Friends: people who borrow my books and set wet glasses on them. - Edwin Arlington Robinson
Trish and I are enjoying a fit of nostalgic turd slinging between our blogs. A recent post of hers prompted me to leave a cryptic comment. Which she dutifully answered. And then, as if to say, "Oh Yeah?!?", she left an equally cryptic comment on my last post: drowned hot dog.
In the spirit of relaying embarrassing stories, I offer my return shot...
Long, long ago, in a suburb far, far away a good mutual friend of ours was celebrating a birthday. I decided to throw a surprise party for her at my house. It was hot, we had a pool, a grill and no booze. That's right. No alcohol. Please keep in mind, we were all in high school and either in Marching Band or were National Merit Scholars. Some of us were both, as evidenced by the complete lack of common sense.
No sir, this was booze-free because it was a parent-aware party. Besides, we frequently went to another house to drink Bartles & Jaymes, Bloody Brains and room-temperature tequila shots (Mom? Remember when I slept over at Becky's? Not so much.). Anyway, my mom had full disclosure of this party at her house and willingly co-hosted, but that didn't stop us from acting like drunken monkeys. It started out harmless enough...all of us running around in the pool until we generated a fairly strong riptide, playing chicken, trying to drown one another, grilling burgers and loading up on junk food, all while jamming to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and "Talk Dirty To Me"...when they were new songs.
As night fell, well, that's when the debauchery began. Popping balloons on the grill, flinging raw meat and launching flaming marshmallows at the townhouse behind us, your standard party fare. I'm fairly certain that night was the first (and possibly only) time that the Hanover Park po-po had to respond a call of "a hailstorm of beef and firebrands." I'm so proud.
I recall my mom answering the door while a uniformed officer of the law struggled to keep his composure and ask that we refrain. In turn, my mother ventured out to the back yard to report same issue...while struggling to retain her composure. And so was born the phrase that wandered the halls of Lake Park High School for many months, as uttered by my dear mother, "It is not nice to throw raw meat at the neighbor's house."
While a good time was had by all, there inevitably came the dread clean-up, which, unfortunately, had to be carried out by daylight...maybe 3 or 4 days later. After scraping the burned rubber off the grill grate, running the lawn mower to suck up the remnants of hamburger and marshmallow goo out of the grass, the time came to pull the solar cover off the pool and perform the weekly ritual of skimming and vacuuming. Found in the cool waters...one lawn chair, mildly rusty; one pair of sandals, leather, but more importantly, not mine; and...get this. A full-on hot dog.
The slogan goes, "They plump when you cook 'em." Well, look here, Mister. I can tell you for a fact that they plump when you leave 'em floating in a swimming pool for 3 days. There it was, floating serenely in the crystal clear water, surrounded by a slick of greasy pork/beef/turkey effluvium.
Take a peek in your fridge at the average hot dog. Now picture it about 3 times that size. We're talking humiliatingly large when compared to most men. It gave John Holmes a run for his money (so I've heard).
Despite the metamorphosis that took place in our pool, that wasn't the gem of this story.
So I get the skimmer. You know, the flimsy plastic-framed window screening on the end of an equally flimsy aluminum pole. And I went fishing for the meat stick. I watched with horror as I lifted the skimmer under the huge tube steak and it proceeded to bend the skimmer at a frightening angle, roll right off, back into the water and....fall apart. Try not to throw up in your mouth a little.
Also, I think our dog peed in Mike's shoes. Looking back, he deserved it.