Inversion Trawler: Refreshments Anyone? – February 2009

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Immediately after it was discovered by the British tabloid media that missing British pop sensation (our cousin) Tempest X was hiding out in Utah, Tempest was ordered back to the UK to fulfill contractual obligations. Aunt Kate has a mania for organizing family functions and she insisted on throwing a going away party for Tempest and her mother, our aunt Delila. The soiree was held at aunt Kate’s notoriously unkempt home, Weedpatch, in the great parlor (which in contrast to the rest of the house stays strangely clean and clutter free). The room’s mismatched furniture was pulled back to the sides and several additional folding chairs (which obviously came from a Mormon cultural hall overflow area) were added. A large refreshments table was set at the far end of the room. Aunt Kate instructed us to invite everybody, and evidently she did the same.

Arriving in flowy skirts and enveloped in a cloud of hippy scent was Liahona Glow. She walked into the parlor waving her arms in slow motion while her mouth machine-gunned scatterbrained gibberish. Liahona is one of Aunt Kate’s Mormon-gone-new age friends who claims to be a psychic medium or clairvoyant or some-such. Close on Liahona’s heels was Sci-Fi Man, Stewart Lennox III, local and unintentional celebrity and native of the United Kingdom. He seems to love Tempest-X nearly as much as he loves science fiction. Thumper and Zibah from our band The Weeping Giblets were there along with about 20 of our friends. Aunt Leona, our mom Petunia, our brother Foulkswrath and several Weedpatch cousins were also in attendance. Arriving fashionably late, looking weary and bedraggled, and with her right hand held up and out in front of her, was Cumorah Hill-de Garde (globehead, gossip and greatest friend of Aunt Kate).

Without so much as a “Hello, how are you?,? Cumorah launched into one of her bonkers announcements. As soon as her fingertips touched Aunt Kate’s shoulder, she sighed, “Oh Katherine, sorry I’m late. The Gadianton Robbers kept me up all night. Absolute legions of those evil spirits came down off the mountain last night and fought a great war with the angels on my back-lawn… again. That’s twice this month!? In local Mormon folklore the mountains of Utah are filled with the ghosts of these evil baddies from the Book Of Mormon. Liahona, slowly flitting past and eavesdropping, joined in, “Oh, was that up at your place? I heard them. All those swords clanking against shields.? Cumorah’s lips pursed and her eyes narrowed before she spat back, “They don’t use swords and shields! It’s not Camelot. They use stone-hatchets and a sort of… death-ray.? Though Liahona, Cumorah and Aunt Kate grew up as part of the same group of friends, Cumorah has never liked Liahona and her hybrid Mormon/New Age ways. Cumorah couldn’t resist taking a self-righteous stab at the more sensitive Liahona, “You and all your flighty mumbo-jumbo! I wouldn’t be surprised to hear you’d voted Democrat. Out of your mind! Looney as a moon-mushroom in mauve slacks.? As she loudly delivered the last line, Cumorah slowly looked around announcing it to everyone in the room as much as to Liahona. Liahona looked hurt, and Aunt Leona sitting nearby gasped aloud at the senseless cruelty.

Cumorah took in a deep breath and attempted to launch another verbal attack on Liahona, but Aunt Delila cut her off by saying, “Oh Cumorah! I think you might be right about the eagle! Something dropped onto Leona’s car while passing underneath it.? Leona shot a surprised look at Delila but stayed silent. The bait was taken. Cumorah instantly shifted her attention from Liahona to Aunt Delila. Her right hand raised up as she scurried over to Delila exclaiming, “See! See! I qtold you. I knew it! It poops! There’s something sinister about that bird - probably part of the liberal conspiracy.? At that, a strange stuttering sound came from Sci-Fi Man, which eventually morphed into a “Good Gawd!? Everybody in the room turned to look at him. Sci-Fi Man was standing in front of the refreshments table, corn chips in one hand, party plate of sevenlayer dip in the other. He was frozen in a sort of deformed praying-mantis pose, and had a look of absolute disgust on his face. He was glaring at Cumorah. He went on keeping the same pose and expression on his face. “You call this fine lady crazy (nodding toward Liahona), yet you believe that a giant metal statue of an eagle is part of a liberal conspiracy? And that it poops on your car when you drive underneath it? You tell us that armies of evil spirits swarm down out of the mountains just to fight wars with angels in your back garden and keep you from getting a good night’s sleep? Madam, you take the cake. You are more bonkers than a birthday party in Bedlam.? With that, he dipped his chip and chomped it.

Boo, who had been giggling away with Tempest, Delila and Zibah, decided to try and bait Sci-Fi Man about his own strange beliefs. Loud enough for the whole room to hear, she asked, “Hey Stewart, have you seen your phantom wasp-ladies lately?? Without thinking, Sci-Fi replied, “Yes I have! I believe they are the pony-tail snatchers.? He then caught on to Boo’s ploy and clammed up. Despite the loudly silent cold war of dementias going on between Cumorah, Liahona and Sci-Fi Man, the send off party was a roaring success. We laughed ‘til our faces hurt and Tempest swore she would return as soon as she possibly could.