Tis a Saturday night and parties abound,
Marriage receptions are easily found.
What began with solemn vows exchanged in a church,
becomes dinner and dance and guys chasing skirts.
The food? It was decent, the cake was just fair.
But none of that matters, that's not why they're there.
The music blares loudly, the drinks freely pour,
And dozens of folk strut their stuff on the floor.
The girls in hot dresses, the guys in their suits,
Each of them thinking the other is cute.
The mood being set by the man with the sound,
Making each reveler lift their feet from the ground.
But into this scene of happiness lurks
A villain called Time and he has a quirk.
For by his command the party must end,
The music must stop, and then we begin.
Just prior to midnight, or perhaps one o'clock,
We make our arrival in a van at the dock.
The name of our flower shop proudly displayed
is our ticket to enter where the employees entre.
The scene doth play out both near and far,
Mostly in vans, but sometimes a car.
In banquet halls, tents and palatial estates
And sometimes a private golf course with locked gates.
We each know our locale, for all is spelled out
in paperwork that looks much like a route.
It's been assigned by our fearless leader Kathleen,
If you call her Kate, she'll know who you mean.
Entering the building with our cart from the rear,
We hear the loud music before we are near.
A quick check of the watch tells us we timed
Our arrival correctly, the bell soon will chime.
The party still going, we take just a peek
Through the rear doors we look, we scour, we seek
The gift table where our boxes do hide
under the skirting. There! Our info's bona fide!
Earlier that day our Princess, our Queen,
The lass we call Kate, or is it Kathleen?
Our leader assured us our boxes were there
She got it on word from the setting-up pair.
So now we just wait for the villain to strike,
Using his accomplice, the man with the mike.
The DJ announces the very last song,
I'll bet that it's Journey. Tell me I'm wrong.
So as Steve Perry sings Don't Stop Believin',
We get ready for the bobbin', the trippin', the weavin'.
The lights come up, through the crowd we do twirl,
Making our way through drunks in a swirl.
The bride does not see us as farewells she does make,
But back in the corner the vases we take.
The flowers inside are set on the table,
For we don't re-use them, that's just a fable.
Out pours the water, the gems and pin frogs
Into a colander, as the number we log.
The gems and pin frogs a bucket are shown,
The vases, now empty, find cardboard their home.
The bride doesn't notice as she heads out the door,
But we are half done and crossing the floor.
We've much left to do, though much is done,
We are invisible ghosts whose work is unsung.
Billy on a ladder, so easily balanced,
reaching for an ivory pipe and drape valance.
Patti blows out fire inside a gold merc,
She knows not to touch them, they're hot and they hurt.
Joan smiles easily and considers it fun
As the manager bellows out, "you should be done."
Britney scowls slightly because the boxes aren't there,
And says to herself, "this just isn't fair."
Maureen thinks it easy to deal with the sashes.
Untying tough knots? It's like batting eyelashes!
Michael and Kelly find it simple matters
to lift three vases at once and not one of them shatters.
Angela finishes fast and wins the night in a rout,
But really hates that her van's radio's out.
And the best part of doing a pick up on a late summer's eve?
Not having to listen to the constant bickering of Wendy and Steve.
The pick up now done, off to the shop with a shout!
To drop off the goods, the paperwork, then pout.
For the fun is now over until late next week,
When once again for pickups we seek.
We will check often in the manager's den,
And look for our names written therein.
To see if we've been assigned by Kate, our Queen,
Another nights pick up. Or is it Kathleen?
---Steve Cooper, August 26, 2014