FYI: Spirit Airlines offers flights from Myrtle Beach and Fort Lauderdale direct to Latrobe’s Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. So that’s my best route for anyone wishing to attend my office Christmas party next Friday from, I think, 7 p.m. till whenever a.m.
That means confirmed readers in places like Cote d’Ivoire, Guernsey, Aland Islands, Fiji and Sri Lanka will need to seek an alternative.
Preferably something other than Greyhound.
Can you believe this blog has readers from places like that?
It’s true. In fact, my stats page tells me I’m closing in on representatives of 150 nations who’ve stumbled onto my musings.
Talk about your Christmas miracles.
Besides the above mentioned obscurities, the blog’s also registered readers from Macau, Gabon, Liechtenstein, Nevis & St. Kitt, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
It’s a veritable Coalition of the Too Much Time on Their Hands.
Just last week, records showed someone from Isle of Man in the Manx Sea between Scotland and Ireland checked in to read the story about my mustache.
Of course, they did. Certainly no one from the Isle of WoMan would care to read about lip hair.
Nor would anyone, I suppose, from the Isle of Misfit Toys.
I was looking at this list of tiny countries and wondering how many of their armed forces could be defeated by the Greater Latrobe Wildcats 2-7 varsity football team. It might be competitive.
But that’s only sporting speculation unbecoming of a holiday renown for peace and goodwill toward blog readers.
I should offer an incentive for anyone from these distant countries to make the difficult trek to Latrobe to attend my party -- like a free “Use All the Crayons!” to whomever travels the farthest.
But I fear that would mean teams of drivers would be checking odometers driving back and forth from Dave’s house in Lloydsville and Todd’s house in Derry to determine precisely who wins and that might tempt Dave or Todd to cheat.
I’m excited about hosting the party, the first holiday gathering since 2009.
Here’s the flyer from that inaugural. It read in festive fonts:
POND OFFICE PARTY
4-6 p.m., Apt. 2
All Friends and Honest Strangers Welcome!
Games, prizes . . . smokers welcome!
Come for the Fun! Come for the Pizza!
Come hear Bob Dylan sing your favorite Christmas Songs!
Come and enjoy my new haircut!
As you can surmise, I thought the big draws would be the opportunity to hear the new Dylan album, “Christmas in the Heart,” a collection of songs where a Jewish troubador -- a Jewbador? -- sings popular songs about a Christian holiday, and the chance to see my new haircut.
Apparently, I was suffering from delusions of Beiber.
What people seemed to enjoy was the opportunity to see a truly unconventional work place where little conventional work ever gets done. Most of the faces of my guests bore the same wondrous expression you see on children when they visit a zoo.
So people enjoyed themselves, never more so than when our daughter, Josie, then 9, drilled me right in the chestnuts with a juggling bag.
They probably heard my pained yelp clear in Cote d’Ivoire.
People have asked about the party the last three years and I always told them I wouldn’t have another because the first turned out so Christmas wholesome, and I found that appalling.
But this year’s been truly wonderful. I’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction to my book.
People love it and have gone out of their way to support its success. I was at the Greensburg Barnes & Noble just yesterday and learned they’d sold 78 copies in six weeks. They had just two copies left. We’ll hit a hundred before Christmas, I’m sure.
So now’s the perfect time to host a festive party where we can celebrate our friendship, our hopes for a better future and everyone can enjoy watching me get drilled in the balls again.
What I won’t do for holiday tradition.
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