This is the final Sunday of the challenge!
What, challenge, you say? Good grief, where have you been?! Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese are running a writing challenge during February.
It’s not too late to join in.
But run if you can.
Max brings the best folks home for dinner.
It’s last night. I return home as twilight is giving way to chilly dark, laden down with bags from the supermarket. I shout a welcome as I slam the front door, but no reply comes. There are faint voices from the lounge though and, stepping through from the hallway, I find Max standing by the fire with King an Oriental gentleman.
Roth! roars Max, Come in, join us, join us! He’s looking uncommonly smart, with long trousers and everything. King looks as magnificent as ever in his three-piece suit, and his vibrant striped necktie looks suspiciously familiar.
The third of their party, whose long robes and good looks suggest Chinese, detaches himself from the group and extends an aged hand.
Mr. Roth. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We shake hands. My name is Kong Qiu; thank you for welcoming me into your home.
His hand is warm and kind, and I find myself smiling despite my usual reticence with newcomers. It’s my pleasure, Mr. Kong. I indicate Max and King as they head through to the kitchen, presumably to check in on the food I can smell cooking. Are you a diplomat, like Mr. King?
He nods and offers a crookedly cryptic smile. I am an ambassador, of sorts, yes. In my home land, I am known as Kong Fuzi, he frowns momentarily, by those with a far too-high opinion of me.
Humility is endless, I say, pulling the phrase from somewhere; it sounds awkward and pretentious. I scratch my head, searching for conversation at my greying roots. His name sounds familiar; has he been in the news? Kong Fuzi? Does that mean Master Kong? Nope, that still sounds awkward, however correct it is. But the Oriental nods, amused, and the klonky moment passes.
So, how do you come to be here with Max and King today? King doesn’t bring many guests home. I consider why this is, and add thoughtfully, He’s something of a loose cannon in the diplomatic world, I’m told.
Kong nods and checks we are alone.
If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. He moves to the lounge door and closes it before continuing in a lower tone, I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself. He smiles warmly, with a mischievous glint in his eye.
I smile, remembering the phrase. I learned it at my grandmother’s Juno’s knee. She was something of a diplomat to China, and a very wise lady.
That's Confucius. No intellectual self-aggrandisement is intended. Okay, perhaps a little educational vanity is showing. I receive a small nod of acknowledgement. Keen to move along, I indicate the generally untidy state of the lounge. I wish I’d known you were all coming, I’d have straightened the place up a bit.
This received a quiet shake of the head. This feels like a home, Mr. Roth, he shrugs reflectively, Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
More Confucianism. Curious. Again, his name nags at me.
But there is no time to think. The lounge doors bursts open, and an ebullient Max fills the space.
Dinner. Is. Served!
I wave our philosophical guest through ahead of me, and we enter a dining room that is bursting with delicious smells. The table groans with dishes and lidded wicker containers. It looks amazing, though I note that all of the food is Chinese. And vegetarian.
My tummy grumbles its hunger and disappointment.
Well, this all looks magnificent, I say, scratching my ear reflectively, but I kind’ve had my heart set on a big meaty pizza tonight.
Kong Fuzi chuckles kindly, and slaps me on the back. You’re a schmuck, Roth.
My self-effacing laughter joins his. Did Confucius say that, too?
His eyes catch mine in flight, and hold them easily. He leans closer, the same mischievous smile playing about his lips.
You bet your ass I did.
Max brings the best folks home for dinner.
And sometimes, they come a very long way.
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2012/2013
I wanted it to be Kong Fonzie...that would have been really cool. ;)ReplyDelete
Hey Mariann! That gets two thumbs up! Aaaaaaay! Indigo xDelete
Kong Qui is a wise man... I do hope he's able to visit often!ReplyDelete
Hey Paula! I never know who Max will bring home for dinner. Last week it was the Harlem Globetrotters. It was nice to feel a little shorter than usual. True story. Roth xDelete
He who eats with Roth is sure to have indigestion. Rush, I meant rush. Sorry.ReplyDelete
Hey Dufus! Perhaps true, but only if they tie me up first. RothDelete
Excellent use of Confucius quotes, and I loved how you were trying to place the name. Oh, and again with the pizza!ReplyDelete
Hey Linda! It's amazing the things you learn doing this challenge! Pizza? I didn't get one, may I say. *sigh* Indigo xDelete
So isn't it the Chinese who give their first name last and their last name first so he's really Fuzi Kong?ReplyDelete
Sounds like a porn name to me *shrug* ;)
Hey Barb! Porn names? Nice! Mine is "Rex Plumber", I seem to recall. I always liked the sound of it, and used it in my "volunteer" work in Denmark back in the Nineties. Heh. Indigo xDelete
are you sure he didn't konk-you on the intellectual brow?! Excellent work again."-]
Hey Yamini! There was no illicit konking going on. But there never is in my house. *sigh* Indigo xDelete
So I wonder, which of Max and King does Kong Fuzi consider the good man and which bad? Using the term 'man' somewhat loosely in King's case, of course :)ReplyDelete
Ah Jenn, you are a wise woman for asking; I wish I'd thought of it. But I have my suspicions. Indigo xDelete
Oh to have King and Kong in the house at one time. The beauty of it all.ReplyDelete
Hey P.J.! Heh, I never thought of that. They could really DO something together couldn't they?! IndigoDelete
One of these days you're going to come home and find Nikola Tesla in your living room, and when you do, I want to be there. I have a thing or two I want to ask him.ReplyDelete
Hey Ziva! He's dropped in to see Max in the past. A bit crazy, to be honest, and not just because of his static-y afro hair. But who knows, Z, I may have to ask Max to bring him over, it might be fun? Indigo xDelete
Ah, that Kong Fuzi. Such a wise ass... I mean, man. :-)ReplyDelete
Oh Nicky, never has a man been more in need of a good cattle prodding. Annoying? You have NO idea. Indigo xDelete
Great use of Confucius quotes, Indigo!ReplyDelete
Thanks Mia! Hope the weekend finds you well =) Indigo xDelete
I am certain that Confucius used the word Schmuk somewhere - although he probably didn't know that it is a dirty term for penis.ReplyDelete
Hey Amy! It IS?! Wow, I get called it all the time. Hmmm. Roth xDelete
Great minds think alike, Indigo. I wrote something similar enough to make me think I must've stolen your idea. But I swear I didn't.ReplyDelete
Hey Mike! See? I TOLD you time travel was easy to do! Even the five-dimensional stuff is a piece of cake if you're with Elliot. You'll have to join us for an adventure sometime. RothDelete
Hahaha! Kong Fuzi....you have the best imagination of anyone, ever, Indigo xoxoxReplyDelete
Hey Kato! Welcome back! I've missed you! But you are mistaken; Google KONG FUZI and see what you get. I hope you'll enjoy today's entry too! Indigo xDelete
Much respect Confucious!! xReplyDelete
Hey Jack! He's a scamp, isn't he? IndigoDelete