Yesterday was the annual Labor Day Weekend Bash at Ken and Kathyâ€™s house. It was not unlike numerous previous gatherings all summer long, only for Labor Day, the food is ramped up a bit from the usual hot dogs and burgers, and the booze is even more plentiful (if thatâ€™s possible). Everyone brings something to eat and drink, and for Labor Day, we chip in to buy filet mignon, which along with baked potatoes, and several terrific vegetables and salads was the dayâ€™s fare. Appetizers consisted of a couple loaves of freshly made sausage bread from a local Italian Deli, and a couple grilled kielbasas made by a local German Butcher. There was also a dizzying display of desserts. Excellent.
Unfortunately, the weather was lousy. I rained on and off all day. This makes it two in a row, as I recall that last year we partied through a veritable monsoon. Most of the deck is covered by a tent-like structure, which is large enough to permit everyone to stay pretty dry. In addition, the rain did not keep people out of the pool (with their cocktails, of course) between the showers. (Ken, the â€œAnal Cruise Directorâ€ had made sure the water was heated to just shy of ninety degrees).
The rain also did not stop the non-stop sixties music, along with much of the usual needling:
â€œI canâ€™t believe that you actually like the Four Seasons!â€
â€œYou gotta be shittinâ€™ me. Theyâ€™re great. Whatsa matter with you? Theyâ€™re local guys, fer chrissake.â€
â€œTake that crap off and put on some Dion.â€
â€œDion? No way. I wanna hear the Doors.â€
â€œNo!! The Beatles. Put the goddamn Beatles on!â€
â€œI never really liked the Beatles. You couldnâ€™t dance to most of their shit. Put on some Motown. Whereâ€™s the frigginâ€™ Motown?â€
â€¦and so it goes.
The music choices really donâ€™t matter, because damned near everyone knows damned near all the songs, and no one is shy about singing along, particularly as the levels in the vodka bottles go down.
The rain did, however, prevent the continuation of the never-ending horseshoe competition. However, it did not stop the back and forth between the two rival teams. Ken, the Anal Cruise Director, and I regularly play against Jeff and Artie, two guys who are sufficiently delusional to continue to insist that that they actually are ahead in the tournament that has now spanned a couple years.
Cigar smoking is also big at these events, and this year was no exception. However, this year was even better in the cigar-smoking department, as Bill, the newest addition to the Usual Suspects, brought along some truly primo CAOs and some absolutely excellent torpedoes, aged for five years (the name of which escapes me at the moment).
So, we had plenty of food, copious amounts of booze, lots of ice, great music, excellent cigars, terrific conversation and the company of good friends.
Screw the rain.