howard and ethel make new friends


Howard and Ethel  Quackenbush were a reasonably happy well adjusted middle aged married couple from Lindenhurst, New York.    They had only one very bad problem though.    They were perhaps a little too concerned about their physical health.    One day, after having consulted with their family physician, they made a firm commitment to a juice fast.    He made them promise, for three days before, to phase out all the coffee, meat, sugar, dairy, alcohol and wheat in order to avoid bad headaches and other problems with withdrawal.   He also insisted on their eating a lot more vegetables.    Of course, since they thoroughly enjoyed a nice well rounded diet with a lot of meat and a wide variety of nice fattening foods, this drove them to much anxiety and frustration.    During the course of the fast they drank about thirty two to ninety six ounces of juice daily and a third of the juice was vegetable juice, because of the chlorophyll in it.


Because of the overwhelmingly strict requirements of their new diet, Howard and Ethel were soon overwhelmingly frustrated to the point of major personality changes.    They really started getting on each other’s nerves.   They started getting a bit on the silly side too.  In order to avoid any unnecessary  frustration they took a vacation from work so they wouldn’t have to let any temptation from the outside world mess things up for them.     While they were home they decided to watch a lot of television in order to pass the time.    Eventually things started getting too far out of control.

They really let their frustration drive them crazy.    After a while though, having exhausted all their temper tantrums, they decided to have a bit of fun with all the free time.   It was the fourth day.    They went to the nearby Barnes and Noble and bought a few copies of the old children’s show “Lamb Chop’s Play-Along”, starring puppeteer Shari Lewis.    That was when things started getting so very enjoyable.    They got onto their cell phones and got in touch with all their friends, especially the ones they grew up with.    “Hey”, intoned each into the phone,   “Come on over tonight.  We’re having a party”.     Of course the menu was most certainly nothing to go crazy over unfortunately.    That wasn’t the point.    Upon entering the house, each guest was given the appropriate party favors and told to do whatever he wanted as long as he enjoyed the juice and didn’t violate any of the dietary restrictions.

Amazingly what started out striking everyone as insane ultimately turned out to be the single nicest thing ever to have happened in the history of the neighborhood.    Somehow strangers in nearby towns eventually found out about the Quackenbush’s party and eventually countless thousands of people were hanging around, trying to barge into their house, hoping to be allowed to participate.    The state policemen were called out in order to regulate the traffic and crowds.   It literally couldn’t be stopped no matter how hard anyone tried.    Fully grown adults, each holding a large glass of cold fruit juice, were constantly singing nursery rhymes along with an old television show.

Throughout it all, Howard and Ethel gazed at each other, completely stupefied.   “Hey, why didn’t we think of starting it off with a kids’ show in the first place?!”, he asked her.

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