Richard paced exuberantly about the room, as if he were pursuing a parade that was yet to be. He looked and sounded like that British correspondent, with the same first name – Richard Quest. You know, that boisterous and flamboyant, almost manic correspondent for CNN that all the other CNN anchors don’t quite know how to react to? Teeth so big, that you just know they were made for smiling. Even his own name describes him. Quest. Well, this Richard says to his family, “Let’s go on a holiday!” Grinning in amusement. Eyes wide open. His whole demeanor makes some folks laugh in amusement, other folks laugh in derision. Still others just cringe, because they are in such unfamiliar territory. “We’re going on vacation!” he sort of sings. “A holiday!” he says, drawing out the words as if following a hidden melody that only he hears. “And we’re all going to walk!” he says, as if it were the biggest, most pleasant, special present, that he had just opened for all to see. He might as well have left a “steaming heap” in the middle of the living room floor, what with the looks he had just seen on their faces.
His family sat stunned. They had become enamored with Richard’s exuberance. After all, they were his family, and he part of theirs. His daughter Paprika, and his son Chipotle were the first, however, to jump on his “bandwagon”. His wife, Charlotte had, at first hated the names he had chosen, but curiously, they had grown on her in each case, and they had been in agreement when it finally was time for them to make the choice. It usually took her some time to make decisions, she didn’t just jump right in like Richard was used to doing. The names had turned out to be descriptive of their unique spirits. Paprika was gentle, with a reddish hue to her blond hair. Her personality had a tentative quality about it, and her approach to life was a subtle touch rather than anything more aggressive. Chipotle was much more “fiery” than his sister, but tempered. He loved the outdoors, campfires, and storytelling. Eagerness showed on Chipotle’s face. Paprika looked tentative and slightly amused. Charlotte looked like she had just accidently swallowed a frog.
“Where are we going, Dad?”, Chipotle asked excitedly. “I…don’t….knowww…!”, he disclosed, drawing each word out, as if he were savoring each one and grinning the biggest grin you ever did see, as if it was the biggest, most funny joke he had ever heard. “It’ll be an a..d..v..en..t..u..r..e!”, he said, once again drawing out that last word.
“But Honey”, Charlotte said. “We’re supposed to be adults. We have responsibilities. What will the neighbors think, when we trudge by their homes, dragging our belongings with us, like some homeless vagabonds?!” “I know, Love! Isn’t that great! It’ll be one big hoot!”, he said. Silence. His smile disappeared for just a moment, and then was followed by a different one. This one carried the look of someone who had just discovered something that made him happy. “Alright, Love. We’ll go out the back door, and we’ll travel light. No neighbors. We won’t look like vagabonds to anyone who sees us, we’ll look like we’re off to the park for a picnic, and decided to walk.” Charlotte looked unconvinced, but she no longer looked like she had swallowed a frog. “Now get your things together”, Richard said. “And don’t forget to pack light!” “It’s off into the U..k..n..o..w..n!!” he sang, as he went downstairs, to retrieve their gear. “Yaaahooo!”, Chipotle whooped, as he went off to his room. Charlotte and Paprika looked at each other. Paprika had an amused look, her eyebrows drawn way up on her forehead. Charlotte looked like she had finally digested that frog, bones and all.
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