if necessary. Becky was snuggled next to Tony sleeping. Although he didn’t want to wake her, he whispered in her ear,
“Sweetie … wake up … we are here.”
“Ooookkk,” she said yawning.
As they alighted from the warm limousine, the cool October air attacked them from every angle. The couple and Jake all went to the front door and Becky began to knock.
“Shhhhhh, honey not so loud.”
“Well if we are going to do this they had better be awake and ready to go. The party planners are scheduled to set up at nine and Ronnie will be there at nine forty five. We still have to pick up Diane and her little boy.”
“I know … You’re right,” said Tony.
Just then the door opened and Becky’s mom came out. She had dark rings around her eyes and was yawing much like Becky.
“The boys all stayed over so we could be ready. They didn’t go to sleep until two in the morning. They sure are a noisy bunch. I’m glad we only had Becky and Peter; any more would have killed us.”
“Well Mrs. D, after things get going at the party, you can crash in one of the bedrooms if you like.”
“Come in out of the cold. The boys are getting dressed … hopefully.”
“I’ll check on them,” said Jake to Tony.
As Jake walked into the bedroom, the four fourteen-year-old boys all said simultaneously,
They would never forget the ride they had in the limo, not knowing what was in store for them today. Over the next ten minutes, a lot of pointing, loud directions, and corrections were fired off by both Becky and her mother. Most of what they were saying was directed toward the boys, however every so often a little jibe was directed toward Becky’s father.
“So Tony … you think you will like being a family man?”
“I believe … I will love it. Until your daughter came along I was a very lonely person.”
“Trust me son, I understand just how you feel. When Becky’s mom pulled me from the football field, I had little else but the game. She made me into a family man, a father and an all around happy person. Becky’s mom is truly my best friend, and I love her with all my heart. Are you two still going to tie the knot in December?”
“We are … unless she changes her mind. You are coming to Hawaii with us for the wedding … aren’t you?”
“Funny you mentioned that. My boss was very pleased to hear that you and Becky were getting married. He gave me two weeks off and told me to have a good time. It was a little strange … the way he reacted.”
Tony thought to himself how the conversation went with Mr. Thomas, Bill’s boss. When he heard of the advertising Tony had promised to send his way, he couldn’t be have been nicer. Tony was leaving nothing up to chance. A beautiful bride needed her Dad to walk her down the isle and her mom to sit in the church and cry.
Jake walked into the kitchen and said,
“We are all ready to go Tony. They are all in the limo. Are you two ready?”
As they all got in the car, Tony was surprised as to how quiet the boys were. Jake said,
“It shouldn’t be long. Saturday morning at this time of the day the traffic is very light.”
“We still have to pick up Diane and her son,” said Tony. “I did give you the directions to her place … didn’t I?”
“Yes sir,” said Jake.
The limousine was a stretch Mercedes and very plush. Becky’s mom and dad were looking at the Saturday morning news on the built in HD television, like they had never seen a TV before. There is just something different about being driven from one place to another and watching television at the same time thought Tony. The boys were all sitting on a long jump seat, riding sideways. That seemed to be something special for them, however he thought they could have done the same thing on a city bus. Becky had scrunched up against Tony and was again asleep.
It was about seven thirty when Jake pulled up in front of Diane’s apartment. Becky was now awake and got out of the car to tell Diane that they were there. As Becky walked into the building through the double doors, she saw Diane and her young son waiting in the lobby. Within a few minutes, they were all in the limo, moving toward Tony’s apartment.
Upon arriving, Jake had to double park, as there was no room for the limo. The group quickly piled out much like the military landing at Normandy beach, on “D” day and went into the building. Jake told Tony he would be up when he found several parking spots for the long black car. When they got into the apartment, they found a catered breakfast had been set up for everyone.
Becky, her mom and Diane saw to all of the kids getting their fill. They were very pleased by the large spread of food available to them. There were four types of juices, pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, omelets, toast, wheat, white and bagels. Coffee, tea and champagne were served to the adults, and there was plenty of milk, mostly for the kids.
“This is really good coffee,” said Bill. “Your chefs are very good.”
“I made the coffee. Your daughter taught me how to make it. She said that I will be able to cook like a four star chef, by the time we have some children, so she can stay in bed on Mother’s day.”
Tony glanced at his watch and saw it was nine o’clock and wondered, just for a second if everything would go off on time. The doorbell chimed and he found the party planner and all of her entourage ready to set up. It only took fifteen minutes and the party was ready to begin. As the three clowns and the magician were upstairs getting ready, the doorbell chimed again. It was Ronnie and his family. After introductions all around Ronnie’s boys were fed.
“Does she know?” Tony asked Ronnie.
“No I kept everything a secret. She would not have come if she thought this was all for her.”
Tony stood up on the three-foot flagstone hearth in front of the fireplace, struck a champagne glass with a spoon and said,
“You probably wonder why we brought you here today.”
When Tony began his speech, everyone began to applaud.
“Well thirty-nine years ago a young girl was born in New York city. She went to school here and graduated from high school. Not long after that, she met the love of her life and they got married. They now have three boys and an apartment in the village. She has never seen the statue of liberty, or the empire state building, but today everything will change. Margie please stand up so everyone will know whom I’m talking about.”
She slowly stood up and looked at Ronnie with a glance that would have been lethal under other circumstances, and then she looked around and back at Tony.
“Ronnie and Margie will be driven by this handsome gentleman,” he said pointing to the six foot two Jake. “They will have breakfast here then later lunch at the Russian Tea Room. They are going to visit every place she has ever wanted to see. Dinner will be at the Rainbow Room then they have tickets to “The Phantom of the Opera”, which is the only Broadway show Margie has ever stated that she wanted to see. After the show, they will spend the night at the Plaza Hotel, have breakfast in bed tomorrow morning and brought back here to collect their boys. But don’t envy them as, while they are doing everything we are going to have a party.”
“Boys … we have a Sony Play station 3 for each of you, plus ten games. Please don’t blame me if the games are milder than what you would want. I didn’t pick them out, as that was left to my future wife,” he said pointing to Becky. Becky took a bow and smiled. You may all ask for rougher games from your parents at a later time.
For those of you who like music, we have MP3 recorder/players and later I will assist anyone who wants to learn to record some music. By the way after lunch, which does not include any vegetables, there will be someone on the veranda making cotton candy. Please stay away from the wall, as it is forty floors to the ground.
After dinner we have quite a few movies to choose from. There are three televisions that have DVD players, so you may choose the movies you wish. In that corner,” Tony said again pointing, “You will find sleeping bags for each of you. You may stay up as long as you want, all we ask is for you to keep it down, for those who want to sleep. For your information, there will be a night shift of two people watching over you and keep you out of trouble.”
Just then, the three clowns and the magician came downstairs and into the front room. Each one set up a little section of the room to do their thing. One of the clowns was a wizard at making balloon animals, while another drew cartoon characters of everyone at the party. The third clown was adept at makeup and during the day would make everyone, who wanted into a clown.
Tony thought he saw some more than casual, glances and smiles between Jake and Diane, but wasn’t really sure, until later when she opted to take a ride with Jake as he drove Ronnie and Margie around the city. When he told Becky, she said she was aware of the attraction, as Diane had asked if she could leave her little boy to go with Jake.
It was around eleven when Becky’s father asked Tony if there was any beer. Tony took him to the refrigerator where they found Coors Lite, Miller and Budweiser.
“Take your pick. There are several more cases in the closet.”
“You sure know how to through a party Tony”, said Bill.
“No credit to me Bill. The party planner set up everything. We just told her how many kids and adults would be here … she took care of the details. I’m just happy everything is going so well.”
“You know Tony, as long a we are just sitting here,” said Bill, “I would sure like to know more about your job. How did you get in to your line of work?”
“I’m not sure. I guess for me, it all began in high school. I was always interested in the human mind and why people did the things they do. My interests led to psychology and the study of human behavior, so every chance I had, I spent the time reading. I decided that I would not limit my education to any main theme; I would study everything I could about the way people think and react. As I’m not a clone of Brad Pitt or Mel Gibson I had a lot of time to study.”
“I don’t believe you are as bad looking as you think.”
“That sounds like something Becky might say, but I know different. When I was fifteen a girl told me that I made Danny De Vito look handsome. Not that he is ugly, but I can still remember the way I did that day, and that was seventeen years ago. Granted, a good haircut and a nice suit go a long way to help me and keep people from cowering in a corner when I come in a room, but I would like to look a little more like Han Solo, from Star Wars, than Jaba the Hut.”
“Jaba the Hut … funny.”
“You know Bill, your daughter was the first girl ever to go on a date with me. I thought she needed glasses or maybe a white cane.”
“So what do you read? Is it all work related?”
“It was for a while, however now I read everything, but since Becky came into my life, I haven’t even picked up a book. Much of what I read is factual information. You never know when something will help you. You are in transportation, aren’t you?”
“Yes … I work in the marketing department for the bus company.”
“How did that come about?”
“Well … I started out as a bus driver, then when it became dull, I put in for anything I could do.”
“Yah! it came to the point, when someone would get on my bus and say, ‘Good morning, how are you?’ I would say, ‘In relation to what?’ I knew then that I should get out of driving.”
“Now that’s funny Bill.”
“Well let’s see. Were you aware that the top 25% of the population in China, mostly geniuses, is greater than the total population of the United States, and they have more honor students than we have students. If we took every job in the United States and shipped them to China they would still have a labor surplus.”
“Well then … why aren’t they running the world?”
“Religion. The concepts of “Yin and Yang” originated in ancient Chinese philosophy and metaphysics, which describes two primal opposing but complementary forces found in all things in the universe. The belief also precludes anyone to go after anything higher than what they are. However that belief is changing with the communist way of thinking, and things move slowly when there are that many people. Someday they will probably run the world.”
“I guess we had all better begin studying Chinese.”
“That won’t be necessary as China will soon become the number one English speaking country in the world. There will be a lot of changes by the turn of the next century.”
“Does anybody in our government know about all of this?”
“Sure. But it will take a lot of geniuses to solve some of the minor problems, let alone the big ones. Were you aware Nintendo spends more money on research and education than our government. It is not well known, but the scuttlebutt on the street says, China has a contingency plan to strategically nuke part of their own population in an emergency, due to their lack of food and raw materials.”
“Wow … I didn’t know things were that bad.”
“Before that happens, China will probably take their billion man Army, move north across the border and take what they need from Russia. That will be a war to end all wars. What we really need is someone to invent a machine that will replicate food, like in Star Trek.”
“So Tony, what do we do?”
“Beats me. I wish I had a few of the answers. Our more intelligent teachers are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, attempting to use technologies that haven’t yet been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”
“On top of all that Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming is believed by many scientists to be a super volcano, and if … when it erupts it will make Mount St. Helen’s look like a popgun. It will destroy most of the United States, then the ash will circle the earth and take out much of the population of the world. Sounds like “Save the Planet”, is unnecessary. If we have another Ice Age, which is overdue at this time, it should kill off at least two-thirds of the world population. About four billion people.”
“Did you hear that one of the largest stars in our Galexy was swallowed by a black hole?”
“Oh my god!”
“Not to worry, the star was several billion light years away. We aren’t even close to the problem.”
“Please don’t think I’m a total ignoramous, but what is a light year?”
“A light year is a method of mesuring distance in the universe. Light, which is the fastest moving matter known to man, travels at one hundred-eight-six thousand miles a second. A light year is the distance light would travel in a year. Light coming from the sun takes just over eight minutes to make the trip, and that is about ninty-three billion miles.
That would be about 11,625,000,000 miles a minute, and that’s not even warp drive. Scientists believe the closest star to Earth is Alpha Centauri, which is about four and a third years away, at the speed of light. I was trying to explain the speed of ligt to Peter. The best I could come up with, is light could go around the world eight times in one second.”
“Becky said that you were a genius. Now I’m convinced. It must have taken some time to learn all of this.”
“As I said before, the first girl I have ever dated was your daughter. I spent a lot of time reading. Bill … I have to ask you something. How do you feel about Becky and I living together?”
“Becky’s mom and I moved in together when we were in our twenties. We didn’t get married until she was pregnant with Becky. That was twenty-six years ago. All I care about is my daughter’s happiness … whatever it takes. From what I know about you, I think she has done alright, even if you aren’t a janitor.”
The party went well. The high light was when the clown made up all the boys to look like different kinds of dogs. They ran around chasing one another until they were exhausted, then settled down to play video games. The day was a success and Tony felt like he could be the best type of family man that Becky would ever want. After dinner the boys all in their new sleeping bags were around the front room, all sleeping with the television showing the movie “Die Hard”. Somehow it seemed to fit. Tony was a very happy man. Becky came up to him as he sat there by the fire sipping a glass of wine, took his hand and said,
“Time for bed sweety. You have had a long day.”