Vol. 6, Issue 7, May 13, 2008
Get Away From It All
The Apesheet

A Rare Occasion

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

Like most families in this sprawling land of semi-Nomads, the Watley clan is spread far and Wide, an even distribution of our Remarkable bloodline. Rarely do we Gather but for weddings and Funerals, and as time passes there seem to be more of the Latter than the Former, most unfortunately. It was thus with great Pleasure that I found us once more brought Together for the Happier sort of occasion, the wedding of my doughty and indefatigable Secretary, Elisabeth, who happens to be a second Cousin of mine, once Removed. Her suitor, having plied her with flowers for some five Years, had Finally won her hand in Marriage. (I do hope he eventually began growing them Himself, else the bills would have become somewhat Exorbitant over time.)

We arrived by train, autocar and Dirigible; my brother Ebenezer even arrived by Schooner, though somewhat late it must be Admitted (though the Barbary Pirates are to be blamed, rather than He). My sister Etta, delightful but regrettably optimistic mother of the incorrigible Ephram, was there as Well, convinced as ever that her delightful boy was merely Misunderstood; this, as he essayed to pick Uncle Ezra's pockets at the Reception, and was chased away with unerring blows of his bronze-sheathed Penang Lawyer. It is, I suppose, good that at least One person in this world sees good in the lad, although Surely dear Etta must realize that her house is Suspiciously lighter of a few trinkets with each visit from her ne'er-do-well Son.

The affair is a Rousing success: the traditional Drinking contest results in a fierce standoff between old Ezra and a young freckled dear from Portland, Esmeralda I believe was her name; twenty two if she was a Day, and she gave the old trouble-maker quite the run for his Money, although he is such a famous imbiber that there is Actually a brand of Rum named in his honor. The family sea-chanty was Marvelously long, gathering a new Stanza to its folds with each gathering of the Watley clan; it currently takes nearly two Hours to sing, though often the Constabulary intervenes before it is Complete. And finally, the presentation of the Gifts; I was particularly proud of my effort, a brass Gasogene in the form of a Pelican that Elisabeth was often wont to admire in my Office. (At least, she kept putting it safely out of Sight - surely a demonstration of deep Concern for its well-being and Security against Theft!)

It has been Five Years since the last such gathering, and I must say things have Changed quite a bit. There is a great deal more Gray Hair thatching our respective roofs; once-callow Youths now stand tall and Robust with Experience; even Ephram has aged a bit, having garnered an extra foot or two on his Rap-sheet, a Tattoo, and a Monkey. Some faces are no longer here, but new ones shine in their Place. For a long moment, I think back on how much has Changed since 2003. I raise my Glass to the years past - one for each, actually - and wonder when the next such gathering shall be. But no matter. Today is a day for looking Forward, as so should Every day be. I raise my glass Again, and hope to report on a Similarly happy occasion five years Hence. Cheers, good readers!

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