Okay. So we got BooBoo to the Volly.
We walked in, and our mates, waiting at the big table with the immense balloon display (it was definitely over the top), all screamed ‘Surprise!’ and ‘Happy Birthday!’. BooBoo, unfortunately, died on the spot.
At least I thought she was gonna die. She turned purple and started to cry. Then she gave Lou and me her ‘I’m never, never, never going to forgive you’ glare. Mission accomplished; well done, us.
After hugs and snogs all around, BooBoo opened her cards and pressies and we started to painstakingly celebrate in earnest. That means we drank…a lot. I guess people ate a lot, too. Martin had been so terrorized that he prepared enough nibblies for a bar mizvah for three hundred. The platters just kept appearing.
I had burned a CD for Gabby, the DJ. It wasn’t actually for Boo’s party; it was my mix of ‘Philly’ tunes that I thought he should play on Sunday nights…a lot. DJ Guy is pretty shirty about requests, but he has a major pash for me. He played every song, some of them twice.
I remember dancing to the Hooters ‘And We Danced’ with Oz Ed, and to ‘Sounds of Philadelphia’ with the Irish Lad. Bald Rob, visiting from Strange-o to seek out new lives, new civilizations and badly dressed pub slags, refused to join me on the dance floor for ‘South Street’. After about the third bottle of Zinfy, I taught everybody how to do the ‘Bristol Stomp’. BooBoo woke up long enough to tell the entire pub “I’ve been to Bristol, Pennsylvania…with Jeano. It’s off motorway ‘One Ninety Five.’” Never mind that it’s Interstate- 95 and I was operating the motor vehicle at the time – in rush hour and yes, on I95- and totally freaked out, since we were meant to be on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. BooBoo was supposed to be navigating. We had our own ‘Thelma & Louise’ road trip, complete with cheese steaks, Wawa cappechino, and cousin Gerry P.
Sadly, I could not drag the whole group up to do the Wagner Stroll to the Tymes’ ‘Somewhere’.
I think BooBoo forgave us in the end and had a good birthday. I sure enjoyed her birthday a whole bunch. I spent Bank Holiday Monday laying on the sofa nursing a massive hangover.
The rest of the week was pretty uneventful, Tea Lady duty, shifts at Sam and Close Encounters with Bagpipe Guy.
I’ve got the Midnight Walk for Hospice coming up, and I’m meant to be training to walk ten miles in the middle of the night in the pouring rain. (Hey, this is Britain; of course it’s going to be raining.) The organizers probably don’t expect the walkers to go to a Neil Diamond concert directly before starting to navigate in West Byfleet. I’ve got a tour to Sissinghurst Castle next week, an ultra posh Garden Party along the Thames (they swore there’d be Pimms), a 40th Anniversary Party for NWSS (www.nwss.org.uk), and a quick trip to Paris to meet up with my friends, Abe and Janet, from home, who will be in the City of Lights celebrating their wedding anniversary.
But the biggest plans afoot are for Quarto di Lugio. You may remember that I always have a graticola for Festa dell’ Independenza. Confused? Try being me for fifteen minutes.
People have been asking if I’m going to have a party for 4th of July this year, a proper American one with ‘baseball, hot dogs, and Mom’s apple pie’. Well, of course, I can’t not have a party.
I just told everybody ‘you bet!’ Mario, my barbecue, is still in storage somewhere in the UK. He might be in Kirkcauldy, Scotland, visiting Margaret and David. We’ll find him, and maybe even find some real hotdogs. Maybe Mike or Jarvo can sneak some back here in their suitcase the next time they go to the States.
Anyway, I started busily planning the festivities when Cheese Boy said, “You can’t have a party for American Independence Day.” “Pray tell, why not, O Cheesiness?” I inquired. “Because, you stupid cow, you’re Italian now.” Oh, yeah.
Hm. I googled Italian holidays, figuring I’d have a party instead for one of them. Please don’t tell the Consulate that I said so, but Italian holidays are boring. Me: “Hi! Come to my party for Ferragosto…the Feast of the Assumption! Everybody has to dress up as the Blessed Mother!” Everybody: “Sorry, Jeano, we’re busy. We’re going dogging with the Irish Lad in a car park in Cheshire that Lou told us about.” See what I mean?
So I pondered the matter, and ran it past BooBoo. She’s so…everything that I’m not. The answer was obviously to just refer to everything in Italian! It’s not a ‘barbecue’; it’s a ‘graticola’. And it may coincidentally occur on Quarto di Luglio, but I believe it is actually the Fourth of July on that very same date everywhere, even in France.
And if BooBoo and I just happen to wear our red, white and blue flag shirts that we bought in Philadelphia on the same day, it’s merely a fashion faux pas. Or a coincidence.
I’ll throw some cannoli around the apple pie, and serve manicoti with the burgers. I’ll play Mario Lanza on the sound system (in between Kate Smith). My Festa dell’Independenza will become the newest ‘must go to’ Do in Surrey, even more that Pinkie’s Last Bank Holiday Bash.