When I visited my niece in Minneapolis a few years ago, I noticed her car's license plate had a Minnesota state motto: "Land of a Thousand Lakes." My Jewish/Israeli-tinted glasses immediately read this motto as "Land of a Thousand Latkes" which registered instant cognitive dissonance: how could Garrison Kieler's A Prairie Home Companion have missed devoting a program to this cultural attribute? My niece kindly and gently pointed out my perception disorder, which I prefer to that of normal people.
So I had a Chanuka party Thursday night, and proceeded to fry what seemed to be a thousand latkes (but who's counting?) They all disappeared by the end of the evening, although the aroma of fried latkes lingers in my kitchen as a mostly happy memory (and many leftover sufganiot as a mostly unhappy one). Those (two? three?) among you who remember the reason for this party will be relieved to learn that although the Relatives From Outer Space attended, their raucous presence was successfully diluted by the other guests (the 13-year-old even brought her own guest, and they amused each other happily in another room, with one of the 7-year-olds serving them food and drinks in repeated, and repeatedly vain, attempts to attract their attention).
Your clever (and humble) hostess had the last-minute inspiration to reconfigure the party as a combination Chanuka and Book Publishing party for the senior visiting relative, a professional academic, who held his audience enthralled on the subject of his book Language in Jewish Society: Towards a New Understanding. Anyone with an extra $50 and insatiable curiousity can purchase said book from Amazon (I get no commission). It must be added that your buying, reading, and/or critiquing his book will have absolutely no effect on the motivation of its author to continue writing; as his sister (noble wife of Prowesslessnesslessness) has noted, he is "alarmingly prolific," and could serve as a writing role model for all bloggers, barrelling forward in the face of mostly imaginary foes, a master of scholarly literary pre-emptive defense.
The party was a success, and/therefore/because the hostess lived to tell the tale.