I was hosting a small political gathering at my home. Bob Hope was to be the featured entertainer, and I marveled that he was still making appearances so long after he had passed on — and that he had agreed to perform for such a small, living room assembly. My father was there too, and very excited to meet Mr. Hope, although dad had passed on years before as well. I recall thinking, that even though this particular group was full of young people, my securing a big name entertainer represented something of an accomplishment. I reviewed the itinerary: first, I would say a few words, introduce Mr. Hope, and then Bob would make a few jokes, and then we would get to the political business at hand.
But Bob just started right in, without an introduction. Some of the young people didn’t seem to know who he was, and one young lady — a family friend — was distinctly rude, interrupting the performance. Bob made a piece of paper float in front of him and announced, “I am going to show you the physics of writing with a lead pencil.” Our young lady friend kept interrupting him and Bob warned her off in a friendly way, but you could tell the tension was mounting, and before two minutes had expired, Bob was fishing a laptop out from beneath my seat and excusing himself. I thought this was part of the gag, but he actually just disappeared.
I went out front to see if his car was gone, and my sons were supervising two miniature horses pulling two miniature carriages. “Halcyon hooked them up for us,” Nicholas said. Bob was gone.
I tried to explain events to the young people back in the living room.
“Sorry, kids, I guess Bob is off his game.”
This seemed to bridge the generational divide, and there was a momentary truce, the promise of reunion, before the arrival of the day.