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Hi Again, We went to a New Years Party last night and guess what!!! The journal has found it's way to my desk.
Today, the first day of the new millennium (some say Jan 01, 2001 but for the sake of arguing, humor me and let's go) and brought back some memories, not only of last night but of the last decade in the lives of the Watts, Mary & Shane, and the farm we have.
I'll jot a few notes down on last night first, and then kinda go backwards. This is not a bad idea actually as most of you know my memory is, uhm, I forgot where I was going with this, oh Mary's Emory board is in her purse. What? Uhm, ok, let me reread this and we'll start again from page one.
Last night we arrived at Carole & Geza's about half past Seven. Geza was sick and contemplated even going. I would have none of this though, could you imagine me, on my own, to baby-sit Carole and Mary. Most of you haven't seen these two in action. It'll take your breath away actually, ok ok, that's probably from getting trampled as people run in all directions, but still the same, it's a site that happens only once in a long while.
The girls look great, naturally, and Geza and I have been told already that there will be no Bermuda shorts and flip flops as we had planned the day before. Instead, I'm dressed like the dude on page 32 of the recent Penny's catalog and Geza is sporting a turtleneck underneath a Cardigan sweater that would make Sean Connery envious. Mark (Carole & Geza's Youngen, aged 10) has plans that he wouldn't tell us about, but says he needs to be able to get dirty. In fear of the worst, Carole has allowed him to wear jeans & a sweatshirt.
We arrive at the large house on Maple. WOW, this house is only the size of the Georgia Dome, and sat there in the back, on top of the tennis courts, stands a tent that is equal in size to one of the German Oktoberfest Beer Tents. This may be good or bad thing, more people to hide behind in case my babysitting skills fail, but also more running people should they fail really bad. Oh lookie there, a karaoke setup, how fun. We walked in to the tent, and immediately started shaking hands and meeting people that none of us knew, but we thought we did by the warm reception that we got. For simplicity, and because I haven't a clue, everyone in the tent besides the 5 of us were named, Anna or Rodney. The music was loud enough that we could smile and say " Hi Sgheewlis, Nice to see you again", and no one would know the difference. This numbers thing may just work out.
Did someone say "Open Bar", I ran, oops, meandered leisurely over to see what may be in "that" locale of the tent. After all, I wanted to get the girls a wine and Geza and I had to take a peep at the large bottles labled Scotch, Bourbon, Tequilia, & Boonesfarm. By the way, did you know if you pack it right, you can squeeze a half quart of crab dip into the cup of an upside down mushroom. Honest you can. Anyway, I, I mean, we, as in Geza and Geza, didn't want to look under the cupboard for glasses, so we had to settle for 20 ounce huggers to mix our small drinks in. "Hey Geza, wanna sip of scotch, how bout a liter". Geza remains glassy-eyed one week later. I settle for a small jug of Bourbon & Coke, and the girls are given red wines, four of them. Disregard, there are still only two, I think the crab dip has been spiked. We continue to meet people there, some I think we have met a few times already, but still everyone is very nice and Anna and Rodney say hello.
People are yelling!!!!! Oh my gawd, what's goin on? Geza have you seen the girls? Should we hide now or check it out? Gimme one of those crab legs and lets run..... Oh Oh, I see now, Fireworks are lighting up the nights sky in London and folks are gathered on the west wing of the tent watching the telly and all the celebrations of the UK, as it is launched into a new day. Oh no, now what have I done and here comes Rodney.
"Hi, uh, I can't shake hands right now Sgheewlis, my pinky finger is stuck inside of this crabs leg. How did it happen? It's kinda funny really, uhm, ok you're right, never mind". Geza, was that Rodney the mayor, and can you hand me the bottle opener there at the bar."
One of the fun things about going to a party where you know no one, is trying to figure out what these people do for a living. For example, take that lady there, yeah the one with no teeth. I figured she would end up being a professional fisherman, but in fact, she has a seat in the local government. I think I've seen her on tv before now that I think about, something about hygeine in schools. Apparently her teeth came out while eating pate' and I'm not sure she knows it yet; Geza had made her a small drink. And this fella, the short, uh, jovial one. Certainly, he's a bread maker. Darn, wrong again. He's the swimming coach in town. And who's this guy over there holding two hands up in tandem, appearing to tell one of the "There I Was" flying stories. This could be cool. I've successfully removed the crabs limb from my finger and the bleeding is sure to stop soon. Sure enough, he drives planes for a living. I kinda mosey up to his general location and act as if I'm studying the naval knot that is holding approximately 1000 balloons just 10 short feet above. I contemplate giving it a little tug, but we both know what would happen and I ain't going there.
At precisely this same moment, I hear what really made me nervous. An English voice it was, "Oh how nice, my husband too flies for the airlines, he's off this weekend as it is the millennium celebration". Oh My Gawd, I seriously think about faking a illness, but Mary has one hand wrapped tightly round my wrist and the other pointing directly at me. "Uh hello, my name is Jose Hemanez". He introduces himself and we talk about his current bid flying DC9's and the fact that this a great plane. A plane that has managed to avoid all the fancy smanshy computers and requires true stick and rudder skills. "What do you drive", he asks. Just as I am preparing an answer that will allow many loopholes to squeeze through, Mary blurts out, "747's for Noble Air". I nearly pass out. Things are getting fuzzy and I feel the warmth emit from my head as my face turns to the shade of Webster's College Dictionary. You remember that one too huh, the big red book. "WOW, what an assignment". I try to explain but nothing will come out of my mouth, I have no air in my body; I've forgotten how to breathe. A small crowd has gathered around us to hear some of the tales of a job that both mystifies and scares over 90 % of the worlds populations. "Well, er, uhm, hehe, I recently returned from a trip to Australia."..
I must tell you now that this statement was partially true, kinda. Noble Air is an airline that is known worldwide.....but.....by only a few people that happen to live.....worldwide. In order to practice my instrument flying procedures, I have joined a (very small letters) computer virtual airline (normal letters) http://home.att.net/~dfwhub/ (I'm there in the roster, hehe) . I had in fact just flew a hop from LAX to Sydney Australia without ever leaving the comfort of my desk chair and filed a report to prove it. Mary had forgotten to mention this one small fact and now I was left to work my way out of becoming the village idiot. Be Nice, hehehe. I start by saying that I learned to fly in Vegas and now do most of my private flying around the Philly - New York City area. This is kind of a small region to fire up a big 747 so I kind of mumble that the airline flying I do is only a simulation for instrument proficiency. Either everyone around has missed that small confession or they are in awe of brushing shoulders with a Noble Air 747 Captain. I notice Carole over in the corner picking herself up off the floor from laughing so hard. Again, good thing there are large numbers of people as none of them have heard her uncontrollable cackling. "Excuse my, I must find the loo" as I step away I hear a voice from behind "Step aside, a 747 Captain has to P". It's only a few minutes after 7:00 pm and I have still, at least, 5 hours to deal with.......hehehe
Dinner is served....Geza and I have worked our way through the MadDog 20/20 and have opened a freshly fermented bottle of tangerine flavored ripple. Just then a small army of men come marching in with tall white hats in the shape of a South Georgia dinner roll. The serving tables quickly fill with roasts, fish, numerous vegetables, salads, and some things that I've not seen before. We shuffle over to the girls and patiently wait our turn. Dinner is outstanding and although I mistakenly ate the plate furniture (parsley), all went over without a hitch. Every hour, on the hour, we celebrate the new millennium with the peoples of lands East of our own. The numbers of "Toasts & Cheers" coupled with 20 ounce huggers has allowed most people to forget that 2 airline drivers are among the attending public; one of which commands 747's.
Its freezing outside! Some lady on tv has just proudly told a local reporter that it's so cold every time she opens her mouth her teeth freeze. This brings two things immediately to mind. First off, I feel sad for the toothless woman that I met earlier this evening because she doesn't know what she's missing, and second, why is it that the person always selected to speak on camera happens to be the worst possible candidate as ambassador for your community. Its quite comical really.
The midnight hour approaches...In preparation for the New Years Toast, Geza and I have been practicing our "Prost-ing" skills. ok ok, so we've been practicing since 7 but we haven't quite got it right yet. Mary has kindly placed a party hat upon my head and bless her heart, when she pulled down the elastic band to go under my chin, it, uh, slipped and popped the underside of my nose - just the little bridge between my two frozen nostrils. I think I've just wet myself and both eyes have shot skyward; the sting slowly but shockingly travels all over my body. Certainly this has caused brain damage and permanent scarring. Who's that cackling? Where's the loo?
Only 11 minutes remain in the 20th century and Mary and I are both having to "go" in a bad way. We both duck walk into the house and discover that others too are hopping up and down in queue at the large white door that each one of us want so much to be on the other side of. The lady at the front has started doing the "Charleston" as it appears that she's on her final leg. Mary thinks its funny that I've started dusting furniture, which is something that I do when its about to "buss loose". The others in line find nothing amusing about it cause in order to laugh, other muscles must relax and no one wants to relax nothing....7 minutes remain....
Being the considerate husband, I let Mary go first. This has nothing to do with the fact that I'm straddling the banister and can't move at this particular minute. Mary, thinking, that I'm just outside the door strikes up a conversation from the other side...Actually the bread maker is now at the door and finds it very welcoming that Mary has said he has a cute behind when he's dusting the furniture!?! Finally I get my turn and can't help but sing America the Beautiful and freedom rains.
Two minutes to go and we make it back. As everyone gathers toward the tv end of the tent, champagne bottles are passed around and glasses are filled, spilled, and filled again. Someone hasn't synchronized their watch as we hear fire crackers in the distance from some overly anxious celebrator. 10...9..8 Geza sneeks in a sip..7..6..I catch up...5..4..3..Geza refills our glasses..2...1..YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY HAPPY NEW YEAR. Every one rushes outside to see the night sky light up with mini explosions from all directions. Whistlers whistle, Roman Candles launch their glowing comets, and bottle rockets rocket round our heads like Bagdad only 9 shorts years before...Mark streaks by in only his boxers...sparklers ...WHAT...there he goes, then another, and atleast 10 more youngens are sprinting down Maple avenue in nothing but boxers.....12 mothers hide their faces, 12 fathers swell with pride, and 12 boys decide that this is kind of cold out here and streak back inside to the warmth of their jeans and sweats and a roaring fire.
We hang around outside for approximately 10 minutes and slowly people start heading back into the warm tent that sports 4 massive heaters, one in each corner. Their teeth must be frozen or something, all except for one of us...I suppose we stay for one more hour to welcome the mountain time zone into the millennium. We bid our farewells and go inside to locate our coats, gloves, scarves, ski masks, parka's, shaws', moon boots, etc.... the cackling begins...
Mary and I walk out to locate our ride and Geza and Mark are soon to follow but Carole is all the sudden no where in sight. We wait for a couple of more minutes and finally Carole is viewed exiting through the front door. She must have spent a little extra time putting on that big coat. Anyway, we all jump in and away we go, Meadowlane is our destination just 3 miles away. the cackling continues.....
We say goodnight to the driver and inside we head, as it is Carole and Geza's house that we have arrived at. It must have taken us 10 minutes to remove all the winter gear that we had bundled up into as the temperatures felt like they were in the upper negatives. Carole is still chuckling and it is only now that we realize what is going on. From her inside coat pocket, a 10 pound Roast of Beef is pulled and shown off to us as we stand their not believing what we have just witnessed. Carole has successfully packed a 10 pound roast into a 2 pound pocket and we now understand what the laughter has all been about. One of the chefs at the party knew Carole and Geza and offered the beef to them as he knew that we had enjoyed it. Carole, not wanting to start a massive rush towards the kitched had cleverly hammered it into her coat in order to exit without being "caught in the act". The laughing was Carole trying to figure out how she would remove it when we got home.
As you can see, we had a memorable night in the small town of Doylestown Pennsylvania. I truly hope that your celebration was at least half as enjoyable as was ours. Take care of yourself's and do something today that will make you smile.
Good Night and Happy New Year
© Otis Aviation 2000