Sunday, September 21, 2008

Life of the Party

So, yesterday some friends of our had a birthday party for another mutual friend. Small gathering, seventeen, eighteen people, most of us who have known each other for a long time.

The champagne flowed, we ate a nice meal, the birthday girl opened cards and gifts, and we chatted about all manner of things under the sun -- from politics to real estate to silly TV commercials.

So we were all gathered in the rec room, talking in groups of two or three about this and that, and the man to whom I was chatting made a comment about that infamous warning at the end of the Viagra commercial about calling your doctor if you got an erection lasting more than four hours. The usual joke is, "Yeah, right. After I call all my old girlfriends and the circus. Hire myself out as a diving board for the women's Olympic team, yuk, yuk!"

So Ray says, that such a warning seems downright silly. Whereupon I, in my encyclopedic know-it-all-mode of things medical, felt the need to point out what priapism was and why it was not a good thing. (For those of you who don't know about the blood flow and valves and all in Mr. Willie, what happens is that the blood that causes things to rise up, as it were, gets congested and doesn't circulate, and this can not only lead to pain, it can cause tissue damage, in the same way that tying a tight tourniquet around your wrist and leaving it for four hours can do. At the worst, we are talking gangrene.)

The party is chattering away and I'm getting wound up, so I segue into my closing bit: "Image how that would look in a testimonial -- 'Dear Sirs -- I used your product and my dick rotted off -- !'"

Some of you are old enough to remember the old E.F. Hutton commercials. Two guys sitting in a restaurant, nobody paying them any attention. One of them says, "Well, my broker is E.F. Hutton, and Hutton says -- " whereupon every person in the place stops what they are doing to look and listen to the speaker.

So I deliver the "dick rotted off -- !" line and became aware that the background noise had ceased. Looked around. In a movie, it would be a slow pan, R. to L., to see that everybody in the room was looking at me as if I had just morphed into a giant lizard.

Their expressions were priceless. I imagine that mine was, too.

I lost it completely. Laughed so hard I thought I was gonna pee. That set off the birthday girl, and that set me off again.

Now and then, life hands you a jewel, for free. That's one of 'em.


Edwin Voskamp said...

Who hasn't had a moment like that? One of my classic ones was where I was sitting in a restaurant talking about one of my favorite cult movies: Death Race 2000.

None of about ten people had seen the movie and I describe the movie theme, various actors, and some of the highlight scenes.

I just very animatedly describe a scene, the whole table hanging on my every word as I end the description with: "... and the two boys stuck their heads up out of the manhole as the car came back from behind them and cleanly cut off their heads."

It was then that I realized the table was not as much hanging on my every word as looking at the waitress beside me, waiting to start taking orders ...

Instead she looked quite horrified, seemed frozen in inaction, and looking to work her way up to smiling and backing away carefully.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

That's called "Karma", Steve, and it happens to people who have trod upon others for their use of language, pronunciation, high availability of candid online photos, choice of alcoholic beverages...that sort of thing.

Steve Perry said...

Nah, Kid, karma is what you are being paid back for. Mine is clean ...