The "Whenever Newsletter" containing the wit and wisdom of LDS author Susan Law Corpany is put out several times a year, but not on any set schedule. You will find the stories behind the stories, excerpts from works in progress, humorous insights, ideas for how to avoid doing housework. In other words--whatever and whenever. (Just a touch of rebellion.) Subscription is free and free from the contraint of a publishing schedule, because after all, writers are under enough deadlines. Enjoy!
Newsletter Dated: 6/8/2009 12:39:50 PM
Subject: Seeking Shepherds Pizza Party and Heaven Help Us!
My last column was about the difference between a shepherd and a hireling.
"Sheep know when they have a shepherd. We can all point to that one teacher who cared above and beyond the call of duty, the bishop who ministered so kindly and wisely, the faithful home teacher who was involved in our lives. Likewise, sheep sense when they are under the care of a hireling. Your visual aids may be spectacular, your lesson preparation meticulous, but love is always the added ingredient that makes the cup overflow. Make sure it isn't missing, because the cake will surely fall."
Tomorrow night, June 9, I will once again be hosting a get together at the Brick Oven Pizza in Provo, 111 E. 800 North, Provo, from 6:30 to 8:30.
Come, meet the author, buy some pizza, bring a friend. Get a free book.
I have today just finished my book Heaven Help Us! and I am about to deliver the last few chapters to the publisher. Woo hoo! This has been an elephant pregnancy to say the least. Here is a short excerpt to whet your appetite.
Karen and her attorney Barry are in Vegas, staging a fake marriage to stem the tide of marriage proposals since she came into money.
“Right this way, please, and get your wallet out now.” The Ferengi with the big ears showed them to their table. “I am Cyron. I will be your server tonight. It is my desire to earn a big tip. I will do this not by giving you stellar, attentive service but by using my powers of persuasion to entice you to order the most expensive items we offer.” He handed them two menus. “I’ll give you a moment to look over the selections and assess your finances.”
After a few minutes, their otherworldly waiter reappeared. “Have you decided?”
Barry spoke first. “I am going to have the HamBorger.”
Cyron turned to Karen. “Perhaps you will be available later this evening after you have dumped this cheapskate?”
“I couldn’t do that on our weddin’ day.”
Cyron fixed Barry with a cold stare. “Your wedding day, sir, and you can’t pull out all the stops?”
Barry cleared his throat, going along with the act. “Okay, you talked me into it. I’ll also take some Rings of Betazeel.”
“That’s it? Well, I certainly hope your date—oh, excuse me, your wife—makes up for it with her order. Ferengi Rules of Acquisition number 188—‘A fool and his money is the best customer.’”
Karen chuckled. “I’d like the Klingon Kabob and Glop on a Stick.”
“Fine choices. No doubt you will still have room for one of our overpriced desserts after partaking of these delicacies that will only serve to cleanse your palette and stimulate your appetite.”
“I have a question,” Karen said. “This drink—the Vulcan Volcano—that looks kind of good to me. Do you have a non-alcoholic version of that?”
“Ferengi Rules of Acquisition Number 208—‘Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer.’ Did I hear you right? You are requesting a virgin version?”
“To be correct, you want a virgin version Vulcan Volcano?”
“Certainly, I can get you a VVVV. Just be aware of Rule 266 of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition—‘When in doubt, lie.’”
“Maybe I’ll pass on the drink.”
He turned to Barry. “No libations to celebrate this momentous occasion?”
Barry smiled. “No libations. Water will do.”
“Water? Water??? You bring your new wife to a theme restaurant on your wedding day where underpaid waiters dress up in excruciatingly uncomfortable and stiflingly hot latex masks in a desert climate attempting to extort money out of skinflint customers by impersonating characters from a show that has been in syndication for decades, and you order water? Sir?”
Barry grinned. At least if there is a reporter following us around, he’s getting all this. “What kind of sodas do you have?”
Suddenly a fellow from a nearby table stood up and pointed a camera in their direction. There were a series of flashes and when Karen and Barry were able to see again, that table was desserted, except for the empty plate and the last few drops of a Vulcan Volcano.
Cyron stood silent. “Am I to infer from this display that you are persons of interest to the paparazzi?” Barry said nothing.
“Maybe they just think we’re photogenic,” Karen said.
“Perhaps I would be able to enlarge the size of my tip if I was able to ascertain his identity from the credit card he used and have that information happen to get into your hands.”
“Perhaps,” Barry replied. “But then again, I’ve been told ‘When in doubt, lie.’” He changed the subject. “Where might I find a restroom?”
Barry excused himself and followed the directions Cyron had given him to the men’s room. A few minutes later he returned and paid the check.
“I’m getting the tip, Barry.” Karen left a one hundred dollar bill on the table.
Cyron came by to collect payment just as Karen put the large tip on the table. The commentary continued. “In Ferengi society women do not own property, but if this generosity is characteristic of your society, perhaps it is not altogether a bad thing to allow women to have some limited ownership.”
Cyron disappeared with Barry’s credit card and the tip before the female earthling could think better of it. He returned shortly to the table with a receipt and Barry’s credit card. Discreetly, the waiter had slipped a small piece of paper underneath the receipt with a name and some other information written on it.
“Thank you, Cyron, for a memorable evening. I trust the tip was to your satisfaction.”
“Yes, thank you. And I trust the meal was to yours. Your generosity has been noted. Please come back and give us a chance to further exploit you in the future.” He bowed slightly and walked away.
Barry pulled Karen’s chair out for her. “Are we headed to the airport now, for the late flight home?”
He spoke barely above a whisper. “Actually, Karen, I changed our flight to tomorrow morning.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out two card keys. “I need you right now just to go along with this. Don’t ask any questions. We’re spending the night here at the Hilton. Act excited.”
“I never spent the night in a Hilton before!”
“Not that excited, Karen,” he whispered.
“But I am! I’m genuinely excited. I really ain’t never spent a night in a Hilton Hotel before.”
“We’ll have to come here on our anniversary next year, don’t you think?”
Karen realized the charade was still on. “I sure do hope so!” She pulled out a cell phone. “I need to call Donovan. He’s staying at my house, you know, housesitting and feeding my animals and stuff. He thinks I’m coming back tonight.”
Barry took the key and opened the door to room 1422 and followed Karen in. “Are you next door?” she asked, unaware the both keys were for the same room.
“Karen, I’ve got a confession to make. In the course of our travels, I’ve been aware that more than one person was following us. Whoever they are, they aren’t just looking for a picture. They’re digging for a story—for the complete story. In recent years some of the tabloids have excelled at actually breaking real stories, along with the obviously bogus stuff that they do. I feared that there was some truly investigative journalism going on, and that they would go back and talk to the Elvis who married us and discover it was all a fake. And who spends their wedding night on an airplane? I determined it was necessary to carry the charade a bit further than I’d originally planned.”
“You mean who supposedly married us, don’t you?” Karen asked, afraid of what he was going to say next.
“Uh, no. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. We’re, um, we’re really married. The license and all, at first I thought we should do all that to make it look real, but then I made a judgment call and decided to really go through with it. We’ll get it annulled, of course, after the story breaks, so if you don’t mind my sleeping here in the other bed, it would simplify things a bit. A lot, actually.”
Karen stood with her mouth open, unsure what to say. “We’re really married? I can’t believe you did that, Barry, without asking me.”
“We’re being watched, Karen, even now. If I slip out and go to another room or another hotel, or even another city, they might find that out. They can track my credit card or make note of my comings and goings from our room, talk to cabbies. We need to spend the night in this room, and in the morning, we’ll make one of the beds and order room service, so it looks like we spent the night as a married couple. They’ll pay waiters, bellboys, anyone who can give them a little piece of crucial information, like two beds were slept in on our wedding night, or worse yet, two rooms.” He smiled. “Besides that, I’m a great catch!”
“Then so am I! I don’t like this, Barry. I don’t like it, no way no how!”
“Do you think I’m going to try and get a big divorce settlement out of you or something? I’m reasonably well-to-do all on my own, you know.”
“What would dear departed Kathleen have to say about all this? You’re making a mockery of marriage.”
“Good alliteration. I’m not making a mockery of the sacred institution of marriage as we know it, Karen. I’m making a mockery of Chapel O’ Love marriage, in which case, it could be argued that two negatives make a positive.”
“Don’t pull that lawyer-crap with me, Barry! You go buy a newspaper or something while I take a shower. When you get back, I will be comfortably in bed with the covers up around my ears. Since I didn’t know we was gonna be spendin’ the night, I don’t exactly have my favorite jammies along. While you’re out, get me a toothbrush and some toothpaste, so I can at least brush my teeth.”
“I take it this means you aren’t going to expect me to do my husbandly duty. I always think you are coming onto me when you brush your teeth.”
“In your dreams!”
He wiped his hand across his forehead. “Whew!”
“This ain’t no joke, Barry. I’m mad, or can’t ya tell?”
“Oh yes, I can tell.” He stopped, his hand on the doorknob. “Karen, I’ll be back as soon as I can. Don’t answer the door for anyone. I’m doing all of this for your protection. There are people out there who might try to infiltrate your family socially for the money. This won’t just be someone looking for a handout. You, Dee, Austin—you just can’t be too careful from now on. I’m putting my own career at risk here, Karen. This doesn’t exactly look good on my resumé . I may be asked at some future time whether I have ever sworn falsely. This wedding could certainly qualify, and if my actions are considered in that regard, without consideration for the extenuating circumstances, it could have serious consequences for me.”
Karen’s tone softened somewhat. “I like Colgate, the minty kind.”