Glass House

My world is weirder than your world.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Grinch.

Man. Hung over this morning. I almost never get drunk -- partly because it's a little dangerous, largely because it's never that much fun. Being buzzed is a pretty good feeling; by the time you're drunk you can't even tell. But last night was the circle's Grinchmas shindig, and being stupid is kind of a tradition.

It was at our place, the House of J. Hosting duties fell largely to me, because Jon's mind was occupied by his four-year-old self and Jenna only allowed him to come down and play for a little while. So he was up in the media room, playing video games, and she had to spend more time supervising him than socializing with us. Kind of a shame, since this might have been the last Grinchmas where she could let loose. Except for drinking.

Hey, did I mention Jenna's pregnant? About six months now. Some time back there was a betting pool about how weird the baby was going to be. It ended when Jenna put ten bucks on "Baby's going to kick all of your asses to the curb if you don't shut up." She didn't want us jinxing anything.

So I got to be the door-greeter and drink-getter for the evening. The same crowd as last week showed except for O.J., who backed out on the excuse that he had to attend a party at his wife's boss or somesuch. Perhaps for the best. Also, Lara brought a guy. She doesn't think he's unusual, but she cleared it with us in e-mail and swore he was cool. Cool he might have been, but he seemed too nervous most of the evening to tell. We ran through the standard "Tell anyone and we'll find creative ways to make you miserable" litany, but I don't think we had to worry about him. The ones we've got to worry about are the ones who are fascinated, not spooked. If he shows up a second time I'll give him a name other than Lara's Date.

When Callie came in she had a wreath of mistletoe that she put firmly on my head. She gave me a pretty phenomenal kiss, which was just fine, but of course everybody else wouldn't stop doing it while the mistletoe stayed visible. Mostly on the cheek, but not always. Nick, of course, wouldn't pass this up. Little kid Jon wanted to do it because everybody else was doing it. The only person who didn't try to kiss me was Lara's date. Maybe that's why I'm inclined to like him.

There was way too much food. Nobody had time to cook a turkey, but Jenna made a few of her famous tomato pies, and there was stuffing and cranberry sauce and everybody brought a dessert. Even I made something. Sugar cookies. Yeah, I know, please hold your applause. Callie did a Yuletide log thing that was a work of art.

The order of events gets a little switched around on Grinchmas: it's eating, then business, then entertainment. Everyone wanted the business discussion to be brief. I gave my report on the rat bastard. Dana asked how many other people were in the seats watching.

"I don't know," I said. "Twenty, maybe thirty at a time. I think they were all waiting on other cases. Why?"

"Did anyone look familiar?" she asked.

"No. What's this about, Dana? Have you seen someone hanging around?"

But she said she hadn't. She wanted to change the subject. Most of us didn't, and I even offered to let her look into my memory to see if she recognized anyone, but she wouldn't. "I just had a second of deja vu. Like I knew about this from somewhere else. Probably 'cause I already read about it in your blog," she said. Uh huh.

Nobody had anything new. None of us wanted anything new, because we were all going out of town or otherwise had plans for the holidays. Well, except for the Santa Mission. I'll talk about that later.

Business done, we started up the party. First, as always, we pulled out "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." The animated classic, not the recent Jim Carrey disease. This is a drinking game: everybody gets their favorite martini, liqueur, single malt Scotch, whatever, and you take a drink on every instance of the word "Who." Every instance. There are a few other mandated drinking points as well. If you finish your drink, we pause while you get a new one. Everyone must finish their drink on "Stink. Stank. Stunk." and get a new one as well.

You can get pretty drunk in half an hour, it turns out.

Normally we shut off the tape just prior to the last couple of minutes, when the Grinch gives the presents back, "To keep it satisfying." But what with Jon being mentally four years old, we couldn't bring ourselves to traumatize him, so we watched all the way through the sappy ending. He had Kool-Aid, of course, while he was watching with us. Jenna had the safe kind of eggnog.

(To be continued. Lunchtime and analgesic hunt.)

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