WyattPalooza: The Day After
By Wyatt Earp | May 9, 2010
Well, WyattPalooza has come and gone, and the Earth is still intact. Who woulda thunk it? I think (well, hope) that everyone enjoyed themselves, but in case you were unable to attend, here is an accurate play-by-play account of the event.
As always, the following stories are true. No names were withheld to protect the innocent, because doing so would take away from teh funny.
I volunteered to drive Mrs. Crankipants because the Crankipants’ do not own a car. Seriously. Of course they live in
Little Italy South Philly, so there’s not much need. Living down there is like living in Manhattan, except that South Philly always smells like hair gel, garlic, and shame. She gave me crap because I was late, oblivious to the fact that parking spaces in their neighborhood are about as rare as naked photos of Bea Arthur. (I have some of those. Thank you eBay!)
Captain America (my ghost co-host) had one job and one job only: to get to restaurant before everyone else and let the manager know we had arrived. That’s it, nothing else. I knew I’d be a little late coming from Little Italy, so I figured even he could handle this assignment. Of course, when we were two blocks from the restaurant, my cell phone rang. Guess who?
“You dude, where is this place?” the Captain asked.
(I knew I was wise to hitch my wagon to his star.) Incredulously, I replied, “It’s on the main circle around the mall! Right by all of the other restaurants!”
“Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, right?” he asked.
“No, Cheeseburger in Paradise. Cheeseburger Cheeseburger is a different place,” I said.
“Okay, I think I see it now,” he said before hanging up. We arrived about five minutes later. When I finally saw the Captain, this exchange occurred (NSFW):
Yeah, one job and he blew it. In fairness, he did do something right. He took up two spaces for his Firebird so no one would park next to it. When we pulled up, Mrs. Crankipants said, “I’ll give you a dollar if you try to park next to him.” I balked.
The restaurant had the patio all set up for us, and when we arrived a few folks were already there. Captain America, Bitter, Sebastian, Ian, Bob (Either Orr), Mr. and Mrs. Robert B., Smite, and Cemetery. We were faced with a dilemma: sit with Bitter, et al, or at the other end of the long table near the Captain. Sadly, we chose the Cap.
The first thing that struck me, besides the tall (fifty ounces worth) cylinder of beer that was set up next to Smite, was that it was really windy. Like Wizard of Oz windy. At one point, a blade blew off one of the patio fans (RT posted a pic of that on her blog) and while we were eating, Mrs. Crankipants’ sweet potato chips blew off her plate and into the waiting mouth of Sebastian. Okay, they didn’t hit the mouth, but they came close. I was thinking, “Jesus, we’re gonna be crushed by a house and somehow it’ll be my fault!”
The waitress came out and took drink orders. She was pretty and looked as if she had two flotation devices on her chest – not that there was anything wrong with that. The woman made Christina Hendricks look like a ten-year old boy, and I was shocked that no one ordered chicken breasts by accident. Captain America ignored the urge for a fruity drink and ordered a Long Island Iced Tea instead. I asked for a 22-ounce mug of Land Shark lager. Good for what ails ya. Mrs. Crankipants ordered vodka on the rocks, with three olives, then quipped, “I haven’t eaten all day.” I saw Sebastian drinking a mojito, so at least he was adventurous.
In time, the rest of the guests arrived. RT, The Bitter American, and Old NFO – who drove up . . . from Virginia! VIRGINIA! When he told me that, I asked him if he was insane. Who drives four hours to meet people like us? Crazy ass people, that’s who! I see his security clearance being revoked in 3 . . 2 . .
Chesty LaRue came back to take appetizer requests. Mrs. Crankipants wanted fried conch and asked if we would split it with her. My reply? “What the frak is a conch?” RT, ever the wiseass, said, “It’s that shell you put to your ear to hear the ocean.” I was going to pass until Mrs. Crankipants stuck me with her pen and said, “You WILL have some. Got it?” When it came out it looked harmless enough, and to be honest, it was pretty tasty. I was waiting for her to tell me that it was really eel or rattlesnake, but Old NFO – world traveler that he is – confirmed its seafood status. He tried some, too, and said it was good.
In the meantime, we’re talking and laughing, and making fun of
each other me, especially after the Captain told everyone how I didn’t know a lawn mower had an air filter – like you guys don’t already know I’m an idiot. In a desperate attempt to change the subject, I pointed as Smite, who is a walking Best Buy. I think he had a cellphone, Blackberry, beeper, and a thermal detonator in front of him. Apparently he was tracking weapons satellites and coordinating Predator drone missions during lunch.
Oh, and in case he didn’t overhear them, some of the female guests claimed that Smite has “dreamy eyes.” Maybe that’s why Sebastian couldn’t keep staring at him. Kidding, kidding!
In addition to appetizers, drinks, and lunch, some gifts were exchanged. Mrs. Crankipants brought me my new business cards – they rock, by the way – and Old NFO gave the Captain two boxes of rifle ammo. Truly, it is the gift that keeps on giving.
I prepared for a disaster, solely because it was me who was setting this thing up. At the end of the day, though, it turned out much better than I had ever expected. With the exception of the gale force winds and later-day cold, it was a pretty remarkable event. I felt badly that I didn’t get to talk as much to some of the other attendees – Bob (Either Orr), Robert B. and his lovely wife Lin and Lew, whose badge is much bigger than mine. I hope they understand.
Thank you all so much for coming. It humbles me that folks would come out to have lunch with the likes of me. Maybe, if you kids behave, we’ll try to put something together toward the end of the summer.
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