We headed out in time to arrive to help set up the hall for the circus. Perilous Cheryl had a vision and we carried it out (as best we could with our limited skills). Fortunately, the Queen and Johnny 10X arrived with a batch of scary clown pictures which dressed up the venue immensely. John Schwenk arrived for sound check and Gene got to reminisce about those Appendix days, playing roadie. Before we knew it, the peeps began to arrive. It wasn't a garden party, but everyone was there (well, anyone worth knowing). Yes, Elena was there in fine Pirateer form and Rod with his ironic (I hope!) Beetle Bailey hat. Ringmaster Cheryl kept everyone in line with her big black whip, and Joey of course looked smashing in his white tie, tails and fez (Gene's going to link to the Flikr photos, right?)
Miss Wendy arrived right on time, just about when Marko was ducking out -- too many commitments on one night but oh, choose wisely! You know we're going to talk about you when you're gone. We saw folks we hadn't seen in ages, some seen recently but not enough. 9th Wave started things off with groovin' surf tunes and the Gamma Rays rocked the joint hard with rockabilly tunes (including a ripping rendition of "Ring of Fire"). We were sweat-soaked and beer-fueled ($1.25 Longtrails!). In between, I gave in to my taste for doggerel and presented my birthday poem for The joey Zone, a Carrollian pastiche that went like this:
The Birthday of the Boojum:
A Celebration in Five Decades
“Just the time for a clown,” the wombat cried,
as she swallowed some amber brew;
The pair had arrived from a two hour ride
And knew what they all had to do.
“Just the time for a clown; I have said it twice,
That alone should enliven our crew.
Just the time for a clown, now I’ve said it thrice!
What I tell you three times must be true.
“’Tis a most special day, and all in this place
have come here to honor this Snark:
With thimbles and forks and presents and more,
We gather at this veteran’s park.
“The Butcher, the Baker, the Beaver, the Bellman
All have arrived here together;
And rumors abound of the various clowns
Who will join us (depending on weather).
“For the Boojum’s a creature who simply cannot
Be praised in a commonplace way.
So please all raise your jugs for this lovable mug,
Not a chance must be wasted to-day!”
Much was eaten, much spoken, shouted and hoarsely called, gifts given (and yes, opened the next day over the ensuing hours which made Gene ask, "are you sure there's a zero after the five in his age?"). Clean up of the hall was a breeze, many hands making light work, and we collapsed at chez Boojum, exhausted but happy, to awake under the eye of the Zuni fetish doll (to say nothing of the two Munchkins!).
Argh -- back this afternoon, a million and one things to do. Not quite packed, but getting up early. Hard to believe I'm off to England once more tomorrow, with a bunch of students to boot. Ay yi yi; how do I convince myself to do these things? As Ollie sez, "You get so weak from eating pears that you fall down, and then they come and take you away on a stretcher." Here's to eating pears!