We had a problem.
Number Two Son was just commissioned to paint a portrait of Condoleezza Rice. Everyone in our family was excited. We were looking forward to seeing Number Two Son present the portrait.
But we weren’t invited.
It was going to happen at a press conference. Only press were allowed to attend. Suddenly it hit me. I write a blog–I’m a member of the press! I requested credentials and prepared for the press conference. Mrs. LanceAround, Number One Son and Number One Daughter all plan to go as my correspondents and photographers. Even Grammy LanceAround flies down from Pennsylvania to attend. This is going to be great.
Then we get a call just hours before the press conference–there is only one pass for the press conference.
Now what do we do?
It was then I remembered the story of Beron from The Hobbit. He was a skin changer who could turn into a bear. He lived alone and did not like company.
Gandalf was stranded with thirteen dwarves and a hobbit. He needed help and the only one nearby was Beron. He knew Beron and knew if he showed up on his doorstep with 14 strangers, he would be kicked out. Gandalf thought of a plan…
The Hobbit and Gandalf went alone to Beron’s doorstep and they arranged to have the dwarves come to the door, in pairs, five minutes apart. Gandalf introduced the Hobbit and then told Beron the story of their adventure. Five minutes later, the first two dwarves showed up. By this time, Beron was so engrossed in the story, he grunted at the dwarves and asked Gandalf to continue. The story continued but was interrupted every five minutes by the addition of two more dwarves. By the end of the story, Beron had 14 strangers on his doorstep. Now it was too late to turn them away.
It seemed like a good idea, but would it work? I put the plan into action…
I was told only one press person would be allowed in the press room, so I showed up with my photographer, Number One Son. “Is it okay if he takes photos for my story?” This was allowed. We both entered.
Five minutes later, Mrs. LanceAround shows up with Number One Daughter. “We’re here because our son is going to present a portrait to Condoleezza, we’ll just wait outside.” They are ushered in.
Five minutes after that, Colin appears with Grammy LanceAround carrying his portrait. “I came with my Grammy to present the portrait.” Both are admitted.
At the start of the press conference, all six LanceArounds are present as Number Two Son presents his portrait to Condoleezza Rice. A moment later, someone from outside our family (we don’t know who) asks, “Can we get a photo of the entire family?”
Thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit, we now have a photo of the entire LanceAround family with Condoleezza Rice as Number Two Son presents his portrait.