The wife had been pretty coy about some final birthday surprise that she had for me, but would have to pick up Saturday
morning, so I went to bed last night assuming that she had some sort of breakfast item in mind or something of that nature. The idea was that she had to be somewhere around 10:00, so if I was awake I would go with her, but if not she'd simply deliver the surprise to me at the house. As it turned out I was up late last night, so I got up today and was in the process of putting the kettle on and getting the sleep from my eyes when she arrived from her errand with our friend Morris
Color me surprised, as I knew there was no way he'd be able to get away for the party, so him flying in was the last thing on my mind, so this was a really big surprise, I have to tellya. We visited for a bit, then I got dressed and we headed out to grab some lunch at a Mexican
place across town, in spite of the plan to have Mexican
food again for dinner, as it just sounded good for lunch.
We had some good food, then ran by the liquor store on the way home to prepare for the night's festivities. Morris
split to go and visit his mother in the afternoon and the wife and Yorkie
caught a nap in preparation for our evening, so I watched a little something off the TiVo
called Vice Squad
in which Season Hubley
, a prostitute in L.A.
who is used to entrap a vicious pimp called Ramrod
, played by Wings Hauser
in an early role. The film takes place over the course of a single night and once the pimp escapes custody the vice squad scrambles to track him down before he can seek revenge on Hubley
, who is unaware of the danger she's in as she goes about her normal trick-filled night. The movie was pretty interesting, reminding me a bit of Paul Schrader
with George C. Scott
, which also just so happened to co-star Hubely
hooker. Good stuff, worth a peep if you get a chance.
I showered in the late afternoon and got cleaned up for the evening, then spent some time picking up the house and getting things squared away as far as lighting and the bar set up went. The wife showered and dressed after I did, then went to pick up the food while I spent some time setting up the stereo, a process that would be our downfall, as the post title may have, um, hinted...
Since you can't really watch a film at a party because you can never hear it over people's various conversations, I had decided in advance to throw in a succession of subtitled films to play in the background, as they would leave something visual for people to enjoy if they chose to look into the den and they could 'read' without feeling like they were missing out on the dialog, but I put our normal assortment of CD
's on random to play throughout the house, as I'd prefer that folks hear strains of music if there was a lull in conversation rather than people chattering in a foreign language. Again, I thought I had totally thought this through, but bear with me...
The wife returned with the food, just behind JH
, who had both turned up a little bit early in case we needed help setting up. We visited a bit, Morris
volunteered to play bartender and started making a few cocktails, then our other guests began to turn up shortly after 7:00. We greeted and visited and mingled our little hearts out for awhile, then someone finally made the first move on the food line and I had another drink as I chitchatted with a friend I rarely see and his new bride, then they settled in for some food and I moved on to try and play good host by making time to catch up with everyone.
The assembled included Brian
, our friend Scrawny McTall
and her sweet husband, The Minister
and his Wife
, the new executive director of the museum, lots of people that made for an interesting mix of folks. After the various feedings hard started to die down a bit the wife led folks on a tour of the renovations on the far side of the house, which I joined after grabbing another drink from Morris
, catching up with Scrawny McTall
and her hubby as Brian
gave them a lingering tour of things behind the other group.
We eventually heard a weird blaring noise in the other room that dissipated
quickly, so I honestly thought nothing of it, figuring someone had maybe fiddled with the remote and then turned it back down.
We made our way back to the other side of the house and I noticed that the Minister
and his Wife
were in the den checking out the movie, but thought nothing of it, as that was sort of the plan, watch it if you want, or socialize if you want, right? I drifted back ot the kitchen table and was speaking to JT
and his new bride when a sudden shrill noise had everyone in the house covering their ears, only to stop suddenly.
As it turned out, the Minister's Wife
had decided that she "wanted to hear the French
" and evidently maxed out the volume completely on our surround sound system trying to get it to play something besides the CD
's it was spinning. The 'protect' warning flashing on the front of the receiver gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach, so I fiddled with it as best I could in my frankly buzzed state and was rather alarmed to find that there was no sound to be had on any
of the devices plugged into the surround sound system. I completely shut down everything several times, got no response from the speakers, tried turning it all off by pressing the power button on the surge protector that everything is plugged into, still got zero response when the TiVo
re-booted, none of that familiar THX
logo bass, leading me to believe that we are well and truly fucked.
I got apologies from both the Minister
and his Wife
at this point, which I think
(sorry, but I was drunk) that I accepted without being an asshole, something I don't know that I will be able to do if they want to talk much further about this, as the situation is so amazingly
alien to me. I would never dream of messing around with another person's stuff this way, and since I thought
I had gone out of my way to accomodate both music and visuals, I was slightly furious that someone would go out of their way to cock that up, if even accidentally. And I know it was all a big accident, but there was absolutely NO REASON
for it to happen, and I was seriously told that she was sorry, but she had just wanted to hear the French
. Hear the French
I was able to resist the urge to scream "Hear the French
? Y'mean the language that you don't speak
and that is being simultaneously translated on the screen for you? REALLY
?!?" It's times like this that I really wonder what a stroke feels like.
Since I was drunk and seething with anger at this point I kinda stepped away and hit the bathroom and tried to re-group mentally, then re-joined the party, grabbing a stiff drink in hopes that it would take some of the sting away. I'd already resigned myself to giving up on the sound system until I was sober and able to deal with it logically and not just start yanking cords in frustration. I'm not sure how much this turn of events colored the rest of the evening, but people did start splitting shortly after this clusterfuck happened, and I got another apology and a note from the Minister's Wife
requesting that we send her the bill for the repairs, which we'll of course never do, because it's not worth it, but by the same token I don't know that I'll be able to not
yell at this woman the next time I see her. Hell, I had made tentative plans to have lunch with her husband at some point, so how the fuck am I supposed to get through a meal in a Chili's
without asking him to his face if his wife is an idiot? That's no lunch I wanna go to; I feel so completely fucked in this situation, which may abate slightly once we get a chance to start planning the repair process, but holy shit, why did this have to happen
I mean fucking yikes
, if you're in someone else's house and something doesn't appear to be working, wouldn't you find your host and ask what's up? Not just keep hammering away at buttons? Or am I the idiot who's too nice for my own good and this is just how people normally act? So Goddamned
If we ever
host another party (chances are slim at this point) I'm sticking the remote up my ass where it will be safe and warm, just so no one can start fucking around with it.
At any rate, as the party eventually dwindled down to Brian
and the museum's executive director we all settled into the kitchen and I continued to hammer down cocktails and alternately whinge and bitch about the stereo system, because frankly it's easier to do that than throw shit and yell, which is pretty much what I wanted to do, because Goddammit
, can't we just have nice things? DR
eventually joined us after 10:00 when he got off work and I spoke to the Hairdressers
to see if they would be by, as they were our only other 'maybe' folksthat I really expected might still turn up. They begged off, as one of them was feeling sick and they had worked later than usual. They did mention something weird about Anastasia Beaverhouszen
(who is in Italy at this time) planning to send by some kind of surprise, which I only halfway registered, as I was pretty well half in the bag by this stage of the evening.
About 30 minutes later I'll be Goddamned
if the doorbell doesn't ring, and it's a couple pizzas delivered courtesy of our friends in Italy
, who couldn't join us but instead sent some Italian
food in their stead.
What a sweet couple, I was very touched to be sure.
We snacked some more and the evening began to wind down after midnight, as the wife had to call it a night since she was totally exhausted. Our final stragglers ended up being Morris
, who would crash out over on the Guest Side
of the house as I finally retired to the Office
to start working up the notes for this post and venting my rage a bit.
I'm out kids.
Be seeing you.