By Patrice Hathaway


Hello, ladies of Arkham. Just because the holiday season is long behind us, that doesn’t mean that our hosting duties need be behind us as well. February is a wonderful time to invite some dear friends to your house, whether it be for a quick tea or a light strategy session on how you will thwart the necromantic cult outside your home. In my experience, these events can be stress-free, fun, and illuminating to the true nature of the universe for all involved. However, from one hostess to another, I must admit that my last soiree did not go nearly as expected. Here are 5 things I wish I knew before I invited Zoey and Agnes to my house last night.


1)  My house is infested with swarms of rats and an underground network of ghouls.

How embarrassing! I love to keep a clean and tidy home, one that is free of not just household pests but also hideous fiends that will try to consume any living being they see due to their insatiable hunger and bloodlust. And yet, here I am, in my house with two guests, and the complete opposite is true. I have no idea how I could let this disrepair go on so long and not even notice. Also, there was mud on the carpet? What has gotten into me! Hopefully, neither of them notice that it has been weeks since I have dusted the baseboards.


2) Guests tend to respond negatively to the giant meat carcass I have hanging in the attic.

I must admit, this one caught me off guard. I thought every lady in Arkham would have a giant meat carcass suspended in their attic so they could collect the blood in a barrel below. It’s a very safe and efficient way to collect animal blood, which as I’m sure you know, dear reader, is a precious commodity in these times. However, it seems my judgment was wrong yet again, as my two guests were immediately horrified by the sight. Poor Agnes was so horrified that dark energies leapt out of her body and killed a swarm of rats nearby who were feasting on the carcass. While I do appreciate her inadvertently helping me tidy up the house, I was quite embarrassed by her overreaction. Ladies of Arkham, I do encourage you to please try to maintain a sense of decorum and keep your sense of impending dread to yourself, lest you cause great embarrassment to your hostess, who, frankly, is just doing her best.


3) Your Parlor will be blockaded by strange energies.

Oh dear, dear, dear. I could have sworn I had the glowing unfathomable barrier blocking my parlor looked at last week! I know what you’re thinking – “Come now, Patrice, just admit to your guests that this entire get-together has been an unmitigated disaster and stop involving everyone in your home repairs.” Oh dear reader, I know as a true lady of Arkham you are always sensible and forthright. However, I simply cannot tolerate this horrible barrier in my home, you understand? Thankfully, Zoey and Agnes are good friends of mine (although I have some doubts about Ms. Baker) and I’m sure they have no problem assisting me in setting right this barrier, especially given how much they have helped me in cleaning up the ghoul problem thus far. Under normal circumstances, I would definitely never recommend getting your house guests tied up in an occultic conspiracy that has somehow overflowed into your home. However, if it will save you time and money on hiring a real sorcerer to purge your house of dangerous arcane energies, then I say a polite invitation to some good friends can never truly hurt, probably.


4) Agnes will be no help at all in slaying the Ghoul Priest who burst through your walls.

I must confess, dear readers, sometimes you invite a friend over for some tea and they prove to be nothing but a disappointment from start to finish. My friend Miss Agnes Baker took on this role today. Her discussion on the price of coffee at Velma’s Diner was truly boring and her blows against the rampaging Ghoul Priest which desecrated my home were sadly weak and ineffectual. Even the simplest invocation of dark magic would’ve been more than enough to contribute something worthwhile, but all Ms Baker apparently had on her person were a Flashlight and Ritual Candles. Any true lady of Arkham would know they must be prepared in all circumstances. Showing up at a swanky party with nothing more than a Flashlight and Ritual Candles in today’s day and age is simply inexcusable. At least Zoey had the decency to bring with her a .45 Automatic and a Machete.


5) Zoey will force you to burn your house down at the end of the night.

Well, goodness gracious, my dear readers. You think you know your friends and suddenly you are being forced to burn down your own house! How ungrateful and rude of a guest to suggest you must go along with the slovenly brunette who has invaded your parlor and “purify” this “hell-pit” with “holy fire” or else you will be “unleashing unimaginable horrors on this earth”. Unfortunately, I have to go along with her because she’s the only one among us who has a gun, and I do not trust the idea of angering her. On the bright side, the house burning down means I need not dust the baseboards after all. I was planning on performing this menial chore Tuesday evening, which means I have now a sudden gap in my schedule. I would use this time to host another party but as my house has burned to the ground, this seems quite the impossibility! Imagine – a lady of Arkham with no home to host parties, soirees or salons? If this absurdity continues, I may have to resort to using the Miskatonic Museum!


In conclusion my dear ladies of Arkham, my party did not go as planned. Not only was my house a disaster, I was also forced to burn it down at the end of the night. Quite unfortunate indeed. I must also admit, I was quite disappointed with my friends, who were rude and behaved inappropriately all evening. We will see what happens in my next column as I will be interviewing some folks around town to see if I can find some better friends for future parties. Until then, this is Patrice Hathaway, encouraging all ladies of Arkham to stay safe and warm during this brisk, cold weather.