The Grand Slam Weekend

Carey Van Driest - The International Mr T Slams Paul Orndorf

Carey Van Driest

Paul Orndorf and Mr. T

View from my BarstoolTilda_Earl at the Cell

The View from my Bar Stool

Tilda and I in the backyard of the Cell Theatre

Buddy Holly


Back when I first moved to Lancaster, it seemed I was travelling back to New York on Amtrak almost every weekend. There was always a party or a show or something that I didn’t want to miss. Now, I only take that Amtrak ride if I have a couple things to do in New York. This past weekend I really got a lot of bang for my travelling buck. I call it the Grand Slam weekend. I was busy every day.

I went to an awards dinner on Friday honoring the 6 New Yorkers who were recently inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. On Saturday I went to a Country Western Dance in Port Washington. On Sunday I went to an off-Broadway show, The International. On Monday I spent a day at the Beach, and when I got back to Lancaster I went to a local theatre production of The Buddy Holly Story. As if that wasn’t enough activity for one weekend I also got invited and later disinvited to my nephew’s wedding next year.

It all started with the awards dinner. My friend Hilary Becker was one of the inductees into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Many years ago, I attended a little theatre production of Oklahoma which starred his then girlfriend, Geralyn, who is today his wife. So, now they’ve both “been in Oklahoma” without ever going there.

There were about 450 people in attendance in the Mellville Marriott Ballroom, and Hilary’s Becker Real Estate company had paid for a good number of them. I was one of those lucky individuals. I gobbled down course after course as the honorees made their speeches. They all thanked their parents, their wrestling coaches, and their children. Hilary, who is deeply religious, thanked God for his parents, thanked God for his wrestling coaches, and thanked God for his children. It appeared to me that now that he was successfully inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame, he was now campaigning for induction into Heaven.

You know how they play music at the Oscar’s when somebody goes overtime making their acceptance speech? Well, they had a buzzer sound that went off when the time was up, but they all disregarded it and kept right on going. So, the night went on a little later than expected, and eating all that banquet food gave me gas. Occasionally, the speakers told a joke and I was afraid that I might pass gas while laughing at a joke. Instead of going to the bathroom to relieve myself, I prepared to combat embarrassment with humor. I figured that if I accidentally let one rip, I would just follow it by saying loudly, “Time’s up.”

On Friday night I slept over at Brother X’s house, and they informed me that their son and his fiancée had set a date and I was invited to their wedding. They asked me if I could think of any good songs for the DJ to play when they made their entrance at the reception as the father and mother of the groom. By the time I finished my suggestions, which included If You Want To Be Happy For The Rest of Your Life Never Make a Pretty Woman Your Wife and Mother-in-Law I was disinvited to the wedding.

On Saturday afternoon we went out for Carvel. Mrs. X stayed in the car while Brother X and I went in to get the ice cream. He ordered a cone for her and then remembered that she preferred sugar cones to the wafer kind, but since the attendant had already started making her cone, he said he would just tell her that they were out of sugar cones. He went outside to deliver his wife’s cone and the man asked me what I wanted. “Same thing,” I said, “except give me a sugar cone.” I love busting their horns. I bet they wish they could really disinvite me from the wedding.

Saturday night was a Country Western Dance in Port Washington with my friends Tilda, Joan, Larry, Debbie, Nancy, Rad and Dotty, Patrice, and Jim. Normally I spend most of the night at the bar, but this time I spent most of the evening dancing with friends who wanted the inside scoop on my dating situation in Lancaster. I didn’t realize that they all read the posts on this web page and, therefore, knew I was seeing someone in Lancaster.

Sunday afternoon I went to an off-Broadway show with Tilda. It was called The International and was about the destruction of a village, and the murder of most of the villagers. The story is told by 3 actors. One plays a local woman who was raped by the enemy while the rest of her village was being murdered. So, it obviously wasn’t a comedy, but there was one good joke in the play. She was talking about her husband who was a blacksmith and shoed horses all day. She said that when he came home he smelled like a horse, but unfortunately he was hung like a man.

The writing was excellent, and the acting was superb. By the end, the entire audience was crying, but we were all glad we had witnessed such an amazing show. We were not surprised to learn that Carey Van Driest won a Best Actress award for her portrayal of the village woman. The show is only playing through May 3rd at the Cell Theatre on 23rd St. (between 8th & 9th Avenues). Tickets are just $35 and I would recommend it to any serious theatregoer.

Afterwards, Tilda and I had to go for a drink, and I told her about the online Bartending course I am taking. I told her that bartender’s don’t use shot glasses to measure drinks anymore. They just pour the liquor through one of those easy pour spouts and count. Every 4 counts equals one ounce. So, if you are serving a drink that calls for an ounce and a half of liquor, you would count to six while pouring.

“What happens if you stutter?” she said.

I guessed that the customer would get a really strong drink. She pantomimed pouring as she said, “W-w-w-w-w-one, t-t-t-t-t-two…”

We weren’t completely over the horrors of the war we had just witnessed on stage, but we were laughing again.

Then I went to Long Beach to visit my friends John & Margaret. When I told John about the idea of a stuttering bartender, he said he would probably order a shot of Scotch in a tall glass. That started us laughing and we just kept telling jokes and laughing for hours.

When I got back to Lancaster I took Debbie to see The Buddy Holly Story at the Fulton Theatre. We both loved it. Naturally, I enjoyed all the Buddy Holly music, but I especially enjoyed when everyone came on stage at the end to do Johnny B. Goode. That’s my karaoke song. I stood up and added my voice to theirs. Fortunately, everyone else in the theatre was also standing and singing, so I didn’t get disinvited to any future events.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,