Depression Wingding

Russell Baker

December 19, 1991|By Russell Baker

FUN GALORE, caterers to the avant-garde of chic, are happy to announce an entirely new party concept for our patrons. We call it the Depression Wingding and predict it will be the most exciting new thing to hit the fun scene since junk bonds.

Be the first in your crowd to throw a Depression Wingding. Phone Fun Galore today for our amazingly low, low rates.

Yes, low, low, low!

Because remember, you'll be evoking the wonderful spirit of good old Depression days when men who had once built railroads actually stood on street corners, believe it or not, saying crazy things like, "Buddy, can you spare a dime?"

To give your Depression Wingding plenty of authenticity, our basic party package includes one shabbily dressed male with a four-day growth of whiskers and a battered fedora hat. He will move among your guests asking if they can spare a dime.

For those who might like to spice up their Depression Wingding with a bit of wit, he will ask -- and at no extra cost -- if they can spare $500.

We can supply as many additional authentically dressed dime cadgers as your house or apartment can accommodate. And at an additional charge of only $599.95 per cadger.

We can also supply as many dimes as you may require at a cost of $15.65 per dime.

No, our authentic looking "bums" are not dangerous hobos like the kind who hopped off freight trains back in the days before America switched to airplanes.

All will be unemployed professional actors who have exhausted their unemployment compensation. For only $89.95 extra, their four-day growths of whiskers will be the real, home-grown thing.

The following items are included in our basic, no-frills Depression Wingding:

1. An hors d'oeuvre of macaroni and cheese which guests will dip from a huge casserole dish, using forks and spoons filched from a Greyhound bus station restaurant.

2. A main course of three fried-bologna slices per guest served between two slices of day-old white bread, plus a 4-ounce serving of canned beans, with coffee made from day-old grounds.

3. At various unexpected moments during the evening, colorfully ill-dressed small children will ring your doorbell and try to sell your guests copies of Liberty magazine, the Ladies Home Journal and True Story.

4. One of our famous Fun Galore game masters will lead your guests in a game of Out the Window, which requires the loser, having gone bankrupt, to jump out the window. For parties in high-rise apartments, Fun Galore provides the losing player with bungee ropes custom-engineered to snap him back into the window before things get too real.

5. During the evening you will be honored by a surprise caller: President Herbert Hoover. He will make a brief speech declaring, "Prosperity is just around the corner."

Obviously, we are unable to supply an authentic President Hoover, but we have at our command a large supply of extremely realistic President Hoovers. These are veteran actors who have dreamed all their lives of starring in the movie "The Herbert Hoover Story," which of course has not yet been produced.

They are so pleased about this opportunity to use their preciously cultivated skills that they are working at a considerable discount. This means that, in addition to the Herbert Hoover that comes with your basic Depression Wingding, we can supply others at an astonishingly low $250-per-Hoover.

Some of you will say, "But can't we get President Bush?" Not, regrettably, from Fun Galore. Anyhow President Bush would only say, "Wait for my State of the Union speech." Fun? No way.

What about Okies? You have seen Okies in "The Grapes of Wrath," and you have asked what your friends will think if you give a Depression Wingding and don't have Okies.

We don't blame you. That's why we can offer you, as a very special "extra," a visitation by up to 15 Okies, including one dead Okie called "Grandpaw" whom the others will try to bury illegally on your premises. (In high-rise apartments they will seek to use the incinerator chute.)

The additional cost for this feature is $3,000 per Okie. And no, folks, one of them will not be Henry Fonda.

Hah, hah! Just kidding of course. What would Fun Galore be if we ever got too serious to kid a little.

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