austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

When I'm old and grey dear

One of the guys on the first floor, at work, is going to be a father soon. Like, real soon. As in his wife has gone into the hospital a couple of times over the last few days, although they've been false alarms so far. It was a couple weeks ago, when just how urgently the anticipated son would be arriving wasn't known, that the word went out to put together a potluck surprise lunch/baby shower for the guy.

There's a mildly curious little assumption built into the plannings of these office luncheons, namely, that none of the guys are going to actually cook things. The organizer just asked women what they planned to prepare, and the men what they planned to buy, like sodas or stuff. I volunteered for the cheese tray, which was accepted and which I topped by actually bringing in two cheese trays. (They were small ones.)

Come Tuesday, when it looked like the baby was going to arrive more than a week ahead of schedule, the guy was out to be in the hospital with his wife and there was a movement to cancel or postpone the lunch. The verdict came down: nah, we'll just all get together Wednesday and if he's not there, we'll just hold another one later. Seemed sensible enough to me. BUt it was a false alarm, it turned out, and he was in Wednesday, and was also taken completely by surprise with the lunch/shower.

What caught me by surprise was that the women in the office took the ``baby shower'' part literally, and brought in clothes and soft things to throw and/or snuggle up in, in bags wrapped up in soothing pastel colors. If I'd known there'd be gifts I'd have expanded on the cheese trays with something that rattles or rings bells.

Trivia: In 1932 Otis Elevators saw about 1500 maintenance contracts cancelled, but it gained about a thousand new contracts, and total billing dropped off only about two percent. Source: Otis: Giving Rise To The Modern City, Jason Goodwin.

Currently Reading: Tama Of The Light Country, Ray Cummings. I must call foul on this Ace Science Fiction Classic's slug line, ``Kidnapped by a spaceship!'', as what's really happening is girls in a Maine private academy are being kidnapped by people in a spaceship, not the spaceship itself. The credit page also gives the suggestion this was printed in Argosy in 1965, which, yeah, what? Anyway, evil men from Mercury are kidnapping human women because they need women (yes, a story actually did that plot!) and --- here's where lighthearted goofiness takes on a sinister air --- Mercury's women, naturally having wings, are actually rebelling against the wing-clipping mutilation that keeps them from escaping their captor-slaver males. Add in a solar system about as large as a Brooklyn convenience store so all the relevant characters can spend as much time together in the 124 pages they have and we're off to jolly good fun and never mind our heroes kind of accidentally murder an innocent Mercurian woman right up front.

PS: Why Call The Intercept b, a darned good question which certainly deserves some kind of answer.

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