When all those ladies arrived on our doorstep yesterday, I should have known their counterparts wouldn’t be far behind. This morning I opened the front door, and ten lords paraded past me into the house. How can I be sure they’re lords? Well, because each one formally announced himself as such upon entering: Lord Jim, Lord Byron, a shorter one named Fauntleroy, and so on and so forth. Most of them are prim and proper, as you’d expect, but two don’t fit the stereotype: One is wearing a sparkly jacket and pants but no shirt, whereas the other is dressed all in black, including a cape and a bizarre-looking helmet. That last one calls himself Vader.
At first, the lords were just jumping around willy-nilly,1 but then Lord Vader proclaimed that they should all jump in unison. This naturally caused quite a stir — lords don’t like being told what to do — but Vader calmly lifted a gloved hand, and suddenly his most vocal opponent (Lord So On) began to choke. Within seconds the guy had fallen to the floor and was no longer breathing. Vader beckoned for his two servants, whom I hadn’t even noticed come in, to cart the body away and bury it in the back yard.
Jump with me. It is your destiny.
I assumed the whole thing was an act, but the other lords were sufficiently spooked that they immediately took to following Vader’s lead. Most of them caught on pretty quickly, though the least coordinated of the bunch (Lord So Forth) stumbled into Vader a couple times, and did not live to learn from his mistakes. Fortunately, after those two deaths, everything went a little more smoothly. For the lords, that is...
Do you remember how the Banks’s home shook in Mary Poppins every time the cannon fired from their roof? Well, with all the lords jumping together, it’s kind of like that, except the house quakes every three seconds instead of every hour, and we have far fewer valuables remaining intact.2
With so many people in the house at once, and everyone constantly getting in each other’s way, emotions have been running high. Everywhere the dancers turn, they collide with something.3 The dancers have been yelling at the maids, the maids at the lords, the lords at the dancers, and I at the maids, lords, dancers, and parrots.4
Needing a break from the insanity, I made my second trip of the day to our local grocery store to pick up enough food for dinner for twenty-seven people. Two of my credit cards were rejected, but fortunately the last one went through. I then returned home to the wonderful aroma of chicken roasting in the oven.
The problem was, I knew for a fact that we’d already gone through all the meat in our freezer. It was as I feared: when I looked on the porch, I found only two of the original three hens. In the basement, I also found that all the jumping had caused two of the newly laid pipes to burst. The pipe-laying geese were going at it beak-to-beak as the basement flooded. The rest of the birds had lined up two by two and were climbing into a large Rubbermaid storage container.
I knew Denise had the name of a good plumber, but she was busy berating the maids for the mess they had made in the kitchen, and I knew better than to interrupt. I stepped outside, remembering that a van from Joe’s Plumbing had been parked across the street for the past two days. Surely, they’d welcome some extra business.
As soon as I neared the van, however, it pulled its satellite dishes back inside and tore off down the road, leaving the smell of burning rubber in its wake. Guess we’ll be waiting for Denise’s guy, after all. Hope he doesn’t take too long. The water level’s currently at ten inches.
1 That’s one of the other lords: Lord Willy-Nilly.
2 Also, at no time has one of the maids tried sliding up the banister.
3 Walls, lords, maids, birds, furniture, large hadrons...
4 Oh yeah, and the pole dancer got into fisticuffs with one of the swans. (She lost.)