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Saturday, September 08, 2007

John, Wayne, and the Cape

There's probably a good quote somewhere on the value of friends who throw fabulous parties, but I'm not familiar with it. And don't give me that reproachful look, either. I know how to use a search engine. Google let me down on this one: number one spot for a search for "quote friends fabulous parties" didn't even land me on the right planet. And it's not like the rest of the list was much good either.

In any case
... H and I are lucky in our friends, and we have one pair of friends in particular, JD and JB, who possess the enviable superpower of throwing hugely overambitious, vastly entertaining, sublimely convivial, and wild-but-not-fratboy-wild parties. I don't care whether or not wikipedia's "official" list recognizes the ability to envision, orchestrate, and inspire an epic party as a superpower; I submit that it is.
Superman Costume
Superpower: able to strike any camera colorblind at will.

Certainly, I don't know anyone else capable of the same level of mad planning. So when, several weeks ago, JD and JB invited us to their Cape Cod-based, week-long, once-every-five-years birthday party in honor of John Wayne, we didn't think twice. To be honest, we didn't even think once. OK, to be completely honest, we didn't think at all--we just just said, "Hell, yeah!"

On our way down the Cape, we stopped off in Boston to visit friends RM and NH.
20070902 Trip to Boston-24
Did you bring us goodies from Montréal? Feed us teh goodies!

As all Bostonians known, there's nothing like a late summer stroll through Boston Common to get you in the mood for a party. I mean with all the dancing girls (and boy), we were beginning to wonder if maybe the party hadn't already started without us.
20070902 Trip to Boston-09
When we asked about the John Wayne birthday party, we were subjected to several Turkish tests for drunkenness, which made everyone feel awkward.

After indulging in an appropriate amount of strolling and loitering downtown, we were finally able to tear ourselves away from Beantown and make our way down to the Cape. In true party superhero fashion, our hosts had landed a spectacular setting for our festivities.
Cape Cod Sky 20070906 John Wayne's 100th-43
The inlet's still water holds the sky as a bowl holds water.

And what seaside setting would be complete without an Escher-esque dock with a dismaying habit of swaying when you walk on it? Our hosts thought of everything.
20070906 John Wayne's 100th-39
Look, ma! No hands!

But of course, this seaside isn't just any seaside. It's Cape Cod. Which naturally means that there's plenty of minigolf nearby. H even won a free game by getting a hole-in-one on the 18th hole. No horsepucky.
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J watches in horror as H clinches the win with style.

Still, as with so many grownup affairs--and certainly all affairs in which we're closely involved--it was the the food which crowned the event. Some of JB's sailing friends, who hail from Maine, hauled down an army barrack's worth of fresh oysters, fresh Maine lobsters, and fresh steamer clams for our delectation. And let tell me you, that's an impressive spread of fresh.
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The raw oyster: an entire ocean distilled to a single, slippery sip.

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Ever see James Cameron's Aliens? Yeah. Serious creature carnage.

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Traditional Zen koan: Is bowl full or empty? (Answer: Depend on size of nearby sailor's appetite.)

Probably you've been wondering why it's called the "John Wayne Party." Well, John and Wayne are two of the attendees (yes, two different people), whose birthdays fall close enough together that it constitutes an excuse to throw a single mondo party as opposed to two wee parties. Too, the "real" John Wayne (he was born Marion Robert Morrison, didn't you know?) was born 100 years ago this year. And seeing as his birthday's in May... well that's close enough to count as yet one more reason to throw a mondo party. Not--as you might imagine--that we need much of an excuse. But it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Oh, and one very important lesson we learned during the party, which we delightedly pass on to you, our dear readers:
20070906 John Wayne's 100th-30
Everything--and we do mean everything--is a hat.

Happy trails! (Yes, yes. We're perfectly aware that John Wayne never said that. Close enough.)

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