It has been a long and enjoyable holiday respite for Pipeline, during which time we got to see various Pipeline People in a variety of circumstances, including:
- 1:00 AM sledding runs in Kansas City, on a hill so badass it had a sled graveyard
- Drinking transcendent cosmopolitans made by Friend of Pipeline KevinD
- Eating a variety of ducks who flew past the wrong hunter
- Enjoying a fine steak dinner and belated Christmas celebration with Parents of Pipeline
- Playing about 10 consecutive hours of Rock Band, which is hands down the best video game I’ve ever played. Watch for the hit new band Stinky Nightgown, the band we created that is coming to a crappy club near you very soon.
- Enjoying another murder mystery party at Spirit of Avalon, where Jane won best costume for a second consecutive year
- Spending a quiet New Year’s Eve with friends we don’t get to see often enough, and their children
- Most importantly, safe travels for all involved
Some of the above deserve more detail.
Rock Band is awesome. Yes, it helps that we were playing on an XBox 360 on a badass huge HDTV, but the real kicker is the interaction between three or four people. The drum factor is huge, going well beyond what the guitar alone provides. Having never attempted to really coordinate hand and foot movements before, it was a challenge, but clearly a skill capable of being learned, as well all improved over the course of the night. The songs on the game are very well–chosen, too. I can’t imagine anyone with a pulse not enjoying Rock Band. One of the nice things about the night was that Linus was able to play with me and Pipeline People StantonS, DaveR, BrentS, GretchenS, and Jane. That’s a big thing, when an 8 year-old gets to feel like they’re actually a part of an adult evening, and the adults aren’t talking down to them the whole night. It’s fun when your kids get to an age where they are able to interact with your friends in a way beyond just entering a room, being forced to say “hello”, and then leaving to play with the other kids.
Duck is very good when prepared the right way. I wasn’t aware that different kinds of ducks had different flavors, but they certainly do. The best one we had was a teal (green winged, I think). It was exceptional. We also had some scaup and mallard. All were quite good. KevinD knows how to shoot ducks, and he knows how to cook them up right. He and Rae AnneD know how to put on a nice party with a great spread. They have inspired me to learn how to make a better cosmopolitan, and possibly also to buy a huge deep fryer as well.
The murder mystery party is always fun, but always devolves into chaos, as there are so many plotlines happening and people so often take the game in unpredictable directions. My character usually ends up with a gun, and I’ve found that having a gun makes it very likely that you will kill someone. Note to self.
The game is held each year at Pipeline Person QuintonS’s parent’s manse in suburban KC, the Spirit of Avalon. It’s your average 28,000 square foot place with a man-made grotto. Inside the grotto are a hot tub, pool, wet bar, steamroom, scuba gear, etc. All the standard things you’d want in your grotto. The party usually ends up down there, as it’s always a good idea for people to be in the presence of water and slippery rock high dives when they are at their most intoxicated and tired.
Several strange things have happened in that grotto. For example, last year I was accidentally locked in the steam room alone for about 10 minutes, which caused me to panic as it was very steamy in there and nobody seemed to hear my cries of despair. Then I discovered a little wooden flap at the top of the door that I could push open to look or yell out of if I stood on one of the steam room’s benches. Imagining a way out of this steamy tomb, I hopped up on the bench and pushed the flap outward. But just as I prepared to yell, I noticed that there were three naked women changing in the antechamber to the steam room. They were all drunk and gabbing to each other so they apparently didn’t hear me open the flap. Obviously, I didn’t want to get caught looking out that little window at naked women, as that would look suspicious. So I quickly closed the flap, sat down, and waited for them to leave before yelling for help again. I eventually got out of the room without being branded as a pervert; it turns out the door was merely stuck, and not locked. Silly me!
Then this year, KellyR and I were in the grotto bathroom. You know, just hanging out in the bathroom, when all a sudden one of the party-goers comes into the bathroom to hang out with us. This was awkward for at least two reasons. First, we had been talking about this party-goer at the moment she came in, comparing notes regarding some aggressive and sexually provocative things she had been saying earlier in the steam room to anybody who happened to be present. Then, suddenly, she’s standing there in a small bathroom with us. Awkward. Even more awkward was that she was wearing only a red bikini and pink cowboy boots, unless you also want to count the post she was wearing in her belly-button. Very awkward. Then she says, “Have you seen what I’m wearing?” Kelly and I both tried to deflect that conversation in a variety of ways, but she was insistent, continuing to ask if we’d seen what she was wearing. Naturally, we had, but neither one of us wanted to give her an opening to see where she intended to take that conversation. The only thing worse than a clumsy come-on is an insistently clumsy come-on, so Kelly and I basically just opened the door and pushed her out, telling her to go find her husband. We closed the door and laughed and laughed. Oh, to be 28 again…
Finally, we met EliS, son of Pipeline People BrentS and GretchenS. There are few things that make me as happy as meeting the kids of our friends. Here he is with KellyR. Eli is the one on the right. Someday, if he plays his cards right, he might be able to join Stinky Nightgown on their world tour.