Did you ever have one of those days where you worked yourself into a froth at the office, came home in a stupor longing for a hot bath and early bedtime, and found two sheep and a flock of sock yarn building a Gay Pride float in the middle of your living room floor?
As with so much that goes on under my roof, the origin of this project was a mystery to me. I didn't know about it until Harry asked whether he could put the best cloth on the dining room table for a committee meeting.
We've had a few committees in the apartment before and the result is usually messy, and often expensive. I pressed for details.
"Me and the guys are trying to get a spot in the Pride Parade," said Harry. "We want to show that the Manly Yarn Brotherhood Against Loose-Lipped Slurs is out and proud!"
"A noble goal," I said.
"Yeah!" squeaked Harry. "We even have a theme. Look!"
He held up a sheet of construction paper decorated with a fat rainbow and the slogan MYBALLS: FULL OF PRIDE.
"That'll get their attention," I said.
"Can we have the meeting here? Please?"
"Can you keep it neat and quiet?"
"Then you may."
And then Dolores got involved.
The sock yarn wanted something simple, with balloons and streamers. Dolores quickly convinced them that no float worth riding on could roll without a hot theme and a resident diva. Add those, she insisted, and the group would be shoo-in for first prize.
"Oooh," said the sock yarn.
"Now," said Dolores, taking Harry's place at the white board and grabbing his erasable marker, "Let's brainstorm some fun themes."
"Yarn Through the Ages!" shouted a ball of bamboo. "Then we can all dress up in drag as famous knitters!"
"Yeah! I call dibs on Meg Swansen," said Harry.
"Hey! I want to be Meg!" said the bamboo.
"You lack the requisite poise," sniffed Harry.
"Your mother sleeps with Lion Brand," said the bamboo.
"Boys!" Dolores snapped, tapping the white board, "I said a fun theme. Something wild, something naughty, something that'll make the guys go crazy with desire when they see you coming."
"Have you ever spent a weekend with Meg?" said Harry.
Dolores wrote ISLAND OF THE FIRE GODDESS across the board in big letters.
"Ooooh," said the sock yarn.
I had to speak up. "Dolores," I said. "Fire? And yarn? Maybe not a great combination."
"We'll just pretend, silly," she said. "What do you say to a big volcano, boys? And lots of palm trees, and you can all put on flirty little grass skirts and dance around suggestively and throw flowers to the crowd."
"Ooooooh," said the sock yarn.
"And then every so often, the volcano will erupt! And Pele the Goddess will rise up from it and sing selections from her upcoming revue at the Lucky Horseshoe!"
"I know how to play 'Dancing Queen' on the ukulele," said a normally shy and taciturn ball of Lorna's Laces.
That settled the matter.
Victorine, who is between gigs, flew in from Quebec to help with the costuming. Never one to hold back from a chance to show off, she proposed that Madame Pele might share her volcano with a younger, slimmer, French-speaking cousine. Dolores took issue.
"One volcano, one goddess. How about we put an apple in your mouth and say you're the main dish at the luau?"
"Ah sink no," said Victorine, "Ah sink instead, Ah take dis 'ere apple, and Ah shove eet up you beeg fat cu-"
That was two days ago, and I'm still picking false sheep eyelashes out of the rug.
It was Harry who ultimately solved the problem with a suggestion worthy of Solomon.
Whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, undecided; or a straight friend, parent, sibling, coworker, neighbor, employer, or admirer, Happy Pride from our house to yours.