“Liz here. I’m having a little dinner party to honor Dan Rather. We’re going to be spinning some yarns, and I’d like for you to tell a story or two. Now Dan will be the primary yarn spinner,” she cautioned. “You can have three minutes. Dan get’s thirty.”
Liz Carpenter can summon heads of states and dignitaries with a call, so who was I to decline? I told her that I’d love to come, and I would limit my storytelling to the three minutes she had given me. I arrived all decked out in a squaw skirt and black boots with my well-rehearsed story.
After the “opening ceremony” to welcome her guests, Liz invited everyone to eat. Scattered all over her house, we ate delicious salmon while engaging in great conversations. As I was chewing the last bite of my salmon, I joined the guests at the “big table,” positioning myself between Liz and Lady Bird. As I was about to say something I felt and heard a loud crunch in my mouth. I was sure I had chomped down on a large fish bone, so I delicately spit the foreign object into my napkin, turning my head away from the table exactly as I had been taught in junior high home economics. I quickly glanced at the object in my napkin and then swiped my tongue around my mouth. This was no bone I was holding but a crown from my back right tooth.
After a quick trip to the bathroom where I rinsed out the crown and set it back on the stump of my tooth, I went back to the table, hoping the crown would stay put for the rest of the evening. After all, I had three minutes of fame coming, and I didn’t want to blow it.
We gathered back in the living room for storytelling and bananas Foster. Dan Rather took every bit of his 30 minutes, and then others piped in with their stories. I was dying to tell my story, but each time I took a bite of banana or ice cream, that durn crown popped off. Several times I opened my mouth, ready to spin my yarn. Each time, I closed it abruptly as the crown fell to the floor of my mouth.
At about 10:30, the Rathers stood up to leave, and other guests followed suit. I stood up to protest that I hadn’t had a chance to tell my story, but the moment my lips came together, that crown popped off once again. I sat back down—my chance to speak before Dan Rather and other dignitaries had passed.
Even without my yarn, the evening was a smashing success. I’d go so far to say that it was a crowning affair.