Hey, a party isn’t a party until someone cracks open a fire extinguisher.
No, there wasn’t any fire. And no, it wasn’t the type of occasion that needed such a prop - like a costume or a bachelorette party.
This happened at a wedding.
Actually, it happened at the reception, and everything started when my business partner and I became recruited to help decorate. We arrived at the banquet hall with our truckload of decorations, and I immediately went to work by setting up the children’s table for the eleven little party goers (from 3 to 12 years old) who would arrive.
Cards with colorful fish, drawing pads, crayons, and small puzzles took the places of tower vases and glass marbles. Let’s face facts, folks. A wedding reception has to be one of the most boring places for a child. We get the tykes all cleaned up, dress them in their best clothes, and then tell them that they’ll have fun without any running, jumping, screaming, or rolling around allowed. To a kid, this is the equivalent of a life’s sentence in a maximum security prison.
This was the reason for the children’s table. I’d give them something to do to pass the jail time.
Once all the decorations were up, a flurry of moving bodies came inside. Young adults talked loudly on cell phones. Older folks immediately took the comfiest seats they could find. But what happened to the children?
Well, they never made it through the auditorium doors. While the adults ate and caught up on family news, the little imps had paroled themselves to all the fun in the lobby. There, a water fountain created a Slip n’ Slide on the tile floor. A round couch resembling a giant footstool with wheels (you might have seen one at a hotel) became a merry-go-round that bounced off walls. As for the ATM, I’ll just say that fried chicken was not a suitable substitute for a bank card.
Then there came a loud boom.
I had just entered the lobby when I saw a cloud of yellowish mist. More of the strange substance stained the floor where the dropped fire extinguisher and a single footprint laid out the crime scene. The only remaining witness shouted in a save-yourself voice. "She did it!"
Since I had no idea who "she" was, all I could do was chock open the outside door and get the building manager. Meanwhile, the children had finally discovered their decked-out table and now allowed imaginations to run wild on paper as they claimed innocence to the mayhem in the lobby. No one checked them for yellow shoes.
As the manager destroyed all trace evidence with a mop, she looked over at me and declared that rules would be changing for the next party. I agreed with her.
Next time, I plan on hanging a sign on the door. It will read: Guests, please keep an eye on your little parolees.