Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A welcoming story

Rather than begin with a lot of facts about who I am, let me begin with a story that reveals a little about me--and a lot more about the website you have stumbled upon. This incident did not give rise to the name of this website; but when I did decide upon a name--it was in the wee hours of the morning, in a half-wakeful, half-dreaming state--the story immediately came to mind.

In one of my former lives, in a land far away and a time long ago, I worked at one of the truly great independent book stores in this country, the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver. The intra-store Spring party one year was a 'Las Vegas' Night, complete with an Elvis impersonator. The food, of course, was potluck; but the understanding was that that all dishes be in keeping with the theme--as kitchy and as over-the-top as Las Vegas. And the highlight of the potluck was to be a Spam contest. I mean 'Spam' in its real meaning, not the techno-spam we loathe today.

What was I to bring? My wife was off on a business trip; we had two small children; and the pre-school Spring Carnival was happening the very same day as the book store gala.

As luck would have it, I was saved by the very dynamic of the potluck--if you're willing, as I am, to stretch its meaning a bit.

Here's how it unfolded. My job at the carnival was working the 'prepared meal' booth: moms from various homerooms prepared a designated dish. And, no, someone did not bring a prepared 'Spam' dish. It was even better than that! One of our dearest friends, heavy into the women's movement, was not about to be told, even by other women, what kind of dish to prepare. So she brought her very own creation, what she called a complete meal. It consisted of a jello ring mold containing diced hot dogs, elbow macaroni and diced celery and carrots. All the food groups, plus dessert! Needless to say, I snapped it up before it hit the sale table.

Need I explain the moral? Someone is always hungry for what we bring to the table, no matter how outlandish, crazy or wild it is. So, I'll start by posting now and again some of my various musings from different times of my life. Take what you like, leave the rest--and add your own.