THE INTRODUCTION OF RICKY
©2011 Robert Burnham [that extremely simple man]
Robert was late, parking squarely in a ‘no parking zone’ he bolted from the car, then quickly turned back, grabbing Ricky firmly, and dropping him into his left pants pocket. It was the opening Gala of Gather’s First Annual “Introductions Please” convention and he was headlining. Or at least he was slated to be the first presenter on stage and he was going to introduce his newest friend, Ricky – a solid and stoic gentleman, if ever there was one.
By the time he got backstage, Gather’s elite and beautiful were already nestled in their reserved seats. He knew he had to settle down, he didn’t want to disappoint. It was going to be a night of epic introductions. It was even rumored that the bodacious Ms. Kimberly was going to introduce her traveling companion to Barbados – and it wasn’t going to be Mr. Kimberly. Robert was secretly holding out that he could be so lucky. Robert grabbed Ricky and sat him down on the ebony and ivory coffee-table; Mr. Gerace was sparing no expense for his best content provider.
“Ricky-pooh, would you like some water, wine or maybe a Singapore Sling before we head on out there”? Ricky said nothing. He seemed to have a natural calm about him, perhaps some sort of inner-peace within him as well. Since Rick wasn’t talking, Robert sashayed over to the curtain for a pek out at the audience. Robert liked to sashay ever since William Dotani had showed him how during that week in Tokyo, cut short when Robert learn it was against the law to straddle a mare downtown while simultaneously lassoing a geisha. Thank God, William had been there with his bottomless ATM card or Robert would not now be peering through the curtain of the Queen Alfred Hotel in lustrous downtown Zwingle, Iowa wondering if there’s ever been a larger gathering of the prestigious.
There must have been 3000 souls in the 295-seat Queen Alfred Auditorium and in the first three rows the cream of the crop, all of the loyal gatherers who so often and so regularly comment on Robert’s golden words. They truly were a deserving few. John Phillips front and center, still thinking he was at the premier of “Goldilocks and the Phallic Transformers” because he had inadvertently put on his wife’s spectacles, leaving his own back in California on top of his Monday humor article, “Sixty year old woman mauled by Pit Bull dies of Chicken Pox just before being run over by city bus”. Yes, yes John, thought Robert, we’re all holding our breath for that one.
Next to John sat Gather’s own matriarch twins Elsie Duggan and Kathryn Esplin smoking big cigars, sipping Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux. A few seats over from Elsie, but trying his best to get closer to her was the always jovial Larry H sporting a new fur coat to compliment his always present sailor’s cap. The story behind the cap being he won it in a mud-wrestling exhibition with Connie C when Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper hit her with a chair from behind.
Next Robert spied Marilyn who was standing up looking for whatever there is. And what she saw was Angela Arno planked on the end of the first row wearing her patented “Robert is a God” tee-shirt. She had stolen the shirt a year and a half ago from her husband Donald.
Just as he was about to close the curtain and go check on Ricky, Robert caught a glimpse of Marcaida and Veronica Hosking be-bopping in from what must have been a nine-martini lunch. As the lights dimmed and Janet Jax B, dressed in her daughter’s best ballerina dress approached the podium, Robert returned to the dressing room wishing Ricky would have chosen to wear something besides his stony, macho outer shell. As Janet smiled mischievously and wrapped her marvelously long fingers around the thick microphone a chorus of “whoo-hoos” erupted from Peter Swanson, John Beck, and Stephen Berwaldt.
“Ladies and Gentlemen”, began Janet, “let me welcome you to Gather’s First Annual ‘Introductions Please’ Extravaganza. I would like to acknowledge Gather’s illustrious leader Mr. Tom Gerace. That is, I would like to; but Mr. Gerace had a previous engagement sailng around the world in his new yacht, duly paid for with the revenue from all of the sensation content we provide to his site. Of course we have our rewards too; we all get to partake of a free mocha at Starbucks every six weeks or so. I guess I’ll just introduce you to our first introducer, that wonderfully, adorable simple man…”
Letting go of the mic and leaning down over the stage hand, Janet whispered for him to go and “make sure the cowboy’s hat is off and his pants are on…”
“…Robert B.” At this point a pandemonium of applause broke out, the spotlight ignited and Robert, with Ricky in tow stepped out from behind the curtain and, again sashaying, approached the podium.
“Good evening happy campers, writers, chameleons, Indian swamis, and Mallard Cove Poets, it is a pleasure to see you all”, Robert said tipping his hat and keeping his lower extremities firmly behind the podium. “Tonight I would like to take the opportunity to introduce my newest friend, Ricky”
“Say hello Rick”
“Wave to the crowd”
“Sing a song for them Rick”
“Oh well folks, what were you expecting from a pet rock anyhow? Goodnight Zwingle, Iowa, it’s been a gas, see you all next year; hey, has anyone seen my ticket to Barbados – come to mention it, did anyone notice when Ms. Kimberly left the building?”
the end. [fortunately]