Friday, February 24, 2006

I Choo-Choo-Choose You!

In about 6 or 7 hours I shall be piling into a car with Rebel Monkey, Rose Hips the Enforcer, and the Mag and heading off to Colorado. This means a few non-posting days, I'm afraid; still, hardly anyone checks the site on the weekend anyway.

And now I must hand the laptop back to The Mag, so I shall now direct you to the final "Singles catch up" post about our lovely Valentine's Day Party.

The Sunday before Valentine's Day the Singles dept. had a meeting to plan social events for the entire department for the next several months; Freezeout asked for three or four volunteers from each class to help out. I think my favorite of the planned activities is our "Let's Go to Ted's!" day, in which we'll be taking a day trip to Oklahoma City to eat at everyone's favorite Mexican restaurant, Ted's Cafe Escondido. Oh, sure, we plan on doing some other stuff there as well, but we'll really use just about any excuse we can get to go to Ted's. After the meeting was over, the group from my class stayed after a bit to talk about formalizing a planning group for our class (something which we had when I first started but which disappeared for various reasons a while back); during this conversation, the girls decided to host a Valentine's Day party at the Amigas' place.

More accurately, they decided to open up the Valentine's Day get-together they had already planned to include the guys in the class as well; they offered to fix dinner, if the guys would bring the desserts. The word "chocolate" was uttered several times during the dessert conversation, so when I made my last minute run to Albertsons on the way there, I grabbed the old stand-bys of M&Ms (both plain and peanut) and Hershey's Kisses (in a heart-shaped box, no less), as well as a chocolate cake. As soon as I walked into the store I became very glad I'd allowed myself some extra time for the shopping; the place was a madhouse. The regular Valentine's Day section was completely empty, with all of the remaining merchandise located on a few tables near one set of doors. It was pretty amusing to watch all of the guys with panicked looks on their faces as they searched for appropriate tokens of affection; I tried not to think too much on the fact that they actually had someone to worry about ticking off, as that would have drained the amusement factor right out of it.

With chocolate in hand I headed to Casa de las Amigas in nearby Krum, getting there right at 5:30 and instantly beginning to wonder if I had written down the wrong time because there wasn't a single other car in sight, and I had thought that Cap'n Cluck was supposed to get there early to start on the lasagna. I was greeted by Angel who confirmed that I was, indeed, on time, and she wasn't sure where anyone else was. Scubagirl got home right about then, and was followed not too long after by Cap'n Cluck, who had had a hectic afternoon and was a bit behind schedule. She put me to work finishing up the heart-shaped placemats she had made (yes, she entrusted me with arts-and-crafts work, a sure sign she wasn't thinking straight) while she and the others (which included the newly arrived Magic Pants) pitched in to get the lasagna ready. I butchered a couple of placemats, my limited dexterity hampered by trying to work on them while also having a conversation with Cap'n Disaster on my cell, but actually managed to get a few out that were only partial disasters. The final female member of our party arrived during this time, but there was probably a good hour or so before the other two guys showed up; M.D. had been held up due to the fact that he lives a good 45 minutes away, while The Cable Guy had decided that he would show us other guys up by not only baking a cake and some brownies, but also by making individual Valentine’s Day candy gift bags for each of the girls; he even made sure that Cluck’s bag was CAP’NS friendly.


During dinner there were a few more of those moments where The Cable Guy’s jokes went over the heads of everyone else but M.D. or me; the only one I can remember off-hand was Scream reference, but I know there were more.

It was around this time that Magic Pants revealed her nature as a competitive perfectionist. The perfectionist portion had been made evident during the cooking, when she was meticulous in her application of the ingredients in each layer of lasagna, and was later strengthened through her habitual smoothing of a foil candy wrapper until not a wrinkle remained. The competitive portion came to light through comparisons made with Cap’n Cluck’s similar foil-smoothing efforts.

After dinner Cap’n Cluck talked us into a game of “Mobster,” which only she and Magic Pants had played before. Now, where Loaded Questions turned out to be too unwieldy with more than six players, Mobster turned out to be over much quickly with six or less. The game goes like this: there’s a narrator, who has people draw cards which determine if they’re a regular player, or one of the three special roles: a killer, a doctor, and a night watchman. Everyone closes their eyes except the narrator; the narrator asks the killer to open their eyes and indicate who they want to bump off; next, they ask the doctor to indicate who they want to save from murder; next they ask the night watchman to indicate who they think the killer is. Then, everyone opens their eyes, and the narrator spins a tale about either the murder that took place or the narrow escape of someone because the doctor had saved them. If someone has been killed, they’re out of the game, and the other players can accuse someone of being the killer, at which time a vote is taken. And so it goes until the killer is discovered.

During the initial round, when the rules were still kind of fuzzy, the first murder was due to someone’s brakes being tampered with. M.D. insisted on accusing me of being the killer, claiming that he had seen me with wire-cutters, an accusation he persisted in even after it became obvious to one and all that the real killer was The Cable Guy; I was tempted to start calling him “The Accomplice.” During our second round, when poison seemed to be the weapon of choice, M.D. still kept harping on the danged wire-cutters. So, when it was my turn to be the narrator and M.D. got bumped off, I made sure wire-cutters were instrumental in his demise; apparently, my description was a bit graphic for some. *sigh* I also made sure that poor Magic Pants met her fate courtesy of a curiously smooth foil candy wrapper . . .

I could see the potential for the game being a lot of fun with a big group of people; I think I enjoyed being the narrator a bit more than being one of the regular players, but that might change in a bigger group. But while I enjoyed being the narrator, I really wasn’t terribly good at it; oh, I could spin the stories fine, but I made several little mistakes that gave people away.

After giving up on the game as a lost cause due to limited numbers, we entertained ourselves for a little while with a stack of conversation-starter cards, but for the most part, they didn’t start up many conversations. Towards the end of the evening, Magic Pants and Cap'n Cluck revealed a knowledge of musical lyrics (and in Cluck's case, the choreography as well) that probably scared most everyone else there; all I felt was shame that I wasn't able to join in on most of them.

And that was the bulk of the excitement at our Valetine's Day party, which gets us pretty much up-to-date with the Singles; our next big gathering shall be the first weekend in March, when we'll spend the afternoon watching Smooth Money's Girl become Mrs. Smooth Money and the evening trying to learn how to swing dance. I'm sure I'll have stories aplenty from the latter, although I might not want to share them.

Oh, and before I forget . . . M.D. = Monkey Dance!


Cap'n Cluck said...

First of all, Cap'n Details, it is "Mafia" not "Mobster." I guess I really did jinx you. But, next time we play, you are explaining the rules. You did a better job than I ever do. Monkey Dance!

Have a Cluckity Cluck Cluck Day!