Eddy Anteater casually sipped his coffee and leaned back in his recliner. He had a pen in his paw and a book in his lap. He was working on his collection of “wise sayings,” which, of course, were all by him. Right now he was writing down this saying: “If you have a party, be sure to have lots of guests.” After writing this down, he stuck the end of his pen in his mouth thoughtfully. Maybe sometime soon he should have a party.
He immediately started making preparations. “I’ll have pie!” he said. “And I will set confetti on the wings of the fan so that when I start it it’ll fly everywhere! And, of course, I’ll have lots of guests.” But then Eddy Anteater had a sudden dreadful thought. He had just moved to this town. He didn’t have any friends here to invite! He stood up suddenly in fright, dumping the book off his lap. Gradually he calmed down. “Well,” he said. “The only cure is to make some friends right away!” So he grabbed his coat and his cane and set out to do just that.
The first person he came upon was a cow. The cow was wearing a nice suit and looked friendly enough, so Eddy walked up. “Hello!’ said Eddy, stepping forward and flicking his cane in the air to make a good impression.
“Hello,” said the cow. “Fine weather we’re having today, don’t you think?”
“What intelligent conversation!” thought Eddy. “This cow must come to my party!” So Eddy replied, “Yes, indeed. Hey, it just happens I’m going to have a party soon. Would you care to come?”
“Oh!” said the cow. “I like parties. I think I will! Thank you! By the way, I’m Arnold Tobacco.”
“I’m Edward Anteater,” said Eddy. “I’m holding the party tomorrow at 1:00. Don’t bother to bring anything. I must get along now. Goodbye!”
“Bye!” said the cow, and left.
When the cow was gone Eddy jumped with joy. He had just met his first guest-to-be! “Congratulations, Eddy, old boy!” he said, giving himself a congratulatory slap on the rump. So then Eddy Anteater hopped off to talk to an aardvark wearing a blue turtleneck sweater. He had as much luck as he had had with the cow, so then he went along and successfully invited the following: a dog named Richard, a turtle named Boris, a cat named Petunia, a goat named Penny, a sloth named Morris, a chimpanzee, a ground hog, a penguin, and a porcupine.
“Wow!” he said to himself. “I made ten friends in one day! That must be a world record!” But he didn’t have time to find out, for he had a party to plan! As soon as he got home he whipped up some punch and baked a peach cream pie. He bought streamers and banners, confetti and balloons, ice cream and little gifts for the visitors. He hung a polka-dotted bow from every door handle and made a mix tape of the best party songs in his opinion, but not mine. And then Eddy stitched bits of multi-colored ribbon onto the borders of all his pillows and hung an “ENJOY THE PARTY” sign over the coat hooks. And then he got exorbitant amounts of party hats and bought fifty pounds of Jell-O. So that evening he plopped down in bed as tired as a sea lion that had just run a marathon.
The next morning he jumped out of bed, not feeling the least bit lazy, for today was the day of his party! He sang as he pulled on his special party suit and then leaped out of his room into the kitchen to eat a quick breakfast of Atmospheric Ant breakfast cereal. After that he hopped nervously from one foot to the other until there was a knock at the door. He sprinted to it and opened it cheerfully.
“Welcome!!!!” he bellowed.
“Hello!” said the guest. It was Arnold, the cow.
“Welcome, welcome, welcome!” said Eddy. “Please step inside.”
As the cow entered the room and looked around, he remarked, “Wow! This place is certainly set up for a party, and a good one at that!” Eddy beamed with pride.
As soon as the cow had removed his coat, there was another knock, and there were three more visitors. As soon as they had come into the house there were a few more knocks and there were the other six. “Perfect timing!” said Eddy. “Welcome!”
As soon as the guests were all in the house and standing there in a group, Eddy said, “Well, lets eat pie and Jell-O!” But the guests had other ideas. They all ran over to the basement door, ignoring the “OFF LIMITS!” sign.
“We must see if there is a game room or a bar!” roared the porcupine. “I need to play some games and have some drinks!”
“Hear, hear!” cheered the others.
“Whew!” thought Eddy. “Party guests are even harder to manage than I thought!”
“Hey!” he said. “Off limits! I have drinks and games up here!”
But the goat said, “Bah, humbug! We don’t have to listen to you! You’re the host. We’re the guests! We’re the life of the party!”
Eddy’s jaw dropped in amazement at this abhorrent behavior. “Oh,” he said to himself. “Well, let them do what they want. I just hope they don’t harm my pool table or wine cabinet!” Just then there was a loud sccrrrrrape! “Oh, dear!” said Eddy.
He galloped over and rushed downstairs. The sight he saw almost made him puke! The cow had turned dreadful music on the radio at full blast. The chimp and the dog were helping themselves to Eddy’s prized forty-year-old wine while the others were playing pool. Or, rather, playing with the pool set. The penguin had made a long, white scratch across the pool table with his stick and the goat and the cat were playing catch with a pool ball. Several others lay shattered on the ground at their feet. When the groundhog made another extremely deep scratch in the pool table and seemed a slight bit worried that the host would be upset, the turtle, noticing her nervousness, said, “Don’t worry! Whatever’s the host’s stuff is our stuff, too. See! It’s okay!” And he himself scraped the table with his stick a couple times to make his point clear.
Then Eddy realized that the sloth wasn’t in the group. He ran upstairs and was startled to find the sloth rummaging through the refrigerator, paying no heed to the snacks on the table. Eddy sat down, too startled to do anything. The sloth passed him and went into the basement to join the others, her arms full of edibles.
“Something’s got to be done!” said Eddy firmly. He stomped downstairs, rushed up to the radio, and promptly turned the music off. Everyone turned their heads and stared at him. “What are you thinking?!” screamed Eddy. “The host makes the party fun for the guests, but the guests treat the host with respect! Respect that the host deserves for his efforts!”
“Really?” said the ground hog. “I think it’s the other way around! You should be doing more for us!”
“What?” asked Eddy exasperatedly.
“You’re not making the party as fun as it possibly could be! You’re yelling! You’re turning off our music!”
“Yeah!” shrieked the crowd.
They jumped on Eddy, forced him to the ground, took out his wallet, and divided all the money in it between them. Then they stormed out of the house, leaving Eddy flat on the floor. It was late. Eddy went upstairs and plopped himself onto the bed, so tired and angry that he felt the very cartilage between his bones would crack.
The next day Eddy had an idea. He ate breakfast and then he headed off and, by asking passersby, was able to learn where each one of his party guests lived. First he stopped by the ground hog’s. As soon as she had opened the door, Eddy stormed past her into her bathroom. He grabbed the towels and threw them into the toilet. Then he rubbed mayo all over the kitchen table. “You destroy my home, I’ll destroy yours!” he said. Then he stomped over to the turtle’s house. There he poured cooking oil on the bed. At the cow’s he put fragile porcelain teacups in the laundry machine and started it. He continued with his retaliation till he had messed the houses of every one of his dreadful guests.
That evening Eddy Anteater leaned back in his recliner. He sipped his coffee and looked down at his book of sayings in his lap. “It was actually kind of fun to ruin those houses,” he chuckled. Then he lifted his pen to write. He had thought of a new “wise saying.” This is what he wrote: “It’s not okay to destroy people’s houses unless you’re Eddy Anteater.”