And Your Back-Up Plan Is…?

Posted by Dave

Computers have given “redundancy” a good name. Not that long ago, to be redundant meant speaking in a boring and repetitive way. But in today’s info-age techno-jargon, it now means layers and layers of back-up programs ready to take over at a moment’s notice in the event of a system crash.

Sports fans call this same concept “depth,” when referring to a benchful of able and talented players, who are ready to go into the game any time they are needed.

In the party business, the equivalent of “redundancy” and “depth” is called “Plan B.” And it is every bit as essential for success as “Plan A.”

Take last Saturday, for example. I offered the motze and kiddish (blessings) over the wine and challah (bread) at a Jewish wedding reception, because the rabbi was elsewhere at the critical moment. No big deal, you say? Maybe not – except the blessings were in Hebrew, and I’m Baptist. However, after hearing them recited 2 or 3 thousand times, they have soaked in. The language of the Prophets probably sounded odd with my Texas accent, but everyone was polite enough not to say, “Huh?”

But then, on Sunday, my party’s hosts were covering for me. I had been hired to fly from Dallas to North Carolina for a 65th birthday party. Unfortunately, weather issues and a faulty plane air conditioning system combined to make me 5 hours late taking off.

My hosts never missed a beat. They recruited a volunteer pianist/guest to play for the cocktail hour. By the time everyone sat down to dinner, Elvis was in the building. Well, I was, anyway.

My point is simply that very few evenings actually go perfectly and without a single hitch. But – when those throwing the party keep their cool, and especially when they’ve thought ahead about what can possibly go wrong – most parties can still be successes.

So call it “Plan B,” “depth,” or “redundancy.” By any name, such foresight saves many a celebration.


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