COUSIN FAROLD

What a time we have had, hons!

Christmas Eve the telephone rang. Upon reflection, I recall now that it more shrieked than rang.

Someone named “Farold Crabby” was on the lobby phone, claiming to be Fenwick’s long-lost cousin, and demanding that we let him into our rooms.

Now, Fenwick has a large extended family, most of whom he has never met because his mother managed to alienate most of them before Fenwick was born. But that’s another story altogether. It wasn’t at all odd that he would have a Cousin Farold. What was odd was how this cousin could have possibly found us living at the Dollar, since no one in Fenwick’s family will talk to him as a result of his Mama’s yet to be told alienation.

But find us he did. Fenwick went to the lobby to ascertain Farold’s bona fides and to see if he wasn’t just some gold digging nutcase trying to cause trouble. Though that would actually be enormously funny, as we don’t have two nickels to rub together just yet and recently lost our beloved Caddy to the very nice Anferny, a repo man with great manners. And there’s another story there as well.

Sure enough, Cousin Farold! Fenwick pronounced him genuine and brought him into our rooms, unfortunately without notice. I was just trying to hook my brassiere together before donning my flamingo holiday sweater and Seymour was lounging in his Grinch skivvies. Fortunately it seemed Farold was blinder than a geriatric bat, as he complimented us on our jolly attire.

Farold told us he’d tracked us down through Google and debt collectors. It seems he is the middle child of Fenwick’s Uncle Dowdy, who is his late father’s older brother. Farold graduated with high honors from Oxford and intended to pursue a career as a barrister until he was bitten by the theater bug. Not for acting. He became completely smitten with the job of raising and lowering the curtain.

He claimed to us that without exact precision and timing, entire careers could be ruined. We were regaled with a fantastic story of Leopold Harshitter, who was a contemporary of Lawrence Olivier. It seems that Leo was a far superior actor to Larry. Sir Lawrence was extremely competitive and vigorously jealous of Leopold’s mastery of Shakespeare on top of the tightest buns this side of Hostess. Upon the night of Leo’s first appearance as Hamlet, Larry slipped the curtain lifter a ten pound note and KABOOM! The curtain came down that much too early, thus ruining Leo’s chances for a future in theater and, as a result, movies. Larry, the understudy, went on to stellar reviews and the rest is history. Poor, ruined Leo, turned to the disposal business and became a bin man, emptying trash bins for the rest of his professional days. Though his mastery of Shakespeare got him a locked in position for emptying the bins at the Globe Theater, at a modestly decent rate of pay and a free seat in the balcony for performances.

Farold said he was tracking down all the family members, as his Daddy Dowdy is extremely ill and wants to make sure we can be present at the reading of his will. Fenwick was confused as he had understood Farold’s daddy, Uncle Dowdy, had died several years ago. Well, as it turned out, he had. Farold was chasing down family for money shakedown purposes, it seemed to me, though Fenwick refused to believe this at first. It took a few misadventures to persuade him.

Later Christmas Eve, Farold excused himself, presumably I thought to go to his own hotel accommodations. But there was a knock at the door twenty minutes later, just as I was reversing direction in my brassiere to put on my nightgown and Seymour was tucking his stuffed squirrel collection in for the night. Farold re-entered our rooms, followed by a very large suitcase and kit bag. It seemed he planned to stay with us.

Fenwick was about to offer him our own bed until I gave him the “do it and lose your scrotum” look. Fenwick ordered a cot from the lobby, to the tune of $5 a night extra that we could not afford, and Farold was thusly installed as a long-term visitor.

….to be continued.

The lessons of today –
~Don’t let in uninvited family whom you have not seen in more than 10 years until you ascertain the purpose of their visit
~Always wear your brassiere, even while sleeping
~Once you’re done for the night, do NOT reopen your door. Claim you wear earplugs to bed

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Tell Mrs. Crabby all!