The smells are slowly dissipating, thank goodness. The whole Gator family will think several times before hosting another Super Bowl Party. As far as I’m concerned it’s just another way to spell disaster. But, I’m getting my story out of sync.
When Mrs. Gator proposed having a shindig at our home, I hoped the synapses in the Geezer’s ancient brain would fire. No such luck! The old boy must have forgotten the Thanksgiving Day debacle. He made a feeble attempt at forging a logical decision. His reasoning, “I won’t have to drive, I won’t have to drive in traffic, I won’t disappoint Mrs. G ’cause she wants to have the party, I won’t have to drive at night, and…ah…ah…I won’t have to drive.” Of course, I could have pointed out that he simply watch the game with Mrs. Gator, the cats, and me. Once the Mrs. planted the thought Super Bowl equals Party, his mental wiring was short circuited.
I guess I should be honest. The thought of all the goodies that were sure to be tossed my way tempted me into silence. My begging is irresistible. If the Gators were willing to “deja vue” the whole Turkey Day mess, why interfere?
The blowout’s last minute nature started the problems. They had 3 days to get ‘er done. Who should they ask and how could they get ready in time? They made a list that included the usual suspects. Translation- their close friends. Mrs. G thought she should go ahead and buy groceries for the five couples they intended to have over. She was busy scribbling the list before the first guest was invited, relegated making the invites to Geezer, and left for the store as he began calling.
A fateful comment started the apocalypse. Geezer asked, “What should I do if someone can’t make it?” Mrs. G answered, “Just invite someone else, like from the neighborhood.” Dumb-da-dumb-dumb.
Number one and two on the list said they’d love to come, but they’d already accepted invites elsewhere. Number three was an answering machine so he left a message. Number four was a repeat of one and two. The panic button was on full mash as Geezer dialed the last of the list. A gracious acceptance made him feel better. But not much. He grabbed the phone book and started dialing neighbors.
His first call went to a neighbor who was sure to accept. Geezer calls him “Freddy the Free-loader,” after an old Red Skelton (whoever that is)character . The man’s motto is, “Ask not what I might bring to the party, but tell me what I’ll be able to consume.” After reviewing the first couple menu items the Geezer got an enthusiastic yes.
The next call compounded the Geezer’s problem. The lady explained that they were planning on going to Mrs. Zoomers’ house for the game. I’ve told you about Zoomers some time ago; she’s the lady who flatters the Geezer’s ego and has breasts the size of watermelons. The lady suggested Geezer talk Mrs. Zoomers into moving her mini-party to our house. Geezer did, she said she would, and she’d bring what food she was going to make, however, case not quite closed. The old boy never asked an important question; how many guests would be added?
Encouraged by three for three on invites, he resumed looking for couple 5. After 4 successive turn-downs, he was out of neighbors he knew reasonably well and his finger pressed the panic button once more. Should he ask some people who just moved in a month before? It’d be a chance to get to know them. He got their number from information and called. A lady answered. Geezer introduced himself, welcomed them to the neighborhood, and made the invite. The woman said they’d love to party, but their children were visiting from up North, would it be alright for them to come? The Geezer didn’t hesitate or think either, “Sure the more the merrier.” Certainly those rank high in the category of Famous Last Words.
When Mrs. G returned, Geezer recounted his success. He proudly bragged he’d gotten his 5 couples plus the new neighbors children. Mrs. Gator smiled and said she was glad she’d bought extra food. She did sober a bit when Mrs. Zoomer’s name was mentioned, but that quickly passed.
Fast forward to game day. The first to arrive were couples 1 and 2 that were on the original list. They’d changed their minds and came unannounced, but brought chips and dip. Mrs. G was happy to see them, was glad she’d bought twice the food she thought she’d need, and went through a quick mental inventory of chairs needed.
Before she could dispatch the Geezer for the camping chairs, Mrs Zoomers opened the door and said, “You-whooo, it’s little ol’ me. Where do you want me to put my stuff?” She held a large cardboard container, constantly relocating it, trying to find a comfortable position above or below her momentous balcony.
Mrs. Gator, rushed to her assistance. Looking into the carton she said, “My you didn’t have to bring so much!” Corning ware bowls and plates were crowded into the box.
“I didn’t know how many people you’d have so I just doubled what I made for the 4 couples from my party. My husband has the rest of the stuff I cooked.” She shouted, “Hugo, you coming?”
A voice came from behind another huge box, “Yes dear.” Hugo was one third Mrs. Zoomers size. His bald head was visible over the top of the next load of vittles.
“I hope you like Mexican, Polish, and Chinese dishes,” Mrs. Zoomers said as she waddled into the house.
And so it went, Freddy the Free-loader and wife came next, sans food, but with two six-packs. Couple number 5 arrived with a big plate of hot wings. They came and came. The front of our house looked like a parking lot. The answering machine couple showed, the other neighbors came, including the new folks, their three girls, the girls husbands, and their 7 children ranging in age from 10 month-old twins to 9 years.
If you do the math that’s 37 butts in a 16 butt living room. That sent the Geezer after additional butt holders. He got 4 camping chairs and 4 deck chairs inside and set up. Mr. G moved his 0ffice seats in the living room and got one from the bedroom. It meant 10 posteriors were destined for the floor. After all settled in, the living room looked like a can of sardines without the oil. Since the party-goers median age was in the 60’s the children and their parents were relegated to the rug.
The problem wasn’t the lack of food, it was the type of snacks the horde began consuming. There were loads of chips: Lays, Cape Cod, Wise, Tostitos, Doritos, salted, unsalted, Onion, Cheddar, Dill Pickle, and Mrs. Zoomers home made bombs. Naturally, people sampled some of each. Naturally, stomachs started to murmur.
Mrs. Zoomer’s nachos were miniature blast furnaces. One brave soul asked for the recipe, which involved four different types of pepper. I’ve always suspected Mrs. Z is a sadist. Anyone sampling her red-hot corn chips sucked a load of beer or anything cold within arms length. Naturally, stomachs shuddered.
The variety of dips was as gut numbing. Of course, there were the standards: French onion, ranch, salsa, spinach, sour cream, queso. But, exotics were available for the brave or foolish. Oysters and shrimp, collard greens, olives and pickles, smoked mullet, and marinated squid were mixed with sour cream, olive oil, Philly Cream Cheese and who knows what else. Naturally, taste buds were curious and stomachs tortured.
Added to the gastric whirlpool were stuffed Jalapenos, onion rings, hot wings, hotter wings, and tongue removal incendiary wings. X-rays would have disclosed white flags in the guests midsections.
Right before the half, Mrs. Gator served the many dishes she’d prepared and the ones graciously provided by the guests. Barbecue, ham, shrimp, cold cuts, and meat balls were joined by lemon baked salmon, sardines with feta cheese, oysters Rockefeller, smoked eel, and steak Tar-Tar. There were veggie trays, quiches of every variety, green bean casserole, and mac and cheese. Besides the more benign items mentioned, there were dishes that defied description. Some were Mrs. Zoomer’s concoctions invented by her fiendish Mexo-Polska mind. Naturally, stomachs rebelled.
Rug abuse commenced shortly after halftime. By this point enough liquor and beer were consummed to effect equilibrium and judgement. The rug’s saga started with a Corona bath. Pepsi, Vernors, Jack and water, Bud Lite, coffee, and a Tequila Sunrise soon followed. This attempt to saturate the carpet with libations continued until the final whistle.
From the mixture mentioned above it’s evident many of the guests were snockered or well on the way. The results– predictable. Freddie the Free-loader was the 1st. His zeal to consume was matched by his stomach’s feel to exhume. “Ralph” on the rug! The combination of used beer, wine, bourbon, barbecue, smoked eel, oysters Rockefeller, and less identifiable items landed on the beige weave in a modern art mosaic. One of the new neighbor’s daughters was pregnant, and Freddie’s act demanded that she puke in sympathy. Hers was mostly ham and quiche, but added to the artistic masterpiece.
The rugs coupe de gr-as came as an indirect result of the mother-to-be’s problem. Her two 10 month-olds decided this was the precise moment to do what babies do best– fill diapers. Unfortunately, their efforts went unnoticed for several minutes. The odor delivered the message and the embarrassed father tried to make amends by quickly changing the soiled Pampers. He did fine until maneuvering through the throng sitting on the carpet. Papa stumbled and one heavily loaded missile did a two and half landing guess where? It was good that the day was pleasant outside for windows had to be opened and fans turned on to make conditions tenable for the queasy digestive tracks of those remaining for Pittsburgh’s last great drive.
After the last guests vacated, Mrs. G and the Geezer surveyed the carnage. She said, “I don’t know where to start.”
The Geezer shook his head, thought for a few seconds and said, “Didn’t you say you were tired of that rug? That’s one good thing about area rugs, even big ones. They’re easy to replace.”
“I would like to change…”
“Help me move the furniture.” The Geezer started tussling with the sofa. Before bedtime the rolled and reeking rug was outside. Geezer is good about such things.
Well, my Super bowl report ends with two scores — Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23 and Guests 37 butts, 1 Rug to the dump.