HOUSEWARMING

Wally invited everyone he knew to his apartment for a housewarming party. It had been decades in the making. He moved in 24 years ago, but it had taken so long for the pieces to come together. When Fred arrived, he complimented the placement of Wally's house plants. "Thank you, Fred,” said Wally. "At first, the seven of them were positioned in that corner right there, but over the years they found the courage to separate. I'm proud of their growing independence." Buck walked in with his wife Doris, and after they placed a warm tray of sugar cookies on a reading table Doris said, "It's a sensation to see so many chicken claws hanging indoors." "Thank you, Doris; always a pleasure, Buck," Wally said, shaking their hands at the same time. "These claws have been passed down for generations. It all began with my great-great-grandfather Boris, who found their presence a comfort, and then a necessity. He believed they warded off the ghost of his father Rubiks, who haunts me to this day.” Wally swatted the claws out of his way as he walked the cookies across the apartment. "Unfortunately, their power has dulled in recent years. Rubiks may show up tonight…” Alice and her sister Gilda arrived with some mulled wine, which Wally graciously accepted and put under a pile of coats. "How are you, my dears," Wally said as he returned to the party, kissing their cheeks, fully embracing the role of gracious host he'd so fondly fantasized playing. "Wally, we love what you've done with the place," Alice said. "But we're intrigued about all of these newspapers," Gilda said. "Why do you have so many?" It's true, Wally was a bit of a hoarder, always prone to sentimentality, but the stacks of newspapers that filled the majority of his home were le triomphe du design moderne, as he would say.