Saturday, August 07, 2004


I don't know that tonight could have gone any better. I showed up at nine, an hour after Ray's thing officially "starts," and Shannon was already there, sitting with some of her friends over in the gazebo. I made like I hadn't seen her yet, and set myself talking with Beef and Molly over beers. A little while later she came walking by and I caught her eye and we started chatting. She said she was sorry she hadn't made it last week (out of town at her grandma's birthday) and I said she hadn't missed much. I didn't really have it in me to play the big smoother I was last week and she wouldn't have been into that anyway, it was too early.

We made nice chitchat for a while but then her friend's boyfriend broke up with her over her cell phone and she had to go console, but we promised we'd talk more in a little bit.

I chilled with Cornelius and shot some pool. He's a wizard, and I didn't stand half a chance against him, but it was fun to watch the ways he chose to win. Some games he'd play only double-bank shots, some games he'd use heavy English on every shot. He was pretty glum though and didn't seem to be having much fun.

Maybe an hour later the festivities were going full-on and Ray got up onto this little stage he had set up, with a huge Phil Collins poster behind it, like two stories tall. He had one of those headset mics and yelled, "and now then for the main attraction! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome...Phil Collins!" Shannon and I found each other in the crowd and stood side by side. “Can’t Hurry Love” fired up on the PA.

Then he pulled a curtain aside and this terrifying creature stumbled out. It had a suit on, Elephant Man type head and hands, and it acted like it had just been maced. It was slapping its own face like crazy, and pretty soon it fell on its side and tried to tear its head off. Then it started smoking and shooting sparks and erupted into flames. First I shielded Shannon from the sparks, and when they subsided I ran up onto the stage, tore down the curtain, and rolled the creature in it until the flames died.

It turned out to be one of those Honda robots, thankfully, but the party kind of died down after that. As Shannon’s friends were loading up to go, she kissed me on the cheek and wrote her number on my hand. I’m flying pretty high right now, and not entirely sure what my follow-up act should be.