Tale Number Sixty-Six – In the End

In the End

prompt:  the end

 

“Time flies when you’re having fun.”

Gage cringed.  He hated that old saying.  It had to be, hands down, the most obnoxiously smug thing he’d ever heard.  He noticed it was never, ever said by anyone who was having any of the fun.  Generally, it dribbled out of the smirking mouth of someone who was a perfect killjoy.  This instance was certainly an excellent example, he thought, as he looked over at the speaker.  It just figured it would be Howard.  Gage rolled his eyes when he realized Howard was still talking.

“But, of course, we know that all good things come to an end,” he said.  His smirk was truly horrible to behold.  “I know it was a long row to hoe, but then, Rome wasn’t built in a day and you were all a bunch of real troopers.”

What a clown.  How many clichés could one person use in a single conversation?  Gage started a mental count as Howard kept rambling on.

“It did seem, at first, as if we’d bitten off more than we could chew,” said Howard, “but many hands made light work and, I’m pleased to say, all’s well that ends well.”  He beamed at the group.  “Now, our annual fundraiser dinner to help fill the Millersville Food Bank is done and you should all feel good about that.  You’ve all done a wonderful job.”

People around the room were starting to shuffle and murmur a little.  Clearly, they knew, as well as Gage did, what was coming next.

“In fact, this year, I’ll give you all a full month to rest on your laurels and bask in the glory of your achievements.”  He gave them all what he must have believed was a benevolent smile, then wagged his finger playfully.  “But then, it’s all hands on deck and our noses to the grindstone so we can have everything ready for next year’s big event.”

Shuffles and murmurs became sighs and quiet groans.  Gage was one who groaned.  The cause was undeniably worthy and every person in the room believed in the value of what they had gathered to accomplish.  In truth, they even all understood the need to get to work on next year’s dinner gala before too much time had passed.  An event of this size and scope did not come together in a matter of a few days.  It was just too much to be scolded, however playfully, about next year’s whingding while they were still ankle deep in the detritus of this year’s.

Well, it could be worse, Gage reflected.  Howard was, in fact, a killjoy, but he was, without a doubt, a skillful and dedicated chairperson for this event.  Over the past five years, under Howard’s direction, the annual dinner had doubled in size and tripled in profits.  The food bank was fortunate to have Howard at the helm.  Yes, thought Gage, Howard’s cliché count was up to at least ten, but the success of the evening was worth it.

“The end justifies the means,” Gage murmured to himself with a chuckle.  “Besides, what a few trite sayings between friends?”

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