The fundraiser drew a large number of guests. The place was crowded, even at thirty-five hundred dollars per person. Jenny reveled in the social milieu. When the renowned opera singer, Renee Fleming, began the aria “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, Jenny never felt the light snap. The first pearl from her necklace dropped straight into the cleavage of her gown. She didn’t feel it.
The next pearl rolled through a space between her right arm and her hip, fell to the tiled floor and bounced into the lap of a tuxedoed septuagenarian dozing at an adjoining table. A third pearl dropped on the table cloth in front of Jenny, ricocheted off her cell phone, and arced to the floor.
The remaining pearls departed their severed string, and cascaded like tiny glowing hailstones across her purchased-for-the-occasion dress, and danced like bouncing bee bees under her table and chair. Jenny, when she saw the tiny pearl storm, cried out, “Oh!”
The dozing white-haired gentleman woke with a star. He saw the little white balls bouncing under his chair, and he bent down quickly to grab a few.
Jenny had catapulted from her chair in a swan dive to save her precious stones, and at that very instant, her head connected with the old man’s. The ruckus startled the fellow’s wife, who suspected her husband was being attacked and she screamed out loud.
Ceiling lights came on,and the folks at Jenny’s table, and the one adjoining, leaped to their feet. Some dove for pearls, while others bent to assist Jenny and her fallen comrade.
A wide hipped matron inadvertently stepped on Jenny’s hand. The end of a high heel plunged through and through, from top to palm. And her agonizing shriek signaled the opera singer to silence.
In a news broadcast the following morning, a reporter announced that the fundraiser exceeded all financial expectations, and was a resounding success.