The Digressions of dr sanscravat
(e-pistle: 20 September 02)
>No loud people allowed.
This reminds me of a party a college friend had, back in New Paltz, circa 1967.
G.W., once he had decided to have a party, immediately went to work on the production of a truly prodigious bash bucket. It was assembled in a stainless steel commercial cooking pot (liberated from one of the college dining halls, no doubt) with a capacity of perhaps twenty gallons. He proceeded to fill the bucket with a mixture of vodka, rum, brandy, wine, whiskeys of several ethnicities, triple sec, sloe gin, creme de menthe, cherry heering and a number of other sugary libations designed to make the mixture more appealing to drinkers of the female sort.
After judiciously tasting the concoction, G.W. decided it needed to be lightened a bit (I suspect he realized that it was becoming something of a fire hazard) -- so he added a few six-packs of Old Heidelberg and a bottle of club soda. His decision seemed about right to us, too, so we sat around it with jelly-glasses, dipping into the frothy greenish-purplish-gray substance from time to time -- just to make sure that the flavors were blending nicely. They were, so we continued the testing for a coupla' hours.
At this point, we noticed, G.W. was beginning to become just slightly surly. Not argumentative, mind you, just a little testy.
This might have been because something in the mixture wasn't agreeing with him. That hardly seemed likely, considering many of the other things he was accustomed to drink.
It might have been because, in his concentration on the bash bucket's formulation, he had neglected to get any food for the party -- so he'd been drinking for some time on an empty stomach. That, too, was a long shot -- I don't recall EVER seeing G.W. consume solid food.
No, G.W. was pissed (quite literally, I'm afraid) because no women had showed up for the event. For that matter, no men -- other than the hard-core regulars -- had come. G.W. was lying behind the couch, complaining about the general decay of social niceties, the growing inhumanity of mankind -- and, more specifically, of womankind.
He was only voicing questions that had begun to form soundlessly in the rest of us -- so we asked him who -- or was it "whom" (this was a long time ago, you understand, and I can no longer guarantee the accuracy of every grammatical detail of the event) -- he had invited.
A low moaning sound came from behind the couch.
Don't be ridiculous, he wasn't sick to his stomach -- why on earth would you think that? No, G.W. was experiencing a kind of existential awakening. If any of us had been religiously inclined, we might have described it as revelatory -- a sudden blooming of consciousness, a deepening awareness of some cosmic truth.
G.W. did not like his new-found wisdom.
Not one bit.
Of course, the alcohol did soften the impact somewhat -- but there was no getting around the essential fact: G.W. had neglected to invite ANYONE to his party. Since there was no chance of any women showing up, there was nothing for us to do but to finish off the remains of the bash bucket.
We did, of course, and a week or so later -- when we woke up -- the four of us also shared a headache of historic proportions. In fact, every once in a while -- when I'm feeling a little under the weather -- I have the distinct feeling that the illness is merely a flair-up of that ancient hangover.