Now that I have reached seniorism, it’s fun to sometimes look back on a few of the crazy things that have happened in my lifetime. Throughout my years I have principally been involved with television directing, radio broadcasting and tour and cruise ship operations and marketing.
In the earlier days of my life, I was living in Chicago and was employed with the largest advertising agency in the world. My duties were producing television programs which the agency’s advertisers sponsored. These included The Gary Moore Show, Art Linkletter’s Houseparty, What’s My Line and I’ve Got a Secret — to name a few. I was on an airplane several days a week, flying from Chicago to Los Angeles, and then to New York, and back to Chicago and so on.
Well, the daughter of the owner of one of Chicago’s leading department stores was being married and I and another person were to represent the advertising agency at the wedding reception. The agency purchased a very fine gift for the lucky couple and it was our job to deliver the package and to mingle at the large reception, which was on a Saturday afternoon.
With gift in hand and tux on my body, I arrived at the designated facility.
There was a board at the entrance posting the reception rooms for the various events which were being held that day. We found the one we were attending and proceeded to that room.
Already quite a few people were in attendance and we were greeted by a smiling couple and welcomed. I inquired where to place the wedding gift and was directed to a large table draped in white cloth with proper decorations around the edges. After laying the gift down, my friend and I walked back to the entrance of the room to sign in and receive our name badges. With this completed, we moved over to the bar and began imbibing.
The other attendees were most friendly and conversations soon went from “what do you do?” to politics and finally off-color jokes. All this time, of course, we were waiting for the wedding couple to arrive from the church.
Finally, they arrived and the crowd greeted them with applause and warm greetings all around.
Soon, someone with a microphone announced, “Let’s welcome the lucky couple ... Mr. and Mrs. So and So,” which was followed by another round of applause.
It was at this moment that my friend and I realized WE WERE AT THE WRONG WEDDING RECEPTION!
So, now what do we do? We have made friends, drank their liquor and left a rather expensive wedding gift on the table. The question now was, how do we sneak the wedding gift off the table and get out the door without being noticed?
We move toward the table and as we approached, we saw a man photographing the gifts, which were stacked rather high by now. We stepped back for awhile as we watched the photos being taken, and then, finally the photographer departed.
We re-approached the table and puzzled over where our gift was located. We had arrived at the reception rather early, so it was on the bottom of the pile of loot.
Soon, another couple came over to admire the many gifts and so we acted as if we were just as interested, commenting from time to time what we thought was inside the well-wrapped boxes. The couple wandered away and then we spotted our gift. We looked both ways and then grabbed it off the table and almost ran to the door.
We looked back as we quickly walked down the long hall, thinking if we were spotted some guests might think we were stealing.
Well, no one came running after us, so we breathed a sigh of relief, found the reception desk and asked for directions to the right event. Being correctly directed, we entered the room and found the proceedings well under way. The wedding couple had already arrived and the entertainment had begun.
No one was at the entrance, so we began to quickly mingle our way to the gift table and put our package in its proper place.
From there we headed for the bar and began the whole ordeal over again.
When I got back to office Monday morning, I was asked by the staff how the reception went, and I responded with, “Perfectly!”