Sunday, August 06, 2006

Melancholy Mohoohoo

Last weekend was a bittersweet one among the Singles as we bid adieu to one of our mainstays: Magic Pants.

And why has Magic Pants decided to desert us? Oh, some cockamamie excuse about "finishing her degree" and "no jobs around here" and "getting hired at a dream job near Waco." You know silly stuff like that.

To help send her off in style, The Cardinal hosted a going away extravaganza at his house on Saturday evening; the party was also supposed to serve as a congratulatory bash for Cap'n Cluck in honor of her new teaching job. I got there a little early, having allowed time for my usual lack of direction and inability to read street addresses while driving the car; I eventually had to call up Cap'n Cluck and ask here for some landmarks to narrow down which house was The Cardinal's. As I pulled up, I wondered if I had understood her directions correctly (a question I would have more readily asked myself after events to follow) since there were no other vehicles in sight. However, as I was parking I noticed another car pull up, driven by one of the Denton Bible crowd I had met the previous week. As we walked up to the front of the house another car pulled up with another D.B. guy. The front door had a note taped to it from The Cardinal explaining that he either (a) wasn't at home or (b) had forgotten to take the note down. It turned out that option (a) was the correct choice, but the three of us entertained ourselves by throwing around a Frisbee the guy I knew had brought. Meanwhile, the guy I didn't know introduced himself, saying "Hi, I'm D., nice to meet you, what was your name again? Mine's D., in case I didn't say." Over the course of the next 15 minutes, D. would tell me his name at least 5 more times, making him pretty much the only person I met that evening whose name I still recall.

We hadn't been throwing the Frisbee around for long when another D.B. guy showed up with his arms full of dessert; when he saw the note on the door he asked if the door was unlocked. We confessed we hadn't even tried it; lo and behold, the door was actually open, and we filed into the house to wait on the arrival of the owner and/or guests of honor. One by one, more D.B. members I didn't know showed up, which did wonders for my neurotically self-conscious nature, dontchaknow. I was vastly relieved when some people I actually knew started showing up to even out the numbers a bit.

A little while after Cap'n Cluck and Magic Pants arrived, Cluckity received a call from one of The Singles who was trying to find The Cardinal's house based on Cap'n C.'s directions. From my vantage point, the conversation went like this:
Cap'n C: [on phone] Okay, did you find Bell? [pause] You're on Dallas Drive? [voice filled with disbelief] How did you get to Dallas Drive from Bell?
Most of the room: Bell turns into Dallas Drive.
Cap'n C: [confused] What? How can that be? Dallas Drive is way over that way. [points towards Dallas Dr.]
Most of the room: So is Bell.
Cap'n C: [even more confused] Isn’t this Bell? [points in exact opposite direction of Bell]
Most of the room: No. Bonnie Brae!
Cap'n C: [into phone] Oops.

Needless to say, the lost Single was not too happy with Cluckity's navigational prompting.

The Cardinal provided dinner (chicken, of course), and afterwards it was game-playing time. Once again the most evil game in the world was brought out. We did make a couple of changes to the rules in hopes of making the game go a little bit faster. Fortunately I did quite a bit better than I did last time, although I did kind of freeze up during my two "me against the whole other team" tries. The first one was partially due to the word (change) and the second was due to the fact that no matter how much I tried to think of a song that had "rock and roll" in it, my mind would only conjure up ones that had "rock"; since the word was "roll," that helped me not at all. Still, I did pretty well during the regular turns, and The Cardinal and I used our Weird Al know-how to prolong our team's chances quite a few times. I think my strongest word was "girl," which enabled me to call upon songs from the Rolling Stones, Mamas and the Papas, and the Kingston Trio, among others. However, I was disappointed in myself when I later realized I had missed out on a perfect opportunity to sing the following song from Once More With Feeling:

I've been having a bad bad day
Come on won't you put that pad away
I'm asking you, please, no
It isn't right it isn't fair
There was no parking anywhere
I swear that hydrant wasn't there
Why can't you let me go?
I think I've paid more than my share
I'm just a poor girl, don't you care?
Hey, I'm not wearing underwear.
Almost everyone there would have had blank looks, but Squiggly would have known what I was talking about. Similarly, I also realized that there was a snippet from another OMWF song which I could have used for "change." Oh, well. Once again, I was on the losing team, and although the board didn't show it being as nearly as close as last time, I felt like our team put up a valiant effort.

By the time Encore ended there had been a slight reduction in our ranks. One of the D.B. guys lobbied hard for our next game to be something called Apples to Apples. The game goes like this: everyone draws 7 red cards, each of which has a person, place or thing listed on it. Then on each turn one person draws one green card which has some sort of descriptive term on it. Each person then has to decide which of their red cards best matches the attribute of the green card, and places the card face down in a pile. The person who drew the green card then looks through the pile and decides which one he likes best, and the person who played that card gets to keep the green card; when someone collects 4 green cards, they win. One key thing to note is that the decision rests entirely in the hands of the person who first drew the green card and their individual line of thinking. One person might choose the funniest answer, another might go with the one the most prosaic, and yet another might choose the most absurd non-sequiter. Because of this, it's more a game of knowing how everyone else judges, and selecting your answers accordingly, than plain old linear thinking. So, how was it?

Didn't like it.

Now, this probably had a bit to do with my crappy cards (almost all of which were city names) and a bit to do with the fact that I didn't know most of the D.B folks well enough to guess which why they'd jump. But, despite the fact that it's probably my least favorite game I've played in recent months, it also happened to be pretty much the only game I've won. I'm sure that means something, but haven't the foggiest idea what. Oh, in case you were wondering, my four winning attributes were sexy, wild, sharp, and the winning card which I can't quite recall, since when I one it all I could think of was "yes, the game is over!" I do recall that it was a negative thing, like "deceptive," and that I picked it up by playing the card "star fruit," my most absurd answer of the evening.

By the time we finished the game it had gotten pretty late, and the ranks of party goers dwindled even more. There was no more game playing, but several of us did hang around The Cardinal's house for awhile just visiting, or in the case of The Anti-Cap'n and The Cardinal, pestering Cap'n Cluck.

At one point The Cardinal was regaling us with a story of his youth, and how once upon a time due to housing issues he always slept out on the porch. This led into a discussion about how when he tells the story to his kids the experience will sound much worse, which then turned into a chorus of grumpy old men impressions: "Back in my day, we had to sleep on the porch in 150 degree weather, and we liked it, we loved it!" One such proclamation was that sleeping on the porch was uphill both ways; when the Cardinal expressed doubt on how that could be possible, Magic Pants was kind enough to demonstrate.

Man, we're going to miss her.


Magic Pants said...

I'm going to miss all of you, too! I may have to read through the singles stories once in awhile just to remember and laugh! Thanks for the terrific post!