All those who had Done Time at a certain endowed Institution for shaping and polishing Highbrows had to close in once a Year for a Banquet. They called it a Banquet because it would have been a Joke to call it a Dinner.
The Invitations looked like real Type-Writing and called upon all the Loyal Sons of Old Bohunkus to dig up 3 Sesterces and get ready for a Big Night.
To insure a Riot of spontaneous Gaiety the following Organization was effected:
Committee on Invitation.
Committee on Reception.
Committee on Lights and Music.
Committee on Speakers.
Committee on Decorations.
Committee on Police Protection.
Committee on First Aid to Injured.
Committee on Maynew.
Committee on Liquid Nourishment.
Each Committee held numerous Meetings, at the Call of the Chairman, and discussed the impeding Festivities with that solemn regard for piffling Detail which marked the Peace Conference at The Hague.
The Frolic was to be perpetrated at a Hotel famous for the number of Electric Lights.
The Hour was to be 6:30, Sharp, so that by 6:45, four old Grads, with variegated Belshazzars, were massed together in the Egyptian Room trying to fix the Date upon which Doctor Milo Lobsquosset became Emeritus Professor of Saracenic Phlobotomy.
Along about 7:30, a Sub-Committee wearing Satin Badges was sent downstairs to round up some recent Alumni who were trying to get a Running Start, and at 7:45 a second Detachment was sent out to find the Rescue Party.
Finally at 8 o’clock the glad Throng moved into the Main Banquet Hall, which was a snug Apartment about the size of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, done in Gold and various shades of Pink, to approximate the Chambermaid’s Dream of Paradise. The style of Ornamentation was that which precipitated the French Revolution.
Beside each Plate was a blond Decoction named in honor of the Martini Rifle, which is guaranteed to kill at a Distance of 2,000 Yards. The compounding had been done in a Churn early that morning and the Temperature was that of the Room, in compliance with the Dictates of Fashion.
Those who partook of the Hemlock were given Courage to battle with the Oysters. These came in Sextettes, wearing a slight Ptomaine Pallor. On the 20th Proximo they had said good-bye to their Friends in Baltimore and for Hours they had been lying naked and choked with thirst in their little Canoes and now they were to enter the great Unknown, without pity from the Votaries of Pleasure.
Luckily the Consomme was not hot enough to scald the Thumbs of the jovial Stevedores who had been brought in as Extras, so the Feast proceeded merrily, many of the Participants devoting their spare Moments to bobbing for Olives or pulling the Twine out of the Celery.
The Fish had a French Name, having been in the Cold Storage Bastile for so long. Each Portion wore a heavy Suit of Armor, was surrounded by Library Paste and served as a Tee for two Golf Balls billed as Pommes de Terre.
It was a regular Ban-quet, so, there was not getting away from Filet de Biff aux Champignons. It was brought on merely to show what an American Cook with a Lumber-Camp Training could do to a plain slice of Steer after reading a Book written by a Chef.
Next, in accordance with honored Traditions, a half-melted Snowball impregnated with Eau de Quinine.
Just about the time that the White Vinegar gave way to the Aniline Dye, a nut headed Swozzie, who could get into Matteawan without Credentials, moved down the Line of Distinguished Guests asking for Autographs. His Example was followed by 150 other Shropshires, so that for the next 30 Minutes the Festal Chamber resembled the Auditing Department of a large Mercantile Establishment.
During this Period, the Department of Geology in the University was honored by the appearance of a genuine petrified Quail. And the Head Lettuce carried the Personal Guarantee of the Goodyear Rubber Co.